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The Power of Music

I have been thinking a lot lately about music. Recently, I was asked about my ways of decompressing or de-stressing which is probably why it's been in my head lately. One of my favorite ways to calm myself is to get into my car and blast my favorite songs and sing....loud.

Person driving with hand on steering wheel and radio on.

Whether I am in-tune or not is of no consequence-I just need to get the energy out that is holding me down. It's so cathartic and healing, so if you see me driving around and I'm obviously singing along, just mind your beeswax and go on your way, nothing to see here.

As a kid, I remember listening to music that my parents or grandparents listened to and artists like Debbie Boone, the Statler Brothers and Patsy Cline come to mind. Even today, I have a couple of Patsy Cline songs on my phone that I love to play. Karen Carpenter had the most clear and beautiful voice and the Carpenters is another favorite for me.

Person lifting arms up in the air at a concert

Of course, growing up in the 80's I listened to arguably the best generation of music and love REO Speedwagon, Styx, Eagles, Richard Marx, Prince, Elton John, Hall and Oates.....the list goes on. As an adult, I have been privileged to follow and meet the REO band members which makes their music even more special as this was something we share with our daughters. (Hint #1 to new parents-get your kids interested in your music before they turn into teenagers, I promise it will help you through the teenage years.)

Barry Manilow (who I hear is doing his farewell tour right about now) has this great song about music and how it makes you move and gives you courage and so much more. He is so right about music making you move. Who can resist doing a little dance when the right beat comes out? (I used this to embarrass my girls many times over the years.) Some songs just make you sing along the moment you hear them and it's even better when you are in a crowd and everyone knows the words-I'm looking at you Neil Diamond.

With the passing of many talented musicians lately, Toby Keith and Jimmy Buffet most notably, it strikes me that even though they are gone, we still have the music and their voices literally in our ears if we want them. I have heard that when our loved ones pass away, we start to forget what they looked and sounded like. But those singers and performers that are no longer on earth still have their performances as long as we have the technology to play them. I wonder if that feels like a blessing to their families or if it's a sad reminder to them. Maybe it's both.

When Prince passed away in 2016 I was bereft. (Actually, I didn't accept that he was gone until at least a year later.) I never met him but I felt like a part of my own life was gone.

Why do we react so strongly to the death of famous people we never actually meet or know?
Maybe it's because we associate certain music with our own life path and when a part of it goes away, we feel a little bit lost.

Prince was part of my teenage years and growing into who I am now so maybe I felt a part of my younger self was gone.

While I wasn't a diehard Toby Keith fan, I do have a couple of his songs on my phone that I listen to and really enjoy. His songs contained "regular people" lyrics and you knew what he was singing about without much effort. After 911, his patriotism was so strong that he had to write a song about it and what a song it was. His music-along with many others'-says right out loud what people are feeling and that is another reason why we feel the power of music too. Music helps us put a voice to our feelings that can be confusing and frustrating and helps us understand. It sometimes helps us cry too and that is something we all need at some point.

American football field with crowd in the background

It gives us a sense of community too. As I mentioned earlier, if you are in a group of people at an event and certain songs are played, you all sing along and maybe you dance a little-or a lot. Whatever you do, you have a sense of camaraderie and belonging, even for just a few minutes and it is awesome. That is the power of music.

Music stirs up patriotism and has been used in that way since before our country was formed. Military bands played as battles were waged and music was written to bolster support and encouragement for troops. I still get teary when the National anthem is played at sporting events and sing along as long as the key is in my range. (Who am I kidding, I sing it anyway.)

Music brings people together. Finding someone who enjoys the same type of music that you do can be a powerful connection on many levels. It may surprise you to find out that your straight-laced and quiet co-worker is actually a (Grateful) Deadhead and you have more in common than you thought. You never know and you should find out.

I have always wanted to be a musician and have taken guitar lessons and banged on my daughter's drum set but nothing ever really stuck. That might be my new project, learn to play an instrument that I won't get tired of. My daughters were very involved in band in high school and both are very good musicians. (Remember my hint from before-Hint #2 is get your kids involved in playing music. You won't regret it.) Our basement was full of guitars, speakers, the aforementioned drum set and so much more but it was something they loved to do and it kept

Students playing different instruments together

them away from things they shouldn't be doing. Watching their band directors take a group of teenagers and magically get them to work together to play beautiful songs was amazing. They learned more than just how to play songs through their music education and that is another power of music.

The last thing I will say about the power of music is that it creates friendships. I have met some wonderful people because of following REO Speedwagon. I am in a group of women who regularly text and talk and support each other and it wouldn't have happened without music. Music connects us with other people we need in our life.

So how do you see music in your life? Is it in the background or front and center? Do you participate in making music or enjoy the works of other musicians? Do you use music to center or calm yourself?

I would love to know so please leave your comments below.

Please watch for some great new episodes of Midlife with Courage podcast coming in the next few weeks. I have some inspirational stories to share including one mom who is finding joy after a heart wrenching loss.

Take care of your beautiful self and I will talk to you soon.


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I don't think a day goes by without a song or music for me. Where I’m dancing around to Pink or meditating to harp music it all impacts me and is definitely part of my life.

If you haven’t been to the Prince Museum - do so! It’s a great experience.

And I always wanted to be in a band - keep that in mind.

Replying to

Thank you for sharing!

I have always wanted to be a singer in a band.

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