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Is Music A Window to the Soul?

July celebrates the musical influence and accomplishments of one woman named Debbie Harry, who co-founded the band from New York in the ’70s named Blondie. The single, “Heart of Glass,” was released by Blondie in December 1978. The following year, I found myself at age nine, playing in my grandma’s backyard while my aunts lay out in the sun, covered in baby oil, trying to catch a tan. As a slim silver travel boom box played slightly static music, I heard the song for the first time.

I sat swinging in the summer breeze on a swing set my grandfather crafted from rope and wooden seats adjacent to a pear tree. I recall the smell of pears ripening in the August heat as I hid from the sun’s rays beneath the leafy branches. The song’s beats and the soprano voice filtered into my awareness as the song played. My experience had little to do with the lyrics but rather the overall impression and feelings I felt then. It caught my attention and made me stop daydreaming and listen. The vocals, music, rhythm, and rhyme captured my experience. Whenever I hear the song, it takes me back to that summer day.

For me, many songs from that period reflect the endless days I spent watching the world around me. As I grew up, I found that music provided a way for me to relate to the world around me. Blondie reminds me how lucky I was to live beside my mother’s family. They inadvertently provided me with my memorable encounters with music. Since then, I have used music to help me celebrate, contemplate, and move through easy and challenging events in my life. Music can hold us to a place and time and evoke memories many years later. Music allows us to capture a feeling, event, or experience meaningfully.

Our mental health encompasses emotional, psychological, and social wellness. By bringing music into our lives, we can have a better frame of mind. A good playlist can help us complete a workout, push through repetitive work, and complete chores or mundane tasks. Listening to music can motivate and encourage us, and lend us energy we might not otherwise experience. It can also provide a means of expression we would not otherwise find within ourselves. Music can help us sort out thoughts and feelings. No matter what type of music we like, we can utilize it to find solace and reprieve from our current circumstances.

Music can bring a sense of well-being, ease of transition in a routine, and comfort. As July moves onward, take some time to listen to your favorite music. Search for new music or artists to add to your day. At our fingertips, we have many choices on where, when, and how we might listen to music. Music can be precisely what you need at any given moment. Let the music you love move you into something incredible and extraordinary this summer. Make your experience something to remember by adding music as a backdrop to your get-togethers, barbecues, or adventures.



International Blondie and Deborah Harry Month

NAMI – The Impact of Music Therapy on Mental Health

APA – Music as Medicine

Psychology Today – Music, Emotion, and Well-Being

Harvard – Can music improve our health and quality of life?