This past weekend I was enjoying the PBS show, Woodsong’s Old Time Radio Show. I have always enjoyed folk and bluegrass music and this show and the website www.woodsongs.com specializes in promoting this music genre. The host was emphasizing the importance of music in our lives as a force for good. Music makes us happier. It brings joy in our daily experience which helps us have a more than ok life. Seek out music in your life to bring more joy into your life journey.
As I did a workshop on Test Anxiety on my campus the other day, I used music to show also the health benefits of music in relaxing and aiding in overcoming anxiety. Music can also act as a motivator to stimulate us to be active. In the workshop I played a song from a Keiko Matsui CD. Her style is contemporary smooth piano jazz. Her music can be very relaxing to listen to. Her music writing is varied and listening to her CD’s over and over I always pick up on new nuances I never heard before. She is one of the most creative pianists I have ever heard. Click on her name here, (Keiko Matsui), to listen to one of her songs.
Even though I played trumpet in High School I always was impressed and enjoyed the saxophone. It can really capture the emotion of the artist playing the saxophone. One of my favorite sax players is Tom Braxton of Texas. He is an amazing player. Click on the hyperlink of his name to listen to one of his videos. Watching and hearing him play you can tell he enjoys communicating joy in his songs. When I hear him in concert I can sense how easily he gets into the flow of his songs and works in tandem with his band. We have enjoyed hearing him at the Corpus Christi Jazz Festival over the past years. I also appreciate he has a deep Christian faith and is not afraid to be open about his beliefs. Part of the flow of his music is that he is worshipping while he is playing which adds to the deep emotion of his performances.
I always try to be open to new artists to keep an open expanding creative mind. Recently we as a family went to a concert locally by the world renown Ahn Trio. They are three sisters from Korea all trained at Julliard. I was a little skeptical at first, as I am not too big of a fan of modern classical music. I prefer the old classics. In their literature they mention that their music is all composed for them by modern composers. I am glad we went. They definitely brought joy into our evening. Their talent and skill on the piano, cello, and violin was breath taking. Click here on The Ahn Trio to hear a sample video of their music.
I encourage you to try to attend a concert of your favorite music artist or go to a concert of someone new to you. Nothing is better than live music with the sight and sounds. Of course you may say your budget just doesn’t allow for that. Then do what my wife and I do sometimes. Put one of your favorite CD’s in the stereo and then sit back in a soft recliner with your eyes closed and imagine you are listening in a concert hall.
Also for enjoying live music on a budget watch for local university student programs that are often free or a low cost. We recently enjoyed a wonderful classical guitar concert of high school guitar ensembles and the University’s guitar ensembles for only $7.00 knowing that the funds were going for music scholarships. Some towns and cities during the Summers offer free music concerts. The free music festivals are one aspect of Chicago we miss.
Try to incorporate more music into your life and see how more joyful your journey is. Building music in your life will increase your own personal creativity levels as well. Think over who are your favorite musicians. Presently my top 5 are:
1. Phil Keaggy
2. Steven Curtis Chapman
3. Tom Braxton
4. Keiko Matsui
5. Michael Card
Think over what does music mean to you? Jot down your top 5 music artists. Take some time out of your busy life to sit in a comfortable chair and listen through one of your favorite CD’s.