My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.
― Psalm 57:7
Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.
― 1 Samuel 16:23
Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music.
― George Eliot
A great song should lift your heart, warm the soul and make you feel good.
― Colbie Caillat
I have a confession to make. I listened to a lot of really bad music when I was growing up. I don’t like to admit it, but it’s true.
The apex of my bad music listening tendencies was listening to a group popular in the early 1970’s, Black Sabbath.
I mean, what was I thinking? The group’s name was BLACK SABBATH! Why, in my most delusional moment as a music lover, would I turn my ear in the direction of a heavy metal band that peppered its songs with occult themes and horror-inspired lyrics?
Thankfully, I listened to a lot of good music as well, and I am convinced that all the good music I listened to helped soothe and heal my soul along the way. There were more than a few thousand times when music was a good friend and comforter.
I identify with Jane Austen when she said, “Without music, life would be a blank to me.”
So far, you munchkins seem to be listening to good music. As have zillions of other young’uns, you have taken quite passionately to Disney music. That being said, I would ask you to never sing “Let it Go” from the movie, Frozen, ever again. It’s a great song, but if I ever hear it again, I’m going to throw up!
Also, if Nonnie and Pop ever go to Disney World with you again, which I hope we will, I’m not going on the “It’s a Small World After All” ride. I’m still trying to get that torturous song out of my head from our last trip.
You munchkins have already gotten into butchering the lyrics to the songs you love, something that makes me laugh out loud. One of you loves the song by Justin Timberlake, Can’t Stop the Feeling, a catchy little pop fest if there ever was. There’s a lyric in the song, “I’ve got this feeling in my body.” You thought it said, “I’ve got this feeling in my bottom,” and we had to get you to stop singing that before you embarrassed yourself and your family any further.
Music has a profound effect on your body and psyche, and there are a ton of benefits to listening to it regularly.
1). Stimulate brainwaves to resonate in synch with the beat, and, when you’re listening to a faster beat, helps with concentration and alert thinking
2). Change brainwave activity and help the brain shift speeds more easily
3). Bring positive benefits to your state of mind even after you stop listening
4). Activate you relaxation response
5). Help prevent the damaging effects of chronic stress
6). Keep depression and anxiety at bay
7). Help lower blood pressure, boost immunity, and ease muscle tension
I think all of this is true unless you’re listening to Black Sabbath. When I listened to their music, all it did was elevate my blood pressure, make me more depressed and anxious, deactivate my relaxation response, and make me want to jump off the top of a tall building.
So, I guess we need to be discerning about what kind of music we’re listening to if we want the positive effects of music to come our way.
I want to close by sharing some of the best quotes I came across regarding the positive effect of (good) music.
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Plato
“My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.” Martin Luther
“Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart.” Pablo Casals
“Music is the moonlight in the gloomy night of life.” Jean Paul Friedrich Richter
“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” Aldous Huxley
“Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.” Plato
“Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God and the permissible delights of the soul.” Johann Sebastian Bach
“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” Confucious
Munchkins, I highly recommend that you spend the rest of your life listening to good music. Just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, good music is in the ear of the beholder, so you’ll have to determine for yourself what music is good and helpful and what music is bad and harmful.
Choose your listening habits wisely, for they will play a very important role in affecting your body, soul, and spirit.
At this point in Pop’s life, all Black Sabbath music is bad and harmful, as is “Let It Go” and “It’s a Small World After All.”
“Can’t Stop This Feeling,” on the other hand, is good and helpful as long as you don’t butcher the lyrics when you sing it in our car when we’re taking you to Chick-Fil-A (to get you a meal you’re never going to finish).