I consider myself an avid music lover. I listen to all types of music. I love r&b, rap, soul, jazz, gospel, country, blues and classical. Music really makes my heart smile. I can remember as a little girl using one of my combs as a microphone when I sang the latest tunes. I would stay in the mirror for hours singing my heart out. My cousin and I even started a singing group. The funny thing is she could actually sing and I was really good at singing over the music. Too bad I didn’t have auto tunes back then. I listened to my Walkman so much, I would put the batteries in the freezer in order to keep the music going. Music has the power to help form bonds and bring happiness in any situation. When I was growing up, my mother and I would sing each and every song by Anita Baker and Luther Vandross at home and in the car. We sang the songs as if we were headlining the shows ourselves. You choose your genre depending on how you are feeling at the time. I really don’t like driving in Atlanta traffic, so when I do it requires very loud rap music. I put on Ludacris’ song “Move”, take a deep breath and I am ready for my journey. I belt out this song at the top of my voice over and over until I get to where I am going. Am I singing to relieve stress or am I giving other drivers instructions? Either way, it gets me pumped and on my way. When I need to write or study, I listen to Mozart or Beethoven. Classical music takes me to the countryside in England and relaxes me to the point were everything begins to make sense. Okay, maybe I go to sleep and forget what I am doing. It’s okay, I just start over when I wake up.
Music can take you back to a good place or an unpleasant one. I can still remember the song that was playing the night my father passed away. It was Jill Scott’s “I Keep/Still Here.” The long drive from the hospital as tears rolled down my face and that song will forever be burned in my brain. It’s such a beautiful song, but whenever I hear it I am overcome with sadness because all I can think about is the night I lost my father. I take my time to cry and then I try to remember music that reminds me of a fun time with him. Like one of the first times I drove back to Alabama after I moved to Atlanta. I had just purchased a new Honda Accord and my father wanted to go for a test drive. I literally forgot I was listening to Trina’s album “The Glamorest Life” at full blast when I was driving home. I forgot to turn it off before he got in the car. When he came back into the house, he gave me this look and said ” what was that girl saying on that song?” I told him it was my ex-husbands CD and he forced me to listen.
Music is my friend and motivates me when I need it. Music can really help if you give it a chance. There have been studies done that prove listening to music improves chronic pain, your memory and your workout. Listening to music can lift your mood and help you relax, which will bring down blood pressure and relieve muscle tension. With all these benefits that music can carry, it’s no surprise that music therapy is growing in popularity. Many hospitals are using music therapists for pain management and other uses that support their patients’ health. So I say listen to your music and dance to the beat of your own drum.