Where Words Fail, Music Speaks

Music is magical, for me at least. I have a dear friend who nearly despises music, noise in general, so I am not sure how we came to be friends or how we sustain a solid relationship.

Music is a huge part of my life, it always has been. It is such a release from the daily hustle. I remember songs igniting strong emotions as far back as second grade. Celine Dion and Shania Twain are the first two professional artists that I felt were traveling through the speakers in my living room and talking directly to me. Before this it was mostly my mom and her friends at church. I still get chills when I hear “On Eagles Wings” because, no matter who is singing, all I hear is my mom and Karen Carr. No version I have found sounds quite right.

I have a memory from 2001, sun shining, last day of 5th grade, jamming out with friends to J-Lo and Ja Rule singing “I’m Real”. It was the first time I rode in a limousine (yeah, I was a high-roller at age 11). We stuck our heads out of the sunroof, ate way too much candy, blasted the songs our parents hated and then had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. Maybe that wasn’t the finest song ever written, or even close, but it did enough to put a memory in the books for years. That is the magic of music.

I count on music to get me through most days.

I listen to it in the morning to set the tone for the day. If I need a little get up and go I put on something upbeat, something I know all the words to and puts a smile on my face. Most recently this happened when I stumbled across a series of songs that immediately transported me to the summer of 2008 (also known as the best summer of all time, ever). We The Kings, The Ataris, and Mayday Parade enraptured me on an early morning drive to work. It was unexpected. It was not my typical music scene. It was everything I needed.

I listen to music during the day for a purpose. I have multiplication songs, rounding songs, songs about being a good friend, songs about encouraging the underdog and, songs to remember how to chunk syllables. I use the lyrics to teach content. I use the beat to control the mood in the room. Why talk when you can sing?

I listen to music after work to placate any feelings that may have arisen throughout the day. Some days I need to cry so I put on something emotionally charged, either by my own accord or the artist’s. Some days I want to party while I commute so I put on a silly drinking song. Other times I need soothing sounds and I turn the dial to find my friend Frank. Frequently I just want to zone out and sing some girly favorites like Carrie Underwood and Christina Aguilera.

Music is healing for me. It says much more than the hundred or so words used to comprise the verse and chorus. Music is my compass, always pointing me in the direction I need to go. I can find what I need in music, and things I didn’t know I was missing to boot. Music, to me, is impossible to explain using words. It is much more than any amount of reasoning can capture. I hope that my unmelodious friend has a fondness for something like I have for music.


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