It was Thomas Carlyle who said, “Music is well said to be the speech of angels.” Music is rich and beautiful. In this post I share with you my views about Music and my love for it. There are many benefits of Music. Music makes us happy and helps to remove any stress which we may be experiencing. It is also energising and vibrant. It motivates you to move, to dance and to exercise. It helps you to relax and stay calm. It develops harmony and rhythm. All of which is good for the body and the mind. Listen to Music as often as possible. Let me share my experiences with you.

My Family and Music

One of my favourite memories of my father is that of him dancing and singing this song,

“One Elephant began to dance;
Up on the spider’s web one day;
He thought it was enormous fun,
So he called for another Elephant to dance.”

If my father was leading, he would stop and call on someone to join him. This person would put his or her arms around Papa’s waist and then dance and sing as well. Soon a long line of “elephants” was formed and everyone would be singing and dancing! This would often take place at a party. Papa was active with many groups and there were always people to entertain, especially from overseas. One of these groups was the Boy Scouts and he taught us camp fire songs at an early age. At parties we would sing community songs.

Music, singing and dancing have played a big part in my life. My family has always enjoyed music. At weddings, all members of our family would dance to music from a band or to recorded music. Music made us all happy! My grandmother had a grand piano in what we called the “Big House.” When she moved to a smaller house she had an upright piano. One cousin and two of my aunts played the piano. It was wonderful to hear them play songs like Fascination as well as pieces by Chopin, Mozart and Tchaikovsky. When one of my aunts fell in love, she would sit at the piano all day (an exaggeration but it seemed like it!) and play and sing the song, “Till”. This was so romantic!

My mother’s eldest sister loved to dance and sing. She passed away at the age of ninety-five. Right up to her last days, she loved to sing the song, Rasa Sayang and she would even sing the poem that followed the chorus. She was a delightful woman and in her younger days would be the first to get up and dance. My mother is the same as well. Mum loves music and, at eighty nine today, will stand up and dance when the mood takes her!

At School

I was fortunate to have excellent music teachers at school. They encouraged us to sing and I even made it to the school choir one year! We sang songs like The Ash Grove, Molly Malone and Beautiful Dreamer. Our teachers got us to move to music and to appreciate harmony and melody. I love our school song which was written by one of our teachers. Today, I cannot hit the high notes in the song but I will still belt it out!

I Love Music

I grew up enjoying music and I love having music around me. There are CDs in my car and I like having music playing in the background when I eat, when I work and when I relax! I enjoy opera, classical, country and western, jazz and pop. I can switch from one genre to another. At a party if there is music in the background, I will be in my element. I love going to restaurants and lounges which have a band playing in the background or a pianist who will sing as well. There are many talented singers who should be amply rewarded for making us feel happy.

A little away from where I live is a major street which gets crowded with both shoppers and office workers. People love to come to this street perhaps just to be part of the hustle and bustle. There are a number of buskers who perform here. My favourite buskers are a couple who play the keyboard and sing. Their music is truly lovely and lots of visitors to our country will often stop to hear them sing. Some will even dance on the thoroughfare. I get much pleasure from listening to their music as I walk past.

Piano Bars

I love piano bars where there is a pianist who plays and where the people in the bar can sing along with the pianist. This is not karaoke but a sing-a-long. When people sing together there is much bonding and fun! It does not matter if you sing off key as there will be someone else who will be singing beautifully. One of the best piano bars I have visited was Pat O’ Briens in New Orleans. This was in the early 80s. When His Highness and I were there, the place was packed. There were two elderly women sitting at two grand pianos and they played the piano and sang. Everyone in the room sang with them pausing only when one or the other woman would tell a funny story or say something outrageous. The place was famous for the cocktail that it served and you could buy one of the glasses to take home. I did just that and till today, I have one of the glasses proudly displayed at a strategic point in my home.

Benefits of Music

Music has many benefits. Researchers have acknowledged that music helps to reduce pain and is good for the heart. It can also reduce blood pressure and assist in recovery from Strokes. Some researchers are of the view that music can increase productivity. Music can definitely encourage the development of creativity. This is why many trainers and teachers use certain types of music during training sessions to help foster creativity.

If you have children working on a writing exercise or if you are working on a project, play Baroque music in the background. This will inspire you to be innovative and produce good work. It has also been said that music affects development in a positive way. One thing that you and I know for sure is that music can help us emotionally. Music is soothing. It lifts you up and it makes you happy! So practice what Ella Fitzgerald said, “The only thing better than singing is more singing.”

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