Today is Thursday which means the continuation of our Twenty Something Advice series. My goal with this advice series is to cover many different topics. After doing my regular blog hopping I wound up at Courtney’s blog with the tagline “Happenings and musical thoughts direct from the river of dreams.” Her passion about music quickly reminded me of my own love for music. Since I can remember, I have used music as therapy. Music can get you out of the mood of a frustrating day at work and it can also pump you up before you hit the clubs with the girls. I sent Courtney a quick note asking her if she’d be interesting in doing a guest post.
So, today’s Twenty Something Advice is a guest post by Courtney of til the river runs dry. She has been involved in music since she was seven years old, starting with piano lessons, eventually voice lessons, band, jazz band, choir, and vocal jazz ensembles. She has written songs, acted on stage in plays and twice as the lead in a musical. Courtney is currently a senior in college studying music industry with an emphasis in business.
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For my 20th birthday, though I’d always said I never would, I got together with my best friend, and both of us got tattoos. One day, a light bulb illuminated over my head, and I just knew I needed one and exactly what it should be. It’s one word. Purple. Scrawled along my foot, beneath my ankle. Perfect. “Sing.”
Music is air to me. I can’t take a five minute walk without headphones. Silence is torture. Music is survival.
Elysa asked me to do this “advice” column and I thought long and hard about how I could twist my musical “expertise” (ha!) into advice. I don’t want to sit here and tell you what to listen to, because everyone has different tastes, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t want to tell you how to learn to play an instrument or to sing, because let’s face it, it’s time consuming and, in a lot of cases, expensive. So, what should I advise?
Just enjoy it. That’s the most important part.
For quite awhile, all the scientific folk out there doing studies and experiments and other science-y things asserted that ART MUSIC IS BEST MUSIC. Listening to Mozart will make your baby smarter. Beethoven will relax you. Copeland will make you crave steak (“Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.”) And you know, if that’s truly the kind of music you enjoy, all of that may be true. Well, except for the part about Copeland because I’m betting that we all think about beef when we hear Copeland’s Rodeo (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, go here and click on track 12. You will). However, I fully believe that music is what you make of it, and the most important part of enjoying music is making your own decisions about it.
When you need to relax, what do you listen to? When you need to pump yourself up? When you need to cry? When you want to remember a certain time in your life? Music is so much more powerful when YOU CHOOSE what you listen to. You have learned to love the things you love for certain reasons… because you were very responsive to a certain sound or the way a lyric was delivered, and all of that has to do with personality, where you were at that point in your life, what you were going through. Why try to relax with music somebody very different than you told you to listen to? There’s no comparison.
Of course, always be responsive to new music. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who just refuse to listen to new stuff because, of course, nothing beats Led Zepplin. PLEASE. If you are the kind of person who keeps growing and changing, your tastes in music should and probably will as well. Nothing says that you have to completely grow out of your old music (though I don’t honestly remember the last time I even LOOKED at a Backstreet Boys album, though I still own a few… somewhere…) but why not keep an open mind? Today’s music builds on yesterday’s. Your current opinions are built on the things you were taught, or that you went out and learned yourself. Nothing stays the same. Music itself evolves… there’s extensive proof. Why should you be stubborn and listen to the same three bands for your entire life?
What do I listen to? Mozart. Reba McEntire. Frank Sinatra. Jason Mraz.
Colbie Caillat. Rhonda Vincent. Kelly Clarkson. Debussy. Augustana.
John Mayer. So many more. It just depends on what I’m in the mood to choose.
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I want to thank Courtney for taking the time to share with us.
For all of you that love music and are on a continual search to find new artist’s I highly recommend last.fm.
I will be checking out several of Courtney’s favorites over the next few days and I’d love to hear from you guys? What ways do you use music in your life?
Previous Twenty Something Advice:
- Twenty Something Advice: Don’t plan your life based on what other people expect
- Twenty Something Struggle: Why Can’t I Be Happy?
- Twenty Something Advice: Educate Yourself on Politics