Music: The Untapped Advantage
I am often asked, “Why music? Why is music an inspiration?”
Music is a universal language that transfers across all cultures, and when engaged properly, true transformation can happen. When you attach memories, motivations, thoughts, and actions to music, then the whole composition begins to be laid out in your mind as a melody does on a sheet of music. Your whole self begins to appear.
Now, I turn it over to you with a question: What is one song you remember from your younger years? Are you thinking of the song and/or the memories that are attached to it?
I have many unique memories of my time with music, but one important memory sticks out in particular. One that’s ingrained in the fabric of who I am today.
In 1976, I was in middle school. It was a pivotal time in my life with lots of changes. The biggest change I was attempting to understand was why I thought it was important to switch from swimming, a sport I loved, to cheerleading, a sport all the girls in my school wanted to participate in. Swimming was such a massive part of my life that my coach had to tell me it was probably a better idea to sleep in my pajamas instead of my swimsuit! However, I decided to try out for cheerleading since all my friends were, and I thought it would be fun.
Cheerleading was a brand-new experience. I was now a part of a team whose decisions were made collectively. I started to wear makeup and wanted to be pretty, and we all wore the same uniform. Most girls had their hair in a ponytail, and I had a head full of curls, so I stood out in a way I didn’t want to.
Here is where music found me—again.
Cheerleading was a lot like music. We had cheers, movements, and even dance steps that we would practice daily to ensure we were all in sync, in harmony. When I finally came home, I would run to my room and start the vinyl, turning on my stereo. I listened to Billy Joel’s album “The Stranger” for so long that I began to write and dream of a playscript and how it would be played out on stage with scenes from an Italian restaurant. Although I felt off tempo and wanted to be back in the pool, I knew the best thing to do was push through.
So that’s what I did.
Can you think of an experience when you were younger that you had to learn how to push yourself through? Did music help you, too?
Never let go of the musical memories that shaped you.