Music Moves Me Wednesday, May 29 2019 

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Lift the soul or spark a party. Music is the beat of life.

Most mornings, I wake to music rather than a screaming alarm. Recently, a song played that caught my breath, “I Giorni for piano, violin, and string by Ludovico Einaudi. The melody is light, playful, and offered a joyful way to start the day. The song  continuously has replayed in my head since.

A world without music would feel one-dimensional. Imagine how flat movies and restaurant dining would be without music. It’s more than background noise. Music plays to our emotions. It creates drama, atmosphere. Yesterday’s tunes revive memories of events and feelings we experienced years ago prompting both happiness and tears. New memories are engraved in our brains paralleling the music played at the time.

Personally, each genre affects me differently. I can go from melancholy to prayerful with the change of a tune. I’m physically moved when music strikes a chord and can’t help but sway or tap.

When writing, I listen to instrumental music, mostly classical, to raise creativity and not interfere with the words dancing in my head. This playlist also works for relaxation. Many of my favorite pieces are by my friend, Andy Mitran such as “Levels of Peace,” “Blooming Canyon,” and one of my favorites, “Dream Time.” Driving requires something more energetic such as Santana’s “Smooth.” I also love the sounds from around the world whether it be Latino, Hawaiian, Spanish guitar, or Middle Eastern.

And that affect of music on me isn’t only man-made. Leaves rustling in the wind, pounding rain, a bubbling brook, baby cooing, or symphony of birds and insects captivate my spirit.

Music abounds around us. Listen closely. Do you hear the beat of life?

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(Have you seen my blog post, the Review Power?)

Music Power Friday, Jan 3 2014 

Calm a fussy baby with a lullaby. Set the tone of your party with hip-hop, jazz, or rock. Turn on a little Tony Bennett or Frank Sinatra to spark old memories in a senior person with dementia.

Music is powerful. Our lives would be pretty solemn without it. Can you imagine television shows, movies, or church services without music? And concerts of all types offer great entertainment at any age.

I appreciate an eclectic array of music genres – blues, classical, rock, contemporary, cultural. I enjoy different types when doing different activities. Rock keeps me awake and alert while driving but classical  prompts creativity and calm, clear thinking when writing.

Music has been used therapeutically for centuries. It’s been known to affectively treat or aid a number of mood and psychological disorders. Several universities offer degrees in music therapy. They combine a student’s love of music and a compassionate nature with a goal in improving a client’s quality of life.

One specific type of music therapy is Guided Imagery and Music. GMI is a technique using music to induce an altered state of mind. Once in this state, the images experienced are shared with the guide to facilitate a holistic approach to healing, growth, and transformation.

If you’re feeling down these cold, dreary days, put on some happy music. It’s not a week on a Caribbean beach but it will improve your mood.

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

Midwest Music Monday, Oct 1 2012 

 

Palm trees swaying, warm breezes caressing me, and the scent of salt water luring me to the ocean. My senses come alive with the sound of Hawaiian music. After only a few notes, I’m instantly transported there. I’m relaxed, basking in the sun, and happy.

Why don’t we have music like that in the Midwest? Sure, we have our theme songs for sport teams and universities. And of course, Chicago has its blues and jazz, but overall there isn’t a sound specifically associated with the Midwest like there is for the Hawaiian Islands.

If we did, how would it sound? Would the tempo vary like the seasons? Would it be monotone and flat like the flatlands or solid and dependable like Midwesterners? Maybe it would be cheesy like Wisconsin. (No offence Wisconsiners. I love cheese.)

Country, folk, rock, R&B, blues,rap, classical. We have concerts from all genres across the Midwest.

We also have some noteworthy musicians, songwriters, and singers that call the Midwest home. Members of “Styx,” and the band “Chicago,” originated in Chicago as well as Jim Peterik, the founder of the “Ides of March.” Members of REO Speedwagon came from Champaign-Urbana. Dan Fogelberg called Peoria, Illinois his home. And Tracy Chapman and Doris Day were from Ohio.

And there are my favorite musicians, Andy and Louise Mitran, from Chicago. Professor Andy brought the Bozo Show alive with his music and is currently writing soulful “soundtracks for the human spirit” (http://mitranmitran.com/). Louise uses her gifts to promote wellness through meditations and as therapy through Guided Imagery and Music (http://louisedmitran.com/).

With all these variances we should be able to create a sound unique to the Midwest. I think we should have an event to figure this out. We could have a battle of the bands and online voting to determine the winner. I bet we could even get government funding for it.

©2012, Mary K. Doyle

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