I’ve been thinking about all the places in my life where music lives. From infancy, when our parents sing us lullabies, music is a source of comfort. Who, as a teenager, hasn’t found consolation in the words of a song after a breakup? On the flip side, love songs seem to define our relationship when things are rosy. Every couple chooses ‘their’ song to celebrate the first dance of marriage.
For me, music has always been the biggest and best part of worship. On Sunday mornings, you’ll find me in the choir pew. Several years ago, when our choir director/ organist left abruptly, we suffered thru exactly one service without music. It was unbearable. That same week, my choir mates and I gathered at the home of a soprano who also played piano. I blew the dust off my guitar and we put together a service. I’m sure that the sound was less than enchanting that first Sunday. But people graciously encouraged us and, as the weeks passed, we developed a repertoire of hymns and were even invited to perform at a fundraiser at a nearby church.
We pay good money to attend concerts. Ask anyone – They can instantly recount their first concert – and probably most of the other concerts they’ve attended. We collect records, CDs and downloaded tunes. Soundtracks from our favorite Broadway shows and movies keep the memories of our favorite stories alive for decades. We learn to play instruments as young people. Later, we go out dancing to music with friends. In our cars, driving alone, we become instant rock stars, singing along with the radio. We workout to our best playlist. When we die, our families lovingly choose hymns with which to say good bye.
Music has power. It transports us thru time, back to our most cherished memories. It helps us to escape our current situation and forget our troubles. With music, we remember. We celebrate. We motivate ourselves. We pray. We heal. We move forward and leave people behind. We say goodbye. Music seeps into every layer of our lives. It is woven into the very fabric of our lives.
Recently, I saw a little meme that proclaimed that music is the only thing that uses every part of our brains. I don’t know if that’s true, but it would make sense. We seem to have a biological connection to music. It’s in our blood. It’s in our hearts. Whether you prefer classical, rock, top 40, jazz or bluegrass, there is something for everybody and every mood.