I recently watched an interesting, and moving, documentary about music and how it affects our minds and our memory.
I am a big media pusher, but I’ll try to resist just spamming and begging you to watch this documentary… but really? You should watch it 😉
Also, check out Music&Memory and don’t forget to donate your old iPods, Zunes, headphones, and earbuds to your local nursing homes and encourage them to USE THEM!
While watching Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory, I started thinking about what music has done for me, what it’s been for me.
I began to remember certain moments in my life that were bookmarked with music.
Cleaning Day was one, the day the family worked together to really clean the house twice a month. I have a clear and vivid memory of my dad and I resting in the living room, sitting in our favorite chairs, marinating in the Pink Floyd album, The Dark Side of the Moon. I can even smell the lemon Pledge. This is a moment I feel would have been forgotten had music not been present. It seems mundane, but it’s a memory that I cherish, a memory of my dad and I truly enjoying something together, speechless but connected.
Another is the funeral of my uncle. While I didn’t know him well, only having met him a few times, I felt for my family and their loss. My aunt asked that I sing Amazing Grace during the service because my uncle loved hearing me sing. Most people know the song, I’d been singing it for others since I was old enough to talk, it was a song I didn’t even have to think about. The service starts and emotions are intense, it was finally starting to hit me. By the time I was to stand and sing, I was upset and nervous about spoiling his funeral. I began the song…. and botched the lyricsof the second line! I stopped, said I messed up the words, giggled nervously, and everyone laughed with ease. Not a hateful or mocking laugh, but a necessary laugh of release. Suddenly the tension was gone and people were just people again, no grief, no sadness. I decided to start over, but still didn’t remember the line I’d known for years. After someone reminded me, I began again with no more mistakes. While walking back to my seat, the preacher stood and smiled, “I don’t think Tony would’ve had it any other way. That really was perfect.”
I remember the moment I first wanted to learn how to play guitar, I was watching Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin guitarist).
I remember going to concert after concert with my friends, travelling every week to see a band we loved, to see this guy play guitar, or that girl sing.
I remember listening to Rage Against the Machine with my mother when I quit a terrible job.
I can’t think of my best friend without thinking of music. It’s a huge part of our friendship, it’s one of the ways we communicate and comfort each other, it’s even partially responsible for our genesis.
The memories go on and on… moments made more special by music. I even have memories of myself, alone, listening to music, and remembering those moments fondly, just because music has been such a good friend to me.
Music is love!
Bookmark your life!
“Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich Nietzsche