There is a tremendous amount of power in music. Influence and inspiration lie in all aspects and areas of music from reading the lyrics, going to concerts, hearing rhythms, finding spiritual and deeper meanings, understanding the band’s story to appreciating the individual use of instruments and personally creating . Music plays a powerful role in people’s lives in multiple ways. For example, personal connection, connection with a larger community and the ability to escape into the music.
The first idea revolves around personal connection. Everyone has listened to a song before and thought ‘that is my life’ or ‘this is exactly how I feel.’ Lyrics can explain emotions that one may not be able to put into words. Deep songs, especially those explaining significant parts of life, make people feel they are not alone.
Some connect with the literal words, others look to find a spiritual meaning and some pay attention to the instruments and the beauty that lies in creating music. People may then be inspired to create their own music, sharing their emotions and stories through this form of expression in hope that it will touch someone the way it touched them.
Personally, I find a deeper, spiritual meaning and personal connection to Mumford and Sons. Yes, their music is now popular and everyone knows the lyrics to their songs, but to me they are not just another big name band. Listening to their song “Awake My Soul” and hearing “in these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die, where you invest your love, you invest your life,” makes me step back and look at my life to see where I am investing my love. Is it in God or is it things of this world?
Music also allows people to connect to a larger community. I feel a sense of belonging and relating to others present at certain concerts, especially at small venues. People fall in love with music for personal reasons and then take a step further and decide they want to connect with the band on a real level by attending a live concert. Then, you stand there, shoulder to shoulder with people that have poured themselves into the same music for similar or different reasons. The band plays three chords, and the same feeling is stirred inside everyone. Before you know it, everyone is singing and dancing together. Strangers and friends alike know the role the music has played in their lives and understand the power it can have.
A couple weeks ago I stood at a small venue in Seattle listening to the Local Natives, and it was then I realized how much I love concerts. Going to concerts is what my best friend and I do together. It has become our thing because we both understand the power music holds, and we love to dance and sing. Being surrounded by people singing and dancing gave so much more depth to the music, it made it come alive. Being able to witness bands become so hyped and energized because they are feeding off the energy of the crowd is incredible.
Finally, whether it is being played or listened to, music can become an escape. It allows people to retreat behind their instruments, or behind their voices to create beautiful sounds. They can put everything aside and pour into music. Through hearing others’ stories in songs about the good, bad, lonely, past, present, grace-filled, beautiful moments, they can put themselves into the song and escape.
The power of music in individuals’ lives is too often overlooked. Take advantage of the music around you. Let it touch you personally, allow yourself to stand in a sea of strangers and feel connected through a song and use it to escape the world when necessary.
Contact Haley Williamson at firstname.lastname@example.org