What is the importance of music in your life?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Music has always been a big part of my life. My mother played the clarinet and piano, and I took lessons on both instruments as a child. I later played in the junior and high school bands, earning a college scholarship (playing tenor and baritone saxophones). I also sang in my church choir and, later, several college choruses. Having always liked many types of music, I accumulated a large record collection and then an even bigger collection of CDs. I have attended many record shows in the U. S. and in Europe, and still sell collectible CDs regularly on eBay. I attend as many live concerts as time (and money) permits, so the interest that was passed on from my mother has continued for most of my life.

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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My entire extended family is musical--literally, all 27 of them.  I long ago figured out my role is audience.  I love music, I enjoy it when it's on, I appreciate it when it's done well, I worship to it in church, but I don't play it regularly in my home or my car or on my person.  I do play it in my classroom (soundtracks, no words) during work or quiet time, but that's about it.  I love what it does, which is move me, but I find I am more moved by words.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Music, like the other fine arts, is what feeds the soul and touches the body, moving it.  Anyone who has grown up with a musically talented parent knows the tremendous part that music plays in one's memory.  And, anyone who has "been acquainted with the night" as Robert Frost put it, knows and can relate to the Blues. 

Music can fit our moods, as well.  I will always remember riding along with a friend years ago.  This friend loved hard rock, but he had  Johnny Cash's "Sunday Morning Coming Down" playing as I got into the car.  "What is this?" I asked. "You don't ever listen to Country Western; in fact, you loathe it!"

"Yeah, it's the strangest thing:  after breaking up with J____,it all seems to make sense now.  Anyway, I think I feel like Johnny did in this song," he replied.

Yes, sometimes we are in harmony with what music says and it talks to us, and pulls at our hearts in most unusual ways, nurturing, comforting, commiserating, exhilirating, soothing, strengthening us against the dark.  What would life be like without it?  Terribly cold and silent, indeed.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The previous posts are all very accurate in their assertions about music.  Indeed, I agree that the appreciation of music can run the gambit from casual to serious to downright intense.  I think that I am of the mindset where appreciation of different genres of music is of vital importance to me.  I like to do an assignment with my students at the start of the year in analyzing playlists that they have developed on their iPod or MP3s.  In assessing or analyzing what is there, I ask my students to talk about what these collections or anthologies say about them and what they define as their "culture" or "cultures." It's really interesting for them to thumb through my iPod and assess my own tastes and likes in music.  They cannot get a handle on the classical playlist alongside the hardcore rap playlist which is right next to the movie soundtracks playlist.  The best they come up with is that there are different playlists to match the different temperaments or moods I might be experiencing and in understanding this, our discussion of contextuality becomes extremely important.

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In the world of education, it has been proven that reading music or playing an instrument (by ear) works a part of the brain that is not stimulated by anything else.  I've also heard a theory that reading music or playing an instrument is the one activity that when a brain is put under a scan, the entire thing lights up showing that music stimulates every part of the brain in some way.

I can't imagine a more powerful tool for growth and development in children.  As an educator, and now a parent, I think music is an essential element in a child's life.

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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I too have several members of my family who are far more educated and versed in various types of music, one who makes a profession out of singing in choral groups, etc., so I've received some training from them along with many years of practice and a little performance on several different instruments.

But, I would say that for me the most important thing that music does is remind me of certain things, whether they are feelings or thoughts or even events and people from the past.  I really enjoy hearing something that is entertaining, but it is even more fun to hear something I haven't in a while and remember the people I was with or that were in my life at the time I last heard that particular song, etc.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Music is not nearly as important in my life as it is in the lives of many people in my family.  For example, my little brother and his wife care about music enough that they make time in their lives to play in a marching band even now that they are adults.

My relationship with music is much more casual.  I just listen to various kinds of popular musics that I enjoy.  I occasionally listen to "classical" stuff like "New World" by Dvorak.  But I do not really listen to that kind of thing with true understanding.  I am just a casual listener who enjoys music but does not really understand it at any kind of a deep level.

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rimmery | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

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For me, music is a way to relax. Music can change my mood, it can calm me down when I'm upset or frustrated, it can make me happier when I'm having a good day. It also exposes me to customs of other cultures (ahem kpop) and I really like that because it's cool to see and fun to learn. I play a lot of different instruments so I sometimes try to learn the songs I like on them, as a hobby and to keep playing that instrument (instead of going for certificates or w.e)

I often use it to study along with so that I have motivation to keep going and not want to start watching shows or dramas instead.

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clyoon | Student, Grade 12 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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Music, to me, is like a medicine. It is therapy. And it is also a recreational activity. It is a supplement. Depending on my mood in the moment, or what I'm currently occupied with, music is different. Music is flexible. It has different roles in my life. When I'm studying, I listen to classical music or instrumentals and it helps me keep down my stress and anxiety. It helps me feel positive about my work because music enlightens my mood. It makes me feel thankful for the opportunity in life to be able to study and listen to beautiful noise at the same time. Sometimes, however, when I am very stressed and anxious, music is just annoying and I don't listen to it. Music can be annoying. 

When I exercise, music is like a supplement. While some people take protein shakes and other things, I take music because I can always listen to EDM or other upbeat songs and it helps me keep going when I work out. 

It is recreational because sometimes I just enjoy looking for new artists and new songs and when I have free time, this is what I do.

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hermy27 | Student, College Senior | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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Music not only has the ability to change the moods of all living objects (including animals and plants), but it also has the ability to trigger memory.  For me, certain songs can transform me to all kinds of places from my past.  A song that was playing in the background when I was told that my friend had committed suicide will always have a negative affect on me.  A song that song that my best friend and I used to sing together for karaoke will always make me think of her and remind of the nervous but exciting feeling of singing in public.  A song that my aunt used to sing as she was getting ready for the day will always remind me of the smell of her perfume.  Triggering sensory memories is one of the most interesting aspects of music, and one of my favorites because it acts as a sort of time capsule.  This is important to me because I treasure my memories, both good and bad.

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kevin0001 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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Music is very important in my life because it helps me feel relaxed. I am a person who stresses over thing or thinks to much about one specific thing. Music helps me relieve the stress and relaxes me. When I listen to music, I tend to not worry about other things on my mind. That's why music is important to me.

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eli468 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Music is important in my life for many reasons. Music has helped to create certain emotions whether happy, calm, sad, angry, scared, etc. It allows me to safely explore different emotions. 

Music has enhanced and enriched my creativity. I am a better writer now due to music. There are many lyrics in songs I listen to that really allow me to visualize a vivid story that I have/never will experience. It helps to spur my creativity and find new topics to write about.

Music makes most things I do better. Imagine a big action scene in a movie with explosions and fighting and no intense music in the background? Sounds wrong. It keeps me focused and in the moment. Dancing without music? Not that great for me.

Music makes time go by faster. I listen to music when I am working out, cleaning, driving, etc. 

Music helps me to concentrate. I study while listening to music because it helps to make studying a little more enjoyable. By having that small extra enjoyment I am able to study longer and more frequently. 

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maria-vivanco | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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I don't know how but music just keeps me going. It allows me to express myself and it lightens my mood and it allows me to focus.

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jess1999 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Music is a way for me to express my emotions . For example , I play the piano and I am able to be able to tell a story/my feelings with the piece I'm playing. Also since most of the times I am unable to use words to fully tell a story, I feel like I can use music. 

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acompanioninthetardis | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Music allows me to become a different person and see things from their point of view, a heartbroken lover, a determined person, an angry vengeful person, etc.. it also allows me to learn languages i listen to a lot of korean music like a lot of people here and bands like SHINee, super junior, EXO, F(x), really move me both emotionally and sometimes physically haha. I also listen to hindi music which allows me to go back and learn some more of my language. Japanese rock bands like one ok rock and kattun work great when i'm angry or i have feelings that i cant express, listening to them really helps me vent. 

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