Oh man, where do I even start? MUSIC has, and always will be one of my greatest passions. It moves me; it hits me at my core. I recently read a friend’s post about what music does for her, and I agreed with everything she said. I have enjoyed music for every state of mind, emotion, and mood I have experienced. I will go into that more in a bit, but I need to give a shout out to the person I credit for helping me have such an appreciation and love for MUSIC. My MOM! I have so many memories that involve music and her. Listening and singing to songs in the car or at home all throughout my childhood, her teaching me songs on road trips like, “America the Beautiful” when she and I took a road trip up the California coast together when I was in grade school. Her and I watching music award shows and music videos on TV. Her taking me to a cool spot at some mall as a kid to make my own cassette tape to a song of choice. What did I choose? Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up,” because it was one of my favorites at the time. Sometimes I hear or sing the song, and think to myself, “what did the lyrics mean, if anything at all at that age,” but I know I loved the way the song sounded, and at whatever age I was (lucky age 11 I think), I understood the general idea of the song, although in my late 30’s the lyrical content takes on a different meaning FOR SURE! So, back to that cassette tape, I STILL have that tape! I will keep and cherish it forever. My voice sounds so “little/young,” and cute! I remember feeling like a rock-star when I made that tape. You can even hear my little voice screech trying to reach some of the higher notes. I have played that cassette tape for some of my “lucky” friends over the years. My Mom also introduced me to so many genres, and I am so grateful that she did, because I have such a love for almost EVERY genre. She introduced me to some of the best genres in my opinion: R&B, Soul, Old School, and Motown. As the years passed, she was always hip on the current songs and enjoyed jammin’ out and singing with me. The 80’s are special to me because it was my first full decade alive, and the 90’s, well, those were my grade school and high school days, and I love every decade for its own reasons, just like I love different artists for different reasons. What are some of your favorite decades of music, and why?
I have fond memories of enjoying music with friends through the years, listening to cassette tapes, singing together, making tapes together and for each other, recording our voices, making school projects to songs (“I want your sex” turned into “I want your frames” for a science project, and no, I don’t remember the rest of the project details, but I am sure Tina and Kathleen do) and recording it, and more. I sang in the school chorus in middle school, and played clarinet. I wish I had pursued chorus/choir through middle and high school! Once high school came around, I was allowed to enjoy concerts with friends, and two of my first concerts were Alanis Morissette at the Del Mar Fair, and No Doubt at Sports Arena. Green Day was my first CD gifted to me from one of my best friends (Heather) in high school, do you remember Green Day?
Through the years, listening to a song, just like a good movie, transports me to a certain special feeling and emotion, or if I am feeling a certain way and I want to intensify that emotion, or feel understood, I will seek out that type of song. I have listened to songs and heard and felt the words to go through my happiest of times, saddest, and angriest, and I ALWAYS feel better after I allow my emotions to flow through while listening to music, singing along, smiling, crying, yelling, jamming out, and thinking about life, and how crazy cool it has been, and IS. I love, love, love singing KARAOKE! I just can’t seem to get enough of it, and I will have to do a whole blog post on just singing KARAOKE later!
Music has motivated me through the years, to dance, to celebrate, to feel, and to take action- I remember my college days when playing good songs would help me as I read book upon book, studied, wrote tons and tons of papers and speeches, created tons of power point presentations, and it helped me get through a day at work, or pretty much anything I didn’t really want to do. Playing music while I clean is a wonderfully therapeutic process. Playing music to get up in the morning and get ready really helps me get my day started in a GOOD way. I have drowned my sorrows playing music, drinking and smoking cigarettes, especially during my dating and college party days. I no longer smoke, which I am SUPER proud of, but I do still enjoy adult beverages, and music always makes drinking more fun. It creates a mood and space that I never take for granted. It allows for conversation to flow, relationships to blossom and grow. It makes me wanna dance, and well, I love to dance! Music brings me peace. I practice and teach yoga, and it adds an element to my practice that is very special to me.
Music, songs, and lyrics have inspired me, given me hope, courage, and encouraged me to “feel” all the beautiful and amazing feelings and emotions I love about being a human. In a weird way, music has made me feel “deeper,” and on another level that I wouldn’t have felt without the impact of a certain song, sound, lyric, beat, rhythm, chorus, verse, etc. I mean, music gives me goose bumps, butterflies, and a serotonin rush! I know I am not alone when it comes to the impact music has had. It is one of the most amazing things about being ALIVE in my opinion.
Dan and I volunteered at a Music Therapy camp for kids, and we had such a fun time hanging out with the kids and seeing the joy that music, singing, dancing, and being together brought them. I am grateful that my family loves music, and most of our gatherings and holiday parties, etc. usually involve music, and sometimes dancing. I have memories that include music somehow with my entire family, and it is nice to think back on the role that music played in my family dynamic.
I have enjoyed SO many concerts over the years with so many friends and family, too many to even remember to tell you the truth, from all kinds of genres, and they are some of my favorite memories. Concerts have brought me to tears because of the joy they bring me- I feel so ALIVE when I hear music, especially LIVE music. Some of the concerts I do remember along with the two I mentioned earlier are 91x Sunfest, Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Tim McGraw, Tim and Faith Hill, Gloria Estefan, Fleetwood Mac (Dreams is my fav song), too many country concerts to remember down at the good ol’ Coors Amphitheatre (Dierks Bentley, Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks), Matchbox 20 (Dan and I love singing karaoke to Matchbox 20 songs) and Goo Goo Dolls, Third Eye Blind, John Legend with SADE (one of my fav’s, and I walked down the aisle to Sade’s “Kiss of Life”), James Bay, Jon B. (Jon B. is one of my favs, and has such a sensual and sexy vibe. I also got to meet him, hug him and go on stage while he sang [at the back of stage, behind him]) with a slew of other artists, Salt N’ Peppa (I get down and sing to some Salt N’ Peppa) with a bunch of other artists, Jack Johnson, Earth Wind & Fire, a lot of local bands like Tainted Love and Mimi Zulu. Most of the concerts I have been to are some of my favorite artists or bands. I don’t want to take up too much room going over some of my favorite artists, groups, and bands, well, because there are just SO MANY! Who are some of your favorite artists, bands, songs, and WHY?
Music allows me to dance and move with greater enjoyment, and together (music and dance) they satisfy 2 of my greatest passions, hobbies, and loves in life. Yes, I have had parties for 1 that involved music playing, emotions flowing, and me dancing around my place and checking myself out in the mirror. One of my dearest friends likes to tease me because I used to check myself out while I danced in front of mirrors down in TJ, or during Jazzercise classes. What can I say, I like to check my body for form, and to observe and watch it move and groove. The human body and how it moves is a beautiful thing to me!
I DO NOT like driving (more on my reasons some other time maybe), but MUSIC makes it sooo much better, right? A car with no music is no Bueno! Yes, I have had times where I needed to turn music off while I was driving because I needed silence and to calm myself, and in that moment the silence was the answer, but usually I need my jams to get me through. You ever notice how a song takes you back to a place in time, a memory, a person, an experience, a feeling from long ago? I love that! I enjoy that feeling, reliving the feelings (even bad), and I move on. I used to provide therapy to my fellow Military Veterans and their kids/families, and I loved incorporating lyrical content analysis while playing songs, sometimes of their choosing to help them open up and discuss topics that may have been hard otherwise. It was a creative way to tap into feelings that are hard for some people to talk about. My younger generation combat Veteran group LOVED it. Boy oh boy did it just open them up!
MUSIC has played a pivotal role in every stage of my life, and I am forever grateful for my Mom having such a huge impact on my love and appreciation for music, and for music itself: all the amazing artists out there that constantly amaze me with their passion, their skill, talent, and the love they pour into what they do, the writers that piece beautiful lyrics together, the composers, the teachers, and anyone who has a role in creating what we know as “music.” We are so blessed to be able to experience sound, music, and the layers of beauty it adds to our lives.
I remember when I was younger calling into KYXY, 96.5 on the radio to dedicate my parent’s wedding song to them for their anniversary, and I was on air, and I recorded myself. It was so cool, and for their 30 year anniversary many years ago, I played that cassette tape recording for everyone at the surprise party I threw for them- and everyone loved it, my folks and some of the other guests even danced while the song “We’ve Only Just Begun,” by the Carpenters played. Again, my voice sounded so little and young.
When my Grandma was dealing with Alzheimer’s, and I was in my days of being a counselor, I sang songs to her like, “you are my sunshine,” and we noticed a shift in her, and sometimes she would sing along. Even when her symptoms had worsened and she no longer spoke, you could still see her light up when she heard people singing some of her favorite songs. MUSIC heals! (FYI, as tears roll down as I re-read this).
I learned how to play a guitar a couple years ago, and I REALLY need to further my skill and understanding of how to play, because it is something I would love to be able to do, play a song from memory and just jam out! I still have a dream to form a little band, and make a music video with Dan someday. To me, MUSIC is LOVE, all music and lyrics come from a place of love and emotion, even if the lyrics and song sound angry- I believe it comes from a place of love- expressing intense or upset emotions to me, is just an attempt to come closer to a place and feeling of LOVE. As long as lyrics don’t explicitly point to hurting someone or a group with their words, or with ill intent, I am all for people expressing themselves through their music and lyrics. Music and songs play a huge part in relationships and how they develop. I have memories of the songs, genres, etc. that affected and played a part in every relationship and friendship over the years. I could go on and on about music, so I will end this with this: do certain songs or lyrics come to mind when you hear certain words in every-day conversations? What songs come up for you? Are there any that come to mind with some of the common catch phrases or every day conversations that you have? How about this one? “free your mind, and the rest will follow?,” or “do you remember the time?” Do you know those two songs, and the artists or groups that sing them? Or, a good one whenever it was time to go back to work on a Monday, and I had the “Sunday go back to work blues,” was, “back to life, back to reality.” Haha, I love that! Keep rocking on ya’ll!