The Power of a Song

I’m working gradually on diving into a new set of posts that will take some preparation – I’ve actually had the motivation for the one post for well over a year now, but I haven’t taken the time to fully write it out. While I work on the process of putting together some of these bigger posts, I want to re-visit some of the posts I’ve thought of that I can sit down and write out quick. Hope you enjoy!

One of the biggest themes in my life has been music. I’m not necessarily musically inclined as far as my talent – I played the violin for a few years in elementary and middle school, but that’s the limit of my experience. I guess you could technically say a couple of my friends and I considered ourselves in a band for a brief stint in 6th grade… but that mostly consisted of us hanging out and taking turns just banging on the drum set and imagining we were rock stars.

Despite the fact that I, by no means, have any talents for producing music, I like to consider myself someone who has a very diverse range of musical interests. Some of my best, bonding friendships have been created through music. One of my favorite things is when someone sends me a song, telling me that they thought of me listening to it and think I would really like it. I can usually return the favor with a few similar songs to offer back.

For a long time, I would pride myself on listening to music that no one had ever heard of before. I liked to be the person who introduced others to music for the first time. Maybe I get it from my brother, who I really believe was part of introducing the music of Avicii to our town and to me. In many ways, I communicated through music. Music communicated with me.

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I’m constantly searching for new music for any mood that I may be in – I currently have 42 playlists on my Spotify account. In all honesty, I listen to maybe five or six of them consistently right now. I’m listening to a playlist I recently created called “Happy Go Lucky” as I write this, getting filled with songs that make me smile and just want to tap a foot along the first time I listen to them.

It’s strange how much of an impact the music we listen to has on our everyday life. After all, the songs we listen to are the rhythms and words that get stuck in our head. There’s a lot of different messages that get put out there with each and every song released, so I really think it’s important to carefully consider the songs you listen to and the effect they may be having on you – direct or indirect.

In middle and high school, I had my crying song; it was the song I would listen to when I was crying on repeat until I just couldn’t cry anymore. I had playlists full of classical music that I would listen to when doing homework – for some reason I found that it particularly helped me with my physics homework in high school. I stole my brother’s idea for a good while and was creating a playlist each month of the music I had found and was enjoying that month.

Honestly, I’m that person who is always itching to get the Aux cord and play all the songs I’ve been collecting for everybody else, just to see if anybody else is liking what I’m liking. The range of music I listen to is all over the place: I listen to country, rap, pop, worship, classical, alternative, classic rock, and just about anything in the midst of those genres.

I’ve started to learn that I can break down the music I listen to into a few select themes. I have my driving music, which consists of sub-categories of upbeat, happy songs to more laid back songs. I have music for focusing; music I would listen to when doing homework or working on a project, usually classical or instrumental covers. I have music for the gym, something with a steady beat that keeps me moving. Worship music that helps keep me centered and ranges from slow and hymn-like to upbeat or even Christian rap.

So what’s my point for rambling on about music and playlists this whole post so far? Well, music is a gift. We know music is present in the Bible; the largest book in the Bible (Psalms) is filled with songs of varying moods. I think music is a beautiful gift to be able to relate to one another as well as to express what words alone may not be able to do. As I mentioned before, sharing music with one another also presents an opportunity to connect and to even become part of musical communities. For example, if you’ve ever gone to a concert, you spent time with a community who has some kind of appreciation or taste for the same kind of music as you.

Music presents a rare opportunity for us. To me, music is one of many amazing gifts that God gives us. But as with all gifts, we’ll only get out of it what we choose to do with it. I’ll echo again that I think it’s extremely important to give careful consideration to the music you listen to. I’ve been in phases where I could tell some of the music I listened to put me in a darker place, I also know when the upbeat, happy music I have picked as made it difficult to contain my joy. A single song can dramatically change a mood and can sometimes change our lives. I also know how much finding some worship music that I really love has highly impacted my relationship with God.

So my advice today is to find a song that you love, and just let it take you to a happy place. It sounds cheesy, but I think everybody needs to let loose with some music now and then.

To God be the Glory.

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