Eastern Wake: Opinion

July 23, 2014

Column: Music offers an great escape

No matter what kind of music you listen to, there’s no denying its power to make you forget what worries you.

There’s something about music that saves most of us at one time or another. Regardless of your musical taste or what generation you grew up in, there’s bound to be at least one song that brings you happiness and wards off the aggravations of every day life.

Music is a big part of our family’s life. One daughter has performed regularly with the school chorus, while the other daughter plays in the band.

Not counting those infernal Harry Potter movies, musicals are the clear favorite among the movie choices in our home. It’s not unusual to hear one of the children walk through the house singing a song from The Sound of Music or Oklahoma.

Anna Kate, my oldest daughter, traveled with me recently to pick up my youngest daughter, Pitt, from a camp. After being apart for three weeks, the car was filled with music and singing the entire ride home. Each girl would pick a song in turn and, together, they would sing along with the recording. Smiles were the order of the day on that trip.

For the past few years, I’ve had the chance to work with the high school band boosters, selling concessions at Walnut Creek Amphitheater during their summer concert season. The variety of musical acts that parade through that facility is remarkable. I’ve heard (though you can never see from the concession stands) performances from Lionel Richie and Chicago to Hall & Oates, Luke Bryan and KISS.

It’s remarkable to hear the roar of the crowd when the headline act walks out on stage. It seems like everything stops at that moment and there’s nothing but sheer ecstasy from a crowd of thousands.

Whether you listen to music in a group of one or two, or with 13,000 of your closest musical soul mates, the rhythms and melodies seem to make people happy. That’s just cool.

If you stop and think about it, music is with us everywhere. Get in the car to go somewhere and you can turn on the tunes. Go to church and you’ll hear from a a choir. You’ll even be encouraged to stand up and sing yourself.

My friend Chris Callahan has led music in VBS on church mission trips and now he’s in college studying to be a worship leader.

I saw a picture recently of Chris leading a group in song. His eyes were closed, his mouth wide open and his hands wrapped around a guitar. Even though he was leading about a dozen people, he looked intensely lost in his music. It was a peaceful, quiet image that, to me, just screamed contentment.

These days you can turn on cable television and you can even find blank channels that do nothing but play music.

MTV, 30 years ago, brought the idea of combining music and images and a franchise was born. Today you can watch channels devoted to music videos of many different genres, from today’s rock and roll to country music.

Music and song are everywhere. They give us an outlet for our sadness, our anger, our happiness. It’s remarkable that one thing in our lives can have so much power and so much influence over us. But music does. It’s a saving grace.


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