Twenty Something Advice: Power of Music

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:

 

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Photo Credit: Contrails via Compfight cc

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About Courtney Olson

I’m a Montana girl. I’ve lived in North Dakota and Minnesota, and currently reside in Tennessee- the Nashville area. I’m a singer, a songwriter, a piano player, a ukulele novice, a lover, a dreamer, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a writer, a watcher, a baker, and a blogger… among many, many other things. View all posts by Courtney Olson →

11 comments
courtney
courtney

YAY! I love that so many of you love the same things I do! I'm going to have to check out all the unfamiliar names... Considering I've been a country music junkie for like, life, I really have a hard time finding the other stuff I know I like, even though I know it's out there. Keep listening!

elysa
elysa

libby- I'm glad you like the series, feel free to check out the previous entries in the series.

libby
libby

i love this idea for a series! i love listening to jack johnson, michael buble, anything mellow when i have to de-stress!

Tanja
Tanja

I have to have music. It starts to SEVERELY,SERIOUSLY get to me, if I go longer than about 36 hours with out any music.I will catch myself singing just so that there is a form of music around me. Although I can't sing or play an instrument, it's a PART of me. I realized QUICK, I could never marry a guy who answer TV to the question: If you had to live with out one thing the rest of your life,what would it be? music or TV? I COULD live with out music, I am strong, but my life would simply not be as satisfying or as content, if I didn't have music.....especially since it helps me celebrate by myself and helps fill empty rooms and empty hearts.

elysa
elysa

Jonathan- I go through phases as well I have over 5,000 songs in my iTunes library if I tried to list off all of my phases I'd probably run out of room :D Music is tried to memory for me as well. Michelle- Music is definitely a great de-stresser. Music also inspires me I will pull out my ipod if I am having designer's block. It appears we have pretty similar taste in music I love all of those guys you listed. Lara- You say you are no expert, but really you are because you are living day to day as a twenty something. I haven't heard of Vienna but I will definitely see if I can find her and check her out.

Thomas
Thomas

I just got an iPod so I am currently looking for advice on new musicians.

courtney
courtney

If you want to see the tattoo, you can go here

Lara
Lara

i'd definitely be down with guest posting some advice. of course, i'm no expert, but i can share some experience with the reader world. :) and yes, music is completely invaluable for getting me through the down times. i listen to a lot of vienna teng, though i realize she may not be mainstream enough yet for y'all to know her.

Michelle
Michelle

I mostly listen to music to de-stress. It's what works best for me. Basically anything country, but besides that you'd most likely find me listening to John Mayer, Joshua Radin, Jack Johnson, and Ben Harper. Those guys are my heart and soul of music. I'm pretty open to everything though. Always willing to listen to a new genre, remix or newly released CD. I'm hooked on the stuff.

Jonathan
Jonathan

I listen to all kinds of stuff - and resist being able to name specific artists or genres I might listen to... it does change with me from week to week. I guess I go through phases. Recently it has been girl singers, but before that it was indie bands, and before that probably classical. The only things I don't get on with are rap and metal. Music is tied to memory with me. Memorable times link with Dar Williams, Ronan Keating, Kate Rusby, Take That, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Nik Kershaw, Oasis, Coldplay, Lena Marlin, and many, many more...

elysa
elysa

-When I need to de-stress I listen to Sarah McLachlan, Norah Jones, Eva Cassidy & Chantal Kreviazuk -When I feel like singing I listen to Colbie, Faith & Alicia Keys -If I feel tired and need some energy I listen to Rascal Flatts, Jason Mraz & Maroon 5 I could go on for days, so here are some of my favorites: Maroon 5, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Lee Ann Womack, Faith Hill, Tim Mcgraw, Phil Vassar, Brad Paisley, The Wreckers, Damien Rice, Eva Cassidy, Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Josh Groban, The Fray, Sarah McLachlan, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys, India Aire, James Blunt, Etta James, Michael Bublé, Gavin Degraw, Elliott Yamin, Julie Roberts, Jewel, Nelly Furtado, Natasha Bedingfield, Corinne Bailey Rae, Anastacia, Jason Mraz, Colbie Caillat, Joshua Radin