Friday, April 8, 2011

"Wake up, O harp and lyre! We will meet the dawn with song." Psalms 108

It has been said that "music touches the soul like nothing else" and  also "music is the same in any language."   That is so true!   I, for one, am so thankful God gave us this marvelous blessing in this temporary place we call home.

Have you ever noticed how the music you listen to or play affects your mood?  This is how deeply it affects the human soul, your body, and feelings.  In fact, there have been studies done on how music can calm an anxious or depressed spirit much like David's playing of the harp comforted a distressed Saul. A melodic flow of notes from the scale can actually help bring relief from physical pain or help one sleep. Pretty remarkable!

Music certainly plays an important role in my life's journey. It's been a part of my life since I was a child, as my mother played the piano by ear and she made the keyboard on our old upright piano come alive and fill our household with music! These are fond memories!

And it probably made more of an impact on me than I realized.  Now, for example, if I am struggling to exercise, whether it be simple walking or riding a stationery bike, if I turn on my CD player and listen to upbeat music, it definitely makes a positive difference.  My body seems to get more energized, I feel like moving and before I know it, 30 minutes or more have passed.  Silence in this case, would make my exercise session drag and a 15-minute ride would seem like an hour!  But if walking, there is one exception- when strolling through nature - songbirds chirping among the trees can offer quite abit of  inspiration to take more steps than you may have planned.

I can be driving to town and listening to a favorite CD - most classical music just soothes my soul and I am one relaxed, calm driver.  The miles just fly by. The sky looks more blue, the sun is more bright and the world outside my car windows seems so peaceful.  I even look forward to running errands that I might otherwise dread.

Bluegrass and Irish upbeat music can make me feel like dancing as does some rock and roll.  If I listen to hard rock, I feel chaotic inside and beyond uncomfortable. Love and Gospel songs with meaningful words stick in my memory bank -  each word, each note, bringing feelings to the surface that were perhaps hidden before.

Some music makes me excited, other compositions, sadden my heart - even bringing tears to my eyes.  Still there are melodies that just bring an instant smile to my face and joy to my soul. Some songs from the past spark memories.

I have, with the help of God,  written quite abit of music over the years.  Right now I am in the process of recording it on CD.  Some of the songs I composed on the piano were during difficult struggles I was experiencing at that time in my life - you can hear the sadness and strife in the melody lines.  Others are happy and upbeat when days were brighter.  Some are simple lullaby's that I sang to my babies (now all in their 30's) .  Many are songs I wrote for Sunday School kids and children's choirs to sing, with catchy rhythms.  And they tell about the love of the Lord and God's plan of salvation via tunes and lyrics.

There is one particular instrumental I have written that  has brought tears to more than one person who has listened to it as I play it on the piano or clavinova.  Those notes and how I express them on the ivory and ebony are touching souls in a special way.  I would say this is through the power of the Holy Spirit - who worked through me to compose the melodies in the first place. I give Him all the glory!

It is definitely true that music can define our mood for the day, the hour, or even the minute. Next time you watch a movie, listen to the music and what an impact it has on the storyline and on you.  Imagine a scene with different music or no background score at all.  It is a  real eye opener!

Let's face it - music is one of the most awesome gifts our Heavenly Father has given us.  It is powerful.  And it influences us when we do not even realize it.  That is why it is important to listen to music that is good for the soul and what God would want us to listen to.

  I used to emphasize this fact to my Senior High Sunday School students and our youth group who are exposed to music probably more than any other age group. Our brain does not forget what we hear and without even realizing it, it is planted in our conscious. For example, think of commercials - I can repeat several words and jingles from radio or television word for word just from listening to them day after day.

 Some music and lyrics are not the best for our moral convictions - we have to be aware and make good choices.  Choices God would want us to make.  Not en easy thing to do when the radio is blaring in our car stereos.  And some of what is "out there" is okay and other music is "of this world" and does not honor our Lord.  It is so important to make good choices - and feed nourishing music to our precious souls and minds.

Something to reflect upon. . . . . can you imagine the world without music?  What would it be like?  And what kind of music lifts your heart?  What kind of music will you choose this week?


Toyin O. said...

It would be such a boring, emotionless, and dreary world without music. Music has done more for my walk than preaching some times. I am sure you are an amazing musician, I will love to hear some of your stuff:)

Janna Qualman said...

I can appreciate this, Carole, because I identified long ago that listening to music can sometimes fill my soul so full. Lovely post!

Thanks for visiting my blog, and for recently becoming a follower. :)

Carole said...

Thank you Toyin and Janna for visiting my blog and also for your encouragement - hopefully I will be able to share some of my compositons on my blog soon:-) I enjoy reading both of your blogs - thanks for shairng your faith. Blogging is truly a blessing I am discovering:-)

Melissa Marsh said...

I remember you playing the piano and singing songs to us. I still remember the "Schoolbus" song! My childhood is filled with memories of music. :-)

Joanne said...

Music is such a universal language, speaking to us all in different ways. I enjoy listening to live music, to be on the receiving end of that art, and to actually see it created on the stage.

Terri Tiffany said...

Carole, whenever I am feeling down and turn on some good music, what a difference it makes! I am driving to work now two days a week and I so I started listening to the radio-- love it!

Carole said...

Melissa - I recorded the School Bus song on my CD recently:-)

Carole said...

Joanne - the fact that music is universal makes it that much more awesome - good point:-)

Terri - music can definitely affect my mood too - it really does touch ones soul in ways we probably don't fully comprehend:-)

Love hearing from you all - thanks for visiting my blog!