Music = Elixir of Life

August 2, 2012
By YoshiVisa GOLD, Plainsboro, New Jersey
YoshiVisa GOLD, Plainsboro, New Jersey
11 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Music surrounds your life. It’s the rhythmic honking of the cars passing by your house. It is the upbeat clanging of pots and pans while your mother makes tonight’s dinner. It is the midnight chirping and hooting of creatures in the woods that seem to be making their voices in unison. It is the soothing rain pounding on your roof while you are comfortably sitting on the sofa. It commonly is the sounds that come out of your iPod, computer, or radio. It is the pianist or the violinist playing his/her melody in front of an audience. It is the silence that seems to create its own noise. It is the constant beating of your heart or the regular inhalation and exhalation of your lungs. It is the growling of your stomach as you long for the delicious meal that your mother was making. It is the quintessence of life. Without music, people would not be able to function as actively as they do, nor would they be able to enjoy life as much as they do.

Concretely speaking, music is necessary to be able to perceive a certain message that is displayed. Yes, without music, the message can still be perceived. But music enhances the message to a degree that not only is the message perceived, it is felt. Take Charlie Chaplain for example. His shows were music-free. They were only visual representations of what the show was trying to entail. People did enjoy them, but if there was noise, like in Tom-and-Jerry, the message is even more direct and comprehensible. Each member of my history class was required to give a presentation on a movie or show that has some historical significance. My friend chose Chaplain, while I chose Tom-and-Jerry. Even though both do not have actual speaking, more kids enjoyed the Tom-and-Jerry episodes because there was music.

Music also has other effects besides purely entertainment purposes. Music is known widely as a curing agent. Music can uplift emotions such as hope, rage, vigor, sadness, and serenity. Sometimes, these emotions may be detrimental to one’s health, but if the music is right, it can be a powerful healer. Soothing music, such as soft instrumental music, or nature sounds can calm the body, relieve stress, and allow one to concentrate on oneself.

Additionally, playing music also has endless benefits in terms of future academic prowess and wellness in terms of physical being. There are three types of learning that a child goes through: Kinesthetic learning, auditory learning, and visual learning. Each child has their own strengths and weaknesses. Practicing using all the types of learning gives a more holistic and better understanding of the topic that is being learnt. Playing music helps because it targets all three types of learning. Kinesthetic learning because you have to play the notes; auditory learning because you have to hear the notes, and visual learning because you have to see the written notes to play them. Together, conducting them simultaneously produces a brain that is keen and concentrated, as well as capable of grasping topics quickly due to the range of methods of learning he/she has mastered. Playing music sharpens one’s learning skills and the music played soothes the mind, having a therapeutic effect.

Music states the inexpressible, calms the raging storm, disciplines the mischiefs, and occupies the silence. As Langston Hughes poetically states, “Life is for the living. Death is for the dead. Let life be like music. And death a note unsaid.”

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