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May 27 2016

7 Ways Music Changed My Life

Pretty Caucasian girl sitting on wooden floor in studio and listening to music. White brick wall background

licensed via bigstockphoto.om

Music is more than a hobby to pass the time.  It is a universal language. If you listen, and I mean really listen, the lyrics and instrumentals of any song provide insight into whatever the artist was feeling and thinking when it was composed, and, more importantly, they provide insight into how the listener is feeling and thinking as they listen. Though it may be a subconscious act, people choose what music to listen to depending on how they are feeling at a given time, and if you really pay attention to what they choose and try to find why they chose it, you will uncover another world. Understanding this has led me to understand that music is more than a favorite pastime.  It has changed my life.

It taught me appreciation
Life goes by incredibly fast — way too fast for my liking. Having such a strong affinity for music has taught me that life is about enjoying the little things, for if we forget to pay attention to them, the bigger things don’t seem as significant. It also shows that no matter who the artist or listener is, everyone listens to a particular song or genre of music as a way to connect with themselves. People become infatuated with songs because they connect with them on a deeper level, and understanding that brings about a whole new appreciation for music and life itself.

It showed me beauty
Just as individuals are unique, so are songs. We are told from the time we are toddlers that being beautiful isn’t about how we look.  It is about what is inside our hearts, and it is the same thing with music. It is impossible to judge a song by its title, album, or even the artist, for each song is unique with its own chords, instruments, beats, and words. That ingenuity is unique, and that uniqueness is beautiful.

It taught me the importance of diversity
Wherever you go, whatever you do, there will always be people of various backgrounds and personalities, and to be a conducive member of society, it’s important to realize that it is that diversity that makes the world such a magical place. As such, music allows us to understand the beauty diversity holds. You are not subscribed to one genre of music or one artist; instead, you can spend 3 minutes listening ACDC, and the next 5 listening to French rap. There is no limit to what you can enjoy, no matter how different the types of music may be.

It showed me love
Yes, I am wholeheartedly in love with music, for it is what gave me my first lessons on life. Tracks from the 70’s and 80’s brought me to a deeper connection with my parents, which helped us develop a closer, more loving bond, country albums have shown me that life isn’t all about material things, and my favorite indie bands have shown me that being different is OK, as long as you love who you are, love what you do, and you are surrounded by the best kinds of people. Love is more than a four-letter word, it is a further connection to the world around us that can only be accomplished by paying attention to the things we are immersed in.

It taught me vulnerability
One song, whether it be 3 minutes or 7 minutes with an instrumental solo, has the power to open your mind and emotions to a new state. Many times, we are taught to hide our feelings and limit what emotions we express, as we don’t want to be ‘too’ in touch with ourselves. Music counters that argument and has taught me that being vulnerable is OK, as it allows us to understand how we are feeling and move forward. It is when we choose to ignore how we feel that we are weighed down, whereas expressing ourselves allows us to fly free.

It showed me a connection to the world around me
I can travel to anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds. One minute, I can be back in Georgia, going driving around with my closest friends listening to country music, and then I hit next and all of a sudden I’m in Israel again, sitting around the stranger with the guitar who is singing a beautiful song in Hebrew, or I may even decide to try something new, and listen to tribal beats of a foreign culture. Whatever I decide to listen to, it becomes an immersion experience that brings me closer to the world around me and provides incredible insight into the inner-workings of peoples’ cultures and minds.

It taught me things about myself I wouldn’t realize otherwise
Like many others, I have the tendency to listen to different music depending on my mood, and, sometimes, I don’t even realize how I’m feeling until I take a minute and realize what playlist I had just selected. With everything going on with college, my career, and my personal life, it’s so easy to forget what’s going on in my own head, and spending the time to listen to music helps me come back to my roots.
No matter what your music preference is, the lessons are the same. Music is the universal language, you just have to listen.

About Li Cohen

Just a small town Georgia girl in a journalists' world. I'm currently attending Nova Southeastern to master the art of communication studies and coffee addiction. I'm an aspiring international journalist with a passion for half marathons, music, traveling, good books and awesome experiences.

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