How does learning about music apply to your life and/or past experiences?
“Where words fail, music speaks” is a famous quote by Hans Christian Andersen. Music is a universal language that has the power to connect people from all walks of life. According to Upitis (2018), music is an art form that has been present in human culture for centuries and can evoke emotions, inspire creativity, and bring people together. Whether it is classical, jazz, rock, or pop, music is an integral part of our daily lives and has the potential to impact us in profound ways. Music has the power to move people emotionally. It can evoke joy, sadness, nostalgia, and excitement and transport us to another time and place. It is a form of expression that allows artists to convey their deepest thoughts and emotions to their audience (Upitis, 2018). It has been used throughout history to inspire social and political change and has significantly shaped cultural movements and societal norms.
Music can stimulate the brain, improve focus and concentration, and help individuals tap into their innermost thoughts and feelings. Musicians often use music as a form of therapy, allowing them to express themselves in a way that words cannot. Music can bring people together (Upitis, 2018). It is often the centerpiece of social gatherings and celebrations, creating a sense of unity and camaraderie among people. From festivals to concerts, music provides a space for people to come together and celebrate their shared love of the art form. Furthermore, music significantly impacts our physical and mental health (Upitis, 2018). Studies have shown that music can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and improve overall mood. It can also help with pain management and has been used in therapy to treat various mental health conditions. Learning about music allows me to appreciate the nuances of musical composition, provides me with a sense of comfort and solace during difficult times, and enables me to understand the role of music in shaping culture and society.
Learning about music allows me to appreciate musical composition’s nuances. According to Greb et al. (2018), every genre has unique musical elements, such as melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. By learning about these elements, one can understand the different stylistic choices made by composers and performers. For example, classical music is known for its complex harmonies and intricate melodies, while jazz is characterized by its improvisational style and syncopated rhythms. Gred et al. (2018) also stated that appreciating the intricacies of different genres and styles of music can help one develop a more eclectic taste in music. By understanding the underlying elements of different genres, one can appreciate the stylistic choices made by different artists and explore new musical styles; This can lead to a deeper appreciation of music and a more nuanced understanding of the various genres and styles (Gred et al., 2018). In addition, learning about different genres and styles of music can broaden one’s cultural horizons. Music is often deeply rooted in cultural traditions, and by learning about the music of different cultures, one can gain insight into those cultures’ customs, beliefs, and values. For example, traditional African music is known for its use of percussion instruments and vocal harmonies, while Indian classical music is characterized by its use of intricate rhythms and melodic structures (Gred et al., 2018). Appreciating the intricacies of different genres and styles of music can help individuals develop critical thinking and analytical skills. By analyzing the underlying elements of music, one can identify the stylistic choices made by composers and performers and understand how these choices contribute to the overall sound and meaning of a piece; This type of critical thinking can be applied to other areas of life, such as problem-solving and decision-making (Gred et al., 2018) Thus, learning about music gives me the ability to appreciate the nuances of musical composition by gaining an understanding the different stylistic choices made by the composers and performers.
Learning about music has played a significant role in my personal life, providing comfort and solace during difficult times. By learning about music, individuals can access a powerful tool for coping with stress and finding comfort during challenging times. According to Eerola (2018), music can elicit emotions, evoke memories, and transport listeners to different times and places. Listening to music that brings comfort or nostalgia can help alleviate stress and anxiety and provide a sense of calm during difficult times. Eerola (2018) also stated that one of the benefits of learning about music is the ability to identify songs or genres that are particularly soothing or uplifting. For example, listening to classical music or nature sounds can be particularly calming, while upbeat pop or rock music can be energizing and uplifting. Learning to play an instrument or sing can be a source of comfort and solace during difficult times (Eerola, 2018). Creating music can be a form of self-expression, allowing individuals to process their emotions and work through difficult feelings. Whether playing alone or with others, making music can provide a sense of connection and belonging that can be especially valuable during stress or isolation. In addition, learning about music can inspire and motivate during difficult times (Eerola, 2018). Listening to uplifting or empowering music can help individuals stay motivated and focused on their goals and provide a sense of hope during challenging times. For example, listening to motivational music or songs that evoke a sense of determination and perseverance can be particularly helpful during times of stress or uncertainty. Thus, music has also played a significant role in my personal life, providing comfort and solace during difficult times.
Learning about music has played a significant role in my personal life, enabling me to understand the role of music in shaping culture and society. According to Waldron et al. (2018), from religious hymns to protest songs, music can inspire and motivate individuals and reflect the beliefs, values, and social norms of a particular time and place. By learning about music, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of its role in shaping culture and society and impacting our lives and experiences. Different genres and styles of music reflect the unique cultural and social contexts in which they emerged (Waldron et al., 2018). For example, jazz music emerged from the African-American communities in the United States and became a symbol of cultural resistance and liberation during the Civil Rights Movement. By understanding the cultural context in which jazz emerged, individuals can gain a deeper appreciation for its significance and impact on society. Learning about the role of music in shaping culture and society can provide a lens for understanding the values and beliefs of different communities and subcultures. Music can serve as a tool for social commentary, reflecting the attitudes and experiences of a particular group or community (Waldron et al., 2018). For example, hip-hop music emerged from the urban communities in the United States and has been used to express the experiences and struggles of African-American and Latino youth. By listening to hip-hop music, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of the experiences and values of these communities. Thus, learning about music has enabled me to understand the role of music in shaping culture and society as different genres and styles of music reflect the unique cultural and social contexts in which they emerged.
In conclusion, music is an incredibly powerful art form that can impact individuals and society as a whole in profound ways. Appreciating the intricacies of different genres and styles of music is a valuable benefit of learning about music. It can lead to a deeper understanding and appreciation of musical composition, a more eclectic taste in music, a broader cultural perspective, and the development of critical thinking and analytical skills. Providing comfort and solace during difficult times is a valuable benefit of learning about music. Whether through listening, creating, or participating in music, individuals can find a powerful tool for coping with stress and finding comfort during challenging times. Understanding the role of music in shaping culture and society is a valuable benefit of learning about music. By studying the cultural and social contexts in which different genres and styles of music emerged, individuals can gain a deeper appreciation for their significance and impact on society. Music is a universal language that connects people across cultures and generations and has significantly shaped human history. Whether we are listening to it, creating it, or using it as a healing tool, music can uplift us, inspire us, and move us to our core.
Eerola, T. (2018). Music and emotions. Springer handbook of systematic musicology, 539-554.
Greb, F., Schlotz, W., & Steffens, J. (2018). Personal and situational influences on the functions of music listening. Psychology of Music, 46(6), 763-794. https://doi.org/10.1177/030573561772488
Upitis, R. (2018). This, too, is music. Oxford University Press, USA.
Waldron, J., Mantie, R., Partti, H., & Tobias, E. S. (2018). A brave new world: theory to practice in participatory culture and music learning and teaching. Music Education Research, 20(3), 289-304. https://doi.org/10.1080/14613808.2017.1339027