Music has always been a very important part of my life. I always sang to the radio; at church; to myself; in school and with my friends. My mom kept the radio on in the background at home while she was doing her housework. And when we were in the car the radio was always on. I got my own radio for my tenth birthday, so I could have music in my room.
I played violin from fourth to tenth grade. I took six months of saxophone lessons. (I didn’t do well with sax, because the vibrating reed tickled too much. I just couldn’t get used to it.) I bought a beautiful red cedar Native American flute so I could learn how to play that. I love the sound, and it doesn’t tickle my lips like the sax did.
I love to play music, and I love to listen to it.
I’ve been listening to the Dave Brubeck station on Pandora the last couple of days. I read that he had passed away recently, and I wanted to see whether I was familiar with his music. As it turned out, I was familiar with some of it. And I’m enjoying new music, and artists, that I was not familiar with, thanks to Pandora.
I’m listening to some Lionel Hampton now, along with some Dave Brubeck, really softly in the background while I work on my computer. This music is really upbeat and helps my mood; it gets me dancing a little in my chair. And it helps me focus on what I’m doing.
This last is important because I had found, in the past, that I did not focus well with music or tv or other people talking when I was trying to write or read. I could never study under those conditions, either. Nor could I take a test with noise in the room. It made me agitated and restless. So I didn’t do as well as I might have done if I had been in a quiet room.
Now I find that music helps me to develop a flow to my work. I can’t listen to anything loud, but at just the right volume I can sit for a couple of hours and get a lot done. And I notice now that I am interested in listening to music I would never consider listening to before.
I would never listen to rap once it became ugly. But I find I am fascinated by the prose, the rhythm and and the combination of spoken word and vocals. That may be because I find myself increasingly comfortable with expressing my view of the world through poetry and prose. And I am coming to understand how speaking aloud one’s poetry/prose allows the poet to tell the story exactly as he/she wants to tell it.
It seems to me that writing song lyrics might be similar to writing poetry and prose: find the right word(s) and your images come vividly alive. Use the wrong one, and no one gets your image at all.
Somehow, and I don’t know why, listening to music has opened up a channel for me to let my creativity flow. And man, am I glad it’s flowing. Those ideas and images have been dammed up in my head and heart for so long they had to come out. It sure feels good to see my thoughts on a page. I wonder if others have found that music has done something amazing for them, too. I sure hope so.:)