When I was just a wee one, my mom signed me up for a group keyboard class. Followed by 8 years of piano lessons until my teacher moved away. Followed by three years of harp lessons including intensive theory classes until I left for college. I was immersed in melody and sheet music, and while I didn’t love the practice time, I loved the music.
Not only did I play, but I listened to music constantly. Over a hundred hours of logged classical-music-listening hours for extra credit in my music appreciation class (I earned more points in extra credit than the class was worth–I think the teacher added a cap after that semester). I listened to the radio and cd’s and my iPod. And in college, I found out that Pandora had a 40 hours/month limit, which I wasn’t pleased about.
That limit was lifted. I rejoiced.
Music plays strongly into my life. Notes motivate and encourage, soothe and calm. Worship music centers me. Soundtracks drive me. When I drive, and I don’t enjoy driving, music helps me focus and keeps me from getting too anxious or irritated when driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Jon Mclaughlin is always a good idea.
(gratuitous Mclaughlin. I could listen all day. I often do, actually.)
When music contains a memory, the space in between the notes reaches deeply, able to reach emotions and memories in a unique way. When I hear a song that was a “summer anthem” for my friends and I in the past, I’m tempted to roll down my windows and crank up the volume, reliving that memory with them.
Or a song that soothed my loneliness my first year at college away from home brings just a hint of that bittersweet memory.
Listening to Jon Mclaughlin brings memories of friends and concerts, besides the fact that his trilling, playful piano performances delight me in every sense.
And even as I write this post, Pandora’s playing in the background. I’ve been alternating between Hans Zimmer’s soundtracks and Christmas music. Before Thanksgiving. I know. I know.
But the nostalgia wrapped up in Christmas music is too sweet to only listen to for a few weeks out of the year.