Music. A force that makes you feel things you didn’t even know were inside you. Sweet notes can make you cry, powerful melodies can inspire you, and the right lyrics can give you all the energy you need in the world. This might be an odd comparison, but I think it’s best described as similar to taking a shower with one of those rain shower heads. You stand underneath it and the rain pours down over your body. You feel relaxed and at peace. Good music does that to me - it feels as though the water is running down and touching every part of me. Forcing me to close my eyes and feel physically and emotionally the things I didn’t know I needed to feel.
I have a powerful relationship with music. From the time I was a young child I was raised with Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, the greatest symphony orchestras, big bands, and smooth jazz playing throughout our home everyday. Music speaks to me in a way that nothing else ever has, and I can still close my eyes and think of the moments throughout my life where music has played the biggest roles. The feelings and emotions are still overwhelming.
Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.”
– Charlie Parker
I started playing the violin in 4th grade and added oboe in 5th grade. I couldn’t get enough of the feeling I had when I played my instruments and the sound turned into the sweetest of melodies. It’s like a drug. You can’t get enough of the emotions and the following peace that it brings out of you. I was in band and orchestra from 4th grade through graduating college at Iowa State. I took private lessons and also joined every single small ensemble that I could outside of being the principal oboist in almost every single year of band and orchestra throughout high school and then my college career at Iowa State University. Music has played an important role in helping me be a mature, responsible, and critically thinking individual. Try sitting first chair your entire music career and playing every solo that would come along (while feeling anxious and nervous) and you’ll understand why I obtained those characteristics.
Something I’ve learned throughout my lifetime of being involved with music, is that you can’t be any good at your instrument if you’re not willing to just let go. If you’re too uptight, too anxious, too tense, or too much of a perfectionist you won’t be able to feel the music the way you need to. It won’t be natural and flow through you and into your audience. And isn’t that such a good comparison to other parts of our lives? If we’re always tense and worried and don’t allow things to flow freely and happen naturally, will we really be enjoying and living the life we want to live? Will we be able to contribute to society and to our own lives if we aren’t fully feeling our feelings and allowing them to just be? I truly don’t think so.
My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.”
― Martin Luther
So next time you’re feeling a little tense, go ahead and put on your favorite music that makes you think deeply and feel your feelings. Allow everything in your heart, mind, and soul to come out with the music. Let it all go and flow freely into the world. Close your eyes, hear the words, feel the sweet notes playing. I promise you’ll open your eyes and feel your shoulders relax as your stress falls away.
Need a little inspiration to start exploring your feelings? Maybe something to relax you and help clear your mind for a few moments? Check out my playlist on Amazon Music called “All the Feelings”. Filled with songs that usually make me tear up and tug at my heart. I hope they help you feel whatever you need to feel.