Music: An Essential Ingredient to Life
By Ryan Langford
Over the last 50 years, scientific research has proven what we have always known to be true: Music, both listening to and creating it, are an essential part of the holistic human experience. If you think that’s an overstatement, close your eyes for a moment and envision your life without music. Imagine a birthday without singing, a sports game without “We Will Rock You”, and a wedding where a triumphant and beautiful soundscape is replaced with silence. And while you are at it, stop singing in the shower, humming that catchy tune you heard on the radio, and tapping your toes to the songs in your head.
Our experiences confirm that we are hard-wired to both interpret and express our life experiences through music. Even those of us who are not “musicians” (an assertion I would whole-heartedly challenge) find ourselves creating or recreating music in our daily lives, even if we would never want anybody else to hear us.
A survey of a diverse set of cultures worldwide shows us that this is not just a modern or Western phenomenon, made possible by radio waves and iPods. Even non-technological cultures use music to express and stir up emotion, share stories, and worship.
Historical records from the most ancient cultures show that music played an important role in their daily lives. An entire book of the Jewish and Christian Bible, Psalms, is devoted to songs expressing a vast range of human emotion and experiences.
MUSIC AS SELF-EXPRESSION
Although listening to music can bring great joy, it’s nothing when compared to the experience of creating it yourself. Creating music allows us to express the inexpressible and describe the indescribable; it is the key that opens the door to human emotions that have never found their way into spoken vocabulary, but that still have a seismic impact on our lives.
When using music as self-expression, we are emotionally healthier, our minds become clearer and we better understand ourselves, our emotions, and the world around us.
Because of these reasons, and many more, I made a decision to devote the most significant part of my creative energy to helping kids tap into the joy of making music. I started Resound School of Music with the love of my life, Stephanie, and we have been providing families with skilled and enthusiastic music teachers in their homes ever since.
We have a passion to see families discover the deep joy of musical expression. Part of that passion is expressed through our school blog. On it you’ll find articles ranging from the uber-practical to the more philosophical. We have collected and reworked several of the articles for this eBook and hope you find them both enlightening and helpful as you continue on your musical journey.