Music is Chicken Soup for the Soul

Plato must have known a thing or two. The quote above resonates today and will as long as there is music to be played. Not bad for a philosopher who died in 347 B.C.  I wonder if anything I’ve said will be remembered long after I’m gone!

My memory of music in my home goes way back to my dad listening to cantorial records , as well as Herb Albert’s Tijuana Brass (Whipped Cream, my favorite cover of his!) in the living room piped out of a human size speaker and hi-fi equipment.  My children will read this and go, what’s a hi-fi?!!

Much has been written about music having the ability to move us, emit emotions, joy, sadness.  It crosses boundaries, it doesn’t require words  nor pictures. You feel it in your core, your bones, your heart.

Stanford University Study  shows that music helps us make sense of a chaotic world and soothes our senses.

This is meant for one of my very dearest friends (no names mentioned) who is suffering through a very difficult period of time in her family’s life.  It struck me that my love for music might resonate with her. We all go through grief in different ways and how we deal with it is very unique to our own individual personalities. People feel all kinds of emotions during the course of a day, a week, a month. No one is happy all the time, or despondent all the time. Music is almost an emotion in itself. I see music as an escape for a minute or two. It can be for however long you desire. I used to lie in the dark in my living room and play records (mostly show tunes that I knew every word to!)

Music has been called a way of life for certain human beings. Some of us have musical talent and others don’t, ( I played the violin in the school band only because there were no more flute parts! First chair was never going to happen!) but those who do can share their emotions through  expression. The way music effects our everyday lives can be almost incomprehensible at times.

One time in particular stood out to me when I thought of examples of what impact music can make on our lives. The concert held in New York for the September 11, 2001 tragedy, in a sense, brought our country together. So many famous musicians wrote songs dedicated to the tragedy. Through music people were able to express their feelings easily in a peaceful, yet effective way. It wasn’t for money or publicity, it was simply for a good cause. Also, it was one of the best ways to prove that our country can come together in a time of crisis. The concert helped people who were grieving and even touched those who were not directly involved with the attack. Not only did it bring New York City together, but also it brought our entire nation together as one.

The same was done for World Aid’s Day and Coca Cola used it beautifully in its ‘ I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing- several variations on this iconic commercial, which was created in the early 1970’s. Now, try to get this tune out of your head!~!!

 

 

Today’s Takeaway…

. Hum a few bars of a melody that you hold dear, roll down the windows of your car and sing, or resort to the proverbial shower aria!

. It’s always available to you and it will put a smile on your face, I promise.  A lot fewer calories than eating a bag full of Oreos!

Enjoy the Ride

xox Barclay & Joy

Music, Dance, Theatre, Art are in my Soul

active adult artist ballerina
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I was exposed to the arts at a very early age.  My mother was a culture hound, a theatre maven, dance snob, museum lover.   She adored it all and she prided herself on knowing what was playing on Broadway, the prima ballerinas of The American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, art exhibits at The Met, The MOMA (when it was built!) and The Museum of The City of New York.  She was a classy lady, refined, polished and she exposed me at a very early age to the beauty of it all.  How lucky I was to be a child growing up in a major city, with the opportunity to savor it all, sense it, see it through my own childlike wonder.

I saw my first Broadway musical at six years old.  It was Flower Drum Song (funny to think of now that “Crazy Rich Asians” is a smash hit!) I saw many more to come through the years, The Music Man”, “Carnival”, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”, “Camelot”, and “Bye Bye Birdie.”  I loved every one of them and knew the music by heart!  I danced in the living room to the music that I listened to over and over on our hi fi set.  (now, I’m really dating myself, if I haven’t already!)

I was taken to see The Nutcracker every Christmas and later modern dance as well as Alvin Ailey (much later on)  My appreciation grew and grew.  How lucky a kid I was to have experienced all this at such an early age!!  My husband grew up in Norfolk, Virginia as a boy and while he had the Confederate Museum and battlefields of The Civil War, he didn’t have much else.

I have passed this on to my children who have an appreciation for the arts, for museums, for beauty that is created by one’s imagination.  It is a special bond between us.  I also have shared some amazing moments with dear friends who cherish the theatre as much as I do.  To see Vanessa Redgrave in person with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robert Sean Leonard, and Brian Dennehy is a once in a lifetime experience.  Who knew Seymour would die so young?!  “A Long Day’s Journey Into Night”, directed by Robert Falls (2003)  My friend and I witnessed greatness on the stage never to be duplicated and we knew it!  The standing ovations were like none I have ever seen.

This past weekend in the heart of The Berkshires (where I am only an hour away-how lucky am I!) my two college friends and I (another post is coming on friendship and the power of long lasting bonds) and I attended the Bernstein Centennial Finale at Tanglewood.  Audra McDonald was the Mistress of Ceremonies and no less than five guest conductors  took up the baton.  John Williams, Michael Tilson Thomas, Andris Nelsons, Keith Lockhart to name a few, in addition to world class violinist Midori and cellist Yo- Yo Ma graced the stage paying homage to the legendary Lenny.  If that wasn’t enough, nature set the atmospheric sky with a full moon and a lawn scattered with music lovers numbering 15,000!  What a night! We looked at each other when it was over and knew we had witnessed magic!  If you can, see it when it is broadcast on PBS in the near  future.

Arts fill the soul, they give us meaning and bring beauty to what would otherwise be lifeless and dull.

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” Pablo Picasso

‘If music be the food of love, play on”  Shakespeare- Twelfth Night

Today’s Takeaway…

.Stop and enjoy what is around you.  If you are fortunate enough to be near museums, theatre, dance, experiment.  Find what resonates in your heart.

We need our Arts to teach us how to breathe”  Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing Tags

Thank you Muriel for this gift you gave me.

 

action adult dance dancer
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