The sounds of music, not to be confused with the movie, has been an enormous part of my entire life. I can remember the lyrics of songs that played on the radio when I was a child. In fact, I can see my bedroom and I was only 3 or 4 years old. Yes, my first memories of my childhood are connected to a song my mother played often and I can see myself sitting on my bed bouncing to the beat of that song.
My parents had a huge collection of records and the sounds of music filled our house. Many weekends my parents took my brother and I to an ethnic gathering where we danced for hours to polka music and this is where I learned to do the dance of my heritage, the Hungarian Czardas.
The sounds of music soon became the sounds of rock-and-roll much to my parent’s chagrin and I could negotiate with my mother that while drying dishes our local rock-and-roll station could accompany the chore.
Music is connected to the pleasure center of our brains. This makes music a huge coping tool. Understanding this now explains why I would escape to my room as a teenager and listen repeatedly to my favorite artists. It was a way to leave the aggravations of a bad day at school behind and just lie on my bed singing along and daydreaming of being a famous singer someday.
Throughout high school I belonged to Concert Choir, which was THE choir to belong to at that time. I was in my element because not only was I singing every day but because we had to read music; I taught myself to play the piano and I could help other people in the choir in the practice rooms.
As an adult, I have discovered that there are many levels of interest in music. I believe we all have our favorite songs, and I believe these songs invoke memories of joy and of sadness.
My husband died suddenly, and I wasn’t sure I could listen to the songs that we literally danced through our marriage listening to daily. I was apprehensive about listening. I did not want to cry listening to songs that had deep meaning to us.
One day I took the first step, and I listened, and tears filled my eyes, but I also was okay when the song ended. I listened to more songs. It surprised me when I realized that music brought me comfort.
I kept playing more music that we loved and found the memories that accompanied the songs were soothing.
I know this doesn’t work for everyone, and maybe it worked for me because I did not immerse myself in sounds until I was ready.
Now I spend my time discovering new artists from all over the world and I have gotten into discussions with people I have never met and this too is comforting.
The sounds of music are more than the hills being alive, it is the universal language of our lives.