It seems like such a long time since my days at university when I was studying for a music degree. Almost like another lifetime – the passage of time changes many things. I enjoy many things in life but I would have to say music is my absolute passion. I love it (even more than eating chocolate and that’s saying something!) Music has the profound ability to connect you to something – a feeling, a memory, your own idea of what heaven is perhaps – it has the power to unite people in celebration, joy, excitement and sadness. Seldom does it divide (unless you were part of the audience for the premier of Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring’ in 1913 of course).
What is about music that is so moving? Is it the music itself or is it our own emotional reactions to what we are hearing? I think it is a combination of the two. There is a certain amount of nostalgia experienced when we hear certain pieces of music. If you hear a song from many years ago when you were a child, it has an almost magical ability to transport you back to how you felt when you heard it. ‘Oh, this takes me back…’
Almost like riding a bicycle – you never really forget how to do something or lose the memory of a feeling regardless of how many years ago you experienced it. Playing an instrument stays in your fingers and in your mind even if you have a break from it for a while. I still have wonderful memories of when I sang in choirs, played in concerts and (along with a great deal of stress, nervous tension and caffine), enjoyed the fact that I was able to make music. It was a dream come true.
Yes, music has a way of encompassing you entirely bringing you into a different sphere of being. Whether it is classical music, rock, listening to a choir singing in a cathedral, folk music, etc. whatever it is you enjoy listening to and playing, you can be sure of one thing – the ability of music can change the world around you. With a seemingly magical and otherworldly power to influence and move people on such a scale, it is no surprise that music spoke to me at such a young age, being the artistic, sensitive soul I am. It all started when I picked up a recorder and started playing along with T.V theme tunes by ear.
I was hooked.
Nowadays, I love listening to music more than playing. I play for my own enjoyment and it is as if no time has passed at all from when I picked up the flute at the tender age of 14 years old and said to myself ‘this is impossible, I’ll never get a note out of it’ to now when I can play hosts of scales and tunes until my heart is content. I didn’t think I would reach that point – but I did!
Now I listen to and play anything and everything – the more varied, strange and interesting, the better. I wouldn’t say I prefer one genre over the other – I just love music that has the ability to uplift and change how I feel and perhaps helps shift my increasingly stubborn perspectives somehow. Ah, growing older…
Music is all around us…
Practice, patience and perseverance are the ingredients in whatever you choose to do in life…. and not forgetting of course to love what you do!
Go be, do and enjoy 🙂
© Christina McDonald 2014