Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Understand Me Through My Music

Lately I have been thinking about the way we personalize music. I remember growing up and really developing an emotional bond with music as a teenager. Doesn't everyone go through this? The answer is almost always yes. The same is true for children.

As the student-teacher relationship develops between us, I begin to notice that some students are picking out songs that specifically speak to their own emotional concerns. It makes me happy to see them expressing their feelings through music. I also remember doing this. And I remember feeling frustrated that my parents and teachers were not picking up on the signals. In a way, I tried to symbolically tell the adults in my life that I was sad. I listened to sad folk songs and contemplative singers like Tori Amos and Natalie Merchant. They expressed my feelings so I didn't have to. I'll bet we all can relate to this.

When we are young, we are still developing our vocabulary, so we do not always have the words to explain our feelings. But we always have music.

As the old saying goes "music is what feelings sound like." This is something we learn at a very, very young age. When parents criticize the music their kids listen to, I take it a little personally. I feel that those kids are also trying to express their feelings through the only emotional language they know: Music.

I have been talking about this a lot with both kids and adults, and everyone in my social circle seems to agree. If you want to understand your kids and teenagers, listen to their music. 

There once was a note pure and easy

1 comment:

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