Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Power of Music

I think a lot of people discount the power that music can have over an individual. Music is a curious thing. For those who take the time to listen to it, get lost in it, read into the lyrics, live it; they find their lives are expanded in new ways. The arts, of all kinds, are amazing things. They help get out emotions that sometimes words can't describe, even in normal ways. Music is an art.

For me, music is my art of choice. Yes, I can draw, but I don't see myself as an artist. I don't think I am accomplished when it comes to the use of a pencil to draw, or paints to paint. Music is something that I can do and it is something I have done for many years now.

When my mother was sick and we were dealing with a lot at home, she bought me a clarinet. I wanted to be in the school band, I wanted to play an instrument, and she supported that. She did everything she could to get me my instrument and by the time I was in middle school, it was my instrument. I loved it. Me and the clarinet were best of friends.

My clarinet has, over the years, seen many tears, shaken in my hands when I was angry and dealt with lots of my pain, both physical and emotional. My clarinet was my outlet to get out all the feelings I was dealing with. I would spend hours playing my clarinet, trying new things, putting all my emotion out through that instrument. Some people meditate to calm down, I played my clarinet. To me, at the end of each practice session, I was 100% calmer and more clear-headed. I learned when I lived with Uncle Dave and Aunt Deb that they would leave me alone when I was playing my instrument, so that's what I did...a lot.

So it seemed natural when I went to college that I wanted to pursue music. But after my jaw surgery, I had to wait a semester to pick up the clarinet. And I was excited to do it. But as my second semester waned down, life was getting hectic and I was forced to play the clarinet....I started to hate it. And I put it down for awhile, changed my major and quit. After the loss of Sam, I couldn't keep it down. At the end of summer 2009, I picked it up again, started in the band at UM and learned the joy again.

But it just wasn't instrumental music that got me through everything. Instrumental music was "instrumental" in my love for all music in general. My mother always had a love for music. For my childhood, we would sing in the car. These moments were some of my most favorite, just mom and me, singing at the top of our lungs, in the car driving down the road.

But over the years, there are songs that have changed my life. It may seem weird to some that a song can change a life, but it really can. When musicians write a song, they have reasons, and those songs can strike a chord in the many fans that they have. They can keep someone going for one more day. They can give life. I think that the enjoyment and the emotion someone feels by a song may be perfectly selfish, but if it inspires you, be selfish.

Never Too Late: I remember when I found this song. I actually saw this video first. I was in a dark place in high school, I was depressed, but I hid it well. And this song played to my dark soul at the time. When I found this video, it was the summer and I was home alone. I couldn't go anywhere because I felt like I was a prisoner. This song, when I heard it, gave me the hope to keep going, that I would eventually escape from what was holding me back. I watched it on repeat on our Video On Demand a lot that day.

The Crow and the Butterfly: Oh this song. This song. The memories. When Shinedown released this album, it was spring 2009. I was once again in a dark place. I lost a lot of friends. But then I was in love and Sam, well Sam loved Shinedown. So we spent a lot of time listening to this album and all the others. One moment I will always remember, we were together, and he put his hand on my heart and said, "I am the crow, and you are the butterfly. I will always chase you as long as I need to." We considered this our song and loved it. But as tragic as it is, our love story was much the same. For months after his death, I would listen to this song and believe he was the "butterfly." I now come to believe that he was right and that in the end, I found the real person I was supposed to be with. My next tattoo will be using this song as symbolism. Summer 2009 was one of the best but also one of the worst summers of my life. Life changing. That is really what it was.
How to Save a Life: When this album came out, I didn't know who the heck The Fray was. But then I got the CD from my friend Emily for Christmas and I was in love. I listened to it to no end. And this song, well it kept me going in high school. The whole CD did really. It's funny how certain artists wiggle their way in there and you'll always love their music. Their albums, every single one of them, has been so legitimate to my life. The first one, songs about escape, came out when I was trying to leave home. "The Fray," came out when I was depressed, in early 2009 and they were songs I listened to when I was alone in my room. And now, "Scars and Stories" that came out on Tuesday has a lot of songs about love and being in love and people being there...well it just explains my life. I love the power of music!
The Dance: This song always makes me think of my mother and the strength that she has given me, even if she never knew. This song is about living life, being in love, dealing with loss. This song is me. "I could've missed the pain, but I'd've had to miss the dance."

Open Up Your Eyes: There are very few that will ever know the symbolism behind this song for me. All I can really say is it came out July 14th, 2009. Sam bought me the CD and this song was playing at a very important and wonderful moment in that summer several days later. For those who know, be lucky you know. And for those who don't know, just know that that moment changed my life, began it in essence, and it is a moment I won't forget. Ever.
Viva La Vida: Viva la vida means "long live life" in Spanish. This song reminds me of senior summer. The summer after I graduated when the world was at my fingertips and life was crazy. I was free from life really throwing hard blows. I remember I got my license that summer, and I was told I couldn't listen to music when I was driving. Did I listen? No, of course not. I had a CD that started with this song and I would get a mile from home, put it in, turn it up and jam. I remember this song as the soundtrack of that summer for me. And I remember how free the whole CD made me feel. Coldplay will always have a special place in my heart for making me feel free, no matter what I am dealing with. When I wasn't letting myself be depressed about things and listening to music that got me there, I would listen to Coldplay. They would lighten my mood and give me hope. This song always brings a smile to my face. Always.

Music is important. It is something I will instill in my children when I have them. I will show them the love, the beauty and the meaning of what is music. Music saved me. Music kept me going. Music was the biggest gift I have ever and will ever be given.

Oh...and my music this morning, since I don't feel the need to list them, I'll leave you videos so YOU can listen. It's all the new album by the Fray, bear with me haha:
Heartbeat- The Fray
The Fighter
Turn Me On
Run For Your Life
The Wind
I Can Barely Say
Here We Are
48 to Go
Rainy Zurich and:
Be Still

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