I believe in the power of music. I believe that everyone listens to music and I have never met anyone who didn’t like music. I believe that music can alter or enhance any mood or situation. It can lift you up when you’re down, or it can keep you down. It can put you in an angry mood, or get you out of one. It can help to mourn a loss. It can help to celebrate something special. The possibilities really are endless. I believe that music can even bring back memories. I can listen to a memorable song from my past and it will bring back memories surrounding those times. It gives me a chance to reminisce, even if it’s only for those three minutes.
I believe that music is different for everyone. Some people may like music for the meaningful lyrics – some maybe for the off-the-wall lyrics. Some people may like music for the soothing sounds, or non-soothing sounds, it can produce. Some may even like music purely for the appreciation of the talents of those creating it. But I believe that most people like music because of the way it makes them feel. I know that it can conjure up countless emotions with me. I can interpret music any way I want to as a listener or as a performer. No one can tell me how I’m supposed to feel when listening to music. They can tell me maybe what the composer was feeling, but the rest is entirely left up to me. It is mine to do what I will with it. I can take anything I want from it.
I believe that we can not escape music. It’s everywhere – on the radio, on TV, in movies, at sporting events, in the store, on an amusement park ride, at a graduation, at a wedding, at a funeral. Probably like most of you, I vividly remember where I was and what I was doing when I first heard of the attacks on September 11th. I was in college and I was at the shop getting my car fixed. That day after lunch I had Wind Ensemble rehearsal. When everyone arrived at rehearsal, we were all pretty much silent. What was there to say? We were confused, scared, and uncertain really of what was even going on. Our conductor gave us the choice to play that day or not; there were obviously much bigger things going on than our tiny, little rehearsal. But by a landslide vote, we chose to play. Not because we had some performance coming up that we needed to prepare for, but because we needed an outlet to cope with what was going on. I believe that music helps us all to cope. I believe music helps to celebrate. I believe music can be depressing. But I also believe music can by inspirational.
I truly believe in the power of music. Music rules my life. When I’m in a good mood I want to listen to good music. When I have tough times, music is what makes me feel right again. Music is my first love and it will be there when I walk down the aisle, and it damn well better be played at my funeral. This, I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.