Aug. 9, 2013
So, what kind of music do you like? The answer to this question might be rock or country or classical or new age or gospel or rap or show tunes or Indian psychedelic fusion or any of the numerous styles of music you can find in this world. My guess is that no matter whom you ask, the answer is never, “I don’t like any.”
The soundtrack of my life is filled with all kinds of music. Lullabies, nursery rhymes, Christmas carols, 80’s, pop, rock, Motown, Broadway, viola concertos, television theme songs…the list goes on and on. I’d bet there hasn’t been a day in my life where I didn’t hear some sort of music, even if it was only in my head.
Can you imagine how boring life would be without music? How long car rides would seem without the radio? How unexciting movies would be without soundtracks? How dull occasions like weddings and parties would be without dancing? How much harder the teen years would be without headphones and favorite bands? How much less inspired people would be?
There’s so much talk of math and science and their importance, and that’s fine. I get it. We need a solid base in those things to be competitive in the world. Just as long as we don’t forget about the importance of music while we’re teaching our kids calculus and physics.
Music is about all about creativity. Composers and artists create songs out of only thoughts using just a collection of notes and chords. That’s always amazed me. Performers create magic interpreting and performing those songs.
I’m of the opinion that the creativity doesn’t stop with the composer but is passed along to the listeners. For me, it inspires original thought and makes me a better learner. I always do my best thinking while listening to some sort of tune. Music can make me happy or sad or excited or melancholy or fired up. (Especially the Spartan Marching Band!)
The right piece of music can change my day. My daughter chose a career in music and anytime I hear her sing or play her viola, my day is improved by leaps and bounds.
Watch the music video set to the beautiful cello piece by graduate student Marta Bagratuni in this week’s Student View and tell me if you don’t get a smile on your face and feel better about the rest of the day.
Or head out this weekend to the Great Lakes Folk Festival hosted by the MSU Museum and the city of East Lansing. Check out some other forms of music you might not be familiar with. Read art professor and founding director Marsha MacDowell’s Faculty Voice to learn more about this very cool event.
No matter what kind of music you like, take a minute to appreciate that it exists. Be grateful that students like Marta continue to perform, that composers continue to write, that instructors continue to teach, that festivals continue to showcase musicians. Be thankful that this world is filled with music and imagine just how much worse we’d be without it.
Photo of the Music Building by Derrick L. Turner