Music Speaks

I love music. I think it is integral to those things that make us human (emotions, thoughts, opposable thumbs, etc). I listen to so many different kinds of music–some more than others of course. Music can be an identity for some people and just background noise for others. There is a bit of math and science to it but then there is a deeply emotional part as well. It can cause peace, love, anger, sadness, and every other emotional feeling there is. Have you ever watched a movie without the soundtrack? It just seems to be missing something, right? There is a reason for that.

Music is the reason I was a music theatre major in college. I believe, very passionately, that music speaks when words fail. I know there are people that think musicals are “hokey” and in some ways, I understand why they feel that way. There are lots of musicals that do a “set up” for songs and sometimes there are cheesy lyrics and melodies. I love them, but they’re not for everyone. But there are also musicals out there that are more realistic and intensely emotional. They feature songs for complex characters, experiencing emotions so deep that they can’t express them with just words. They need the music underneath it all to reach out in a more visceral way. The only songs that have the capacity for making me weep, just to listen to them, are from musicals and country songs.

And then there is the music I listened to when I was a kid growing up. My father is the reason I love the music of Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, and Garth Brooks. I remember my dad BLARING his favourite songs in the house and I loved it when it was so loud I’d feel like I was vibrating. My mother is the reason I love REO Speedwagon and Vivaldi. I also grew up with Disney movies and to this day, I still know most of the songs from most Disney movies. They’re fun and nonsensical and whimsical. But of course there are songs off the radio that I love. In middle and high school, I loved the Backstreet Boys. When I hear them today it really takes me back.

Thanks to my classical singing training, I have an appreciation for classical and opera singers. Anna Netrebko is my favourite. I enjoy choir music when it is done well, and I should be able to tell, given that this is the first time in my life that I haven’t been in a choir since I was in the third grade. I am both enjoying this but I do miss it and I’ll probably join a choir eventually.

What I’m really getting at is that music is central to my life. When I’m home alone, I sing at the top of my lungs. I sing in the car too. Even when I have a sore throat that makes it physically painful to sing, I can’t help it. I just sing anyway. Have you ever seen me watch Doctor Who? I sing along with the theme song every single time, and there are no lyrics. In my French class in the seventh grade, they taught us a song to remember verb conjugations and I still know it. Even farther back, in third grade, I learned a song to remember all the U.S. presidents and I still use it today. I drove from Jacksonville to D.C. a couple years ago just because my favourite singer, Nathan Pacheco, was performing for twenty minutes in the Cherry Blossom Parade. WHO DOES THAT? This girl. One of the many (many many many) things I love about the Episcopal Church is the music. Scripture set to music–does it get better? (Yes, yes it does when it is played on the organ!) We’re planning our wedding and one of the hardest decisions for me, I just know it, will be the music in the ceremony and reception. I finally chose the piece I’d like to walk down the aisle after an agonising time of testing different pieces imagining myself walking to them. It is going to to be lovely!

I don’t actually know what I’d do without music.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/60872595@N06/5819184201″>Music</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

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