Let the music move you
There’s are reason that movie soundtracks are in a category of their own at the Academy Awards. Music has the ability to enhance every film scene. From award for the best original score to the best original song, music has the power to communicate through sound and incite emotion in the audience. It can scare us and soothe us. Uplift or distress—Music makes the moving pictures brighter and enriches the story. Turn off the music in a movie and you lose the nuance, the essence, the emotional wallop.
Do you have the music turned up LOUD in your life?
My own memories are laced with soundtracks—Goingto T-ball practice (AKA cartwheels and dandelion picking in the outfield) with the Bee Gees wailing Night Fever. Perfecting teen angst to New Order and John Hughes film soundtracks (Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club). Long walks to and from campus in my undergrad days loving that The Smiths and The Cure understood me. Enveloped in the energy of concerts by the Tragically Hip, Sarah Maclachlan, and Spirit of the West. I recall Alanis Morisette blasting out of every speaker in Kathmanu in 1995. Taking off from Dubai listening to Jimi Hendrix’s All Along the Watchtower. Studying for my Masters in Montreal listening to Radio and Beth Orton on repeat.When my son was a baby, the only thing that would sooth his hysteria was Feist’s ‘I’m sorry.’ The wailing would stop as if I had flicked off a switch.
Music has been a vital part of my life, and now of my children’s lives. Their eyes light up and they squeal, “I remember THAT song!!!” It sweetens road trips, eases us into bedtime routines, and gets us moving in the morning. Listening to rhythm and lyrics can develop great thinkers. Some good stories can come of it too. I recall driving to work one day with my daughter in the backseat listening to Madame Butterfly. Here’s how our conversation unfolded:
Ella: Why does she sound like that Mamma?
Me: Well babe, she’s sad.
Ella: Why is she sad?
Me: She loves someone and he doesn’t love her back.
Ella: Why doesn’t he love her?
Me: I’m not exactly sure (too exhausted at 7:00 a.m. to explain the ins and outs of Puccini’s opera to a four year old)
Ella: She pauses … Maybe he doesn’t like her singing.
I remain the only one in my family who enjoys opera.
I challenge you to create a soundtrack like your life depends on it, your very ability to survive another day. You don’t need top of the line speakers or a cool retro turntable. A radio will suffice in a pinch. It’s like adding a splash of vibrant, saturated color to an otherwise staid existence. It may not be the brilliance of EnnioMorricone, but it will do. Perfection is not the answer. We’re aiming for a cobbled together soundtrack that will carry you through your days.
Bundling three kids out the door? Imagine the Mission impossible Theme song. You can choose music to enhance or even shift you mood to another state. Try to crank up Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust for Life’ or The Jam’s Town ‘Called Malice’ and NOT dance (I admit, I’m incapable). Let music transport you. Want an afternoon in Paris but you have an important dinner meeting in Toronto? Escape to France just for an hour with Edith Piaf. Need soothe your soul and take in a deep breath? The Stars’ ‘Calendar Girl’ is exactly what I’d prescribe. Followed by EnnioMorricone’s‘Cinema Paradiso.’
When life seems crazy, music will anchor us. It will steady us. It creates meaning and solidifies memories. Studies of kids in classrooms listening to classical music consistently demonstrates that it can help concentration and focus. Listening to music has been show to help teens focus, not distract them. I suspect that if I conducted a well-planned, beautifully executed study of my own, the women who are regularly listening to music will have more enriched, vibrant days (and nights), than those who stumble through in silence every second of the day.
Have fun with this. Experiment. For inspiration, you can visit my Pinterest boards for calming soundtrack recommendations https://www.pinterest.com/JKOrmson/calming-soundtrack/ and energizing soundtrack recommendations https://www.pinterest.com/JKOrmson/energizing-soundtrack/