WHY MUSIC MATTERS!
Think about these names: Mozart, Tschaikovsky, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Frank Sinatra, Sir Elton John, Michael Jackson, Andrea Boccelli, Judy Garland, Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton, Lady Gaga. Regardless of your age and the genre you prefer, you are likely able to hum something they either wrote, sang or both. Music is immeasurably impactful.
Here is a fun musical fact about Rick Eskin.
With the strong belief that “Music can change the world because it can change people” (Bono), Rick Eskin has studied and played violin since he was 17, developing proficiency as a jazz violinist. His commitment reflects a personal belief that art, culture, entertainment and knowledge enhance all people’s lives regardless of their socio- economic status. The neo-Aristotelian philosopher, Marsha Nussbaum, argues that “music, like stories and plays, communicates emotions in a particular way, and can therefore perform a distinctive ethical role in our lives.”
Music at its essence is the art of arranging sound. It exists in all human societies and transcends walls and boundaries with a unique language. It allows us to feel all human emotions. Music changes our mood, sharpens our thoughts, transports us to places we have visited and helps us re-live special moments in our lives. It lessens stress and pain and brings us to positivity and calmness.
Music is a universal language that keeps us more connected as family, friends and as part of a larger community. Remarkably, music also has the power to positively impact health:
- Music improves mental health giving very young children a way to communicate and people of all ages an outlet for creative, positive self-expression
- Music has cognitive benefits for children of all ages who demonstrate greater academic results to older folks for whom music can be a prudent intervention to promote memory enhancement
- Music represents a remarkable meeting point of intimate and social realms – self-identity and collective identity
Given those attributes, the question “what is distinctive about music as a form of communication” must be asked. The answer is two-fold:
- Music often feels intensely and emotionally linked to the private self and
- It is also often the basis of collective, public experience through live performances
Music’s relationship to affective experience and to emotion and feeling is distinctive and important to human flourishing. Music can reach where ordinary language cannot.
Consider this quote from Jon Batiste: “With so many ways to communicate at our disposal, we must not forget the transformative power of a live music experience and genuine human exchange.”
Keeping music central to our lives matters!