How many times have you heard people say that no words can express how they feel? Or maybe, at one time or another, you have found yourself at a loss when trying to verbally convey your thoughts and emotions?
Fortunately, as Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen noted, “where words fail, music speaks.” It’s true: music not only has a profound effect on our emotions – lifting our spirits when we are blue and relaxing us when we are stressed out – but it also has an amazing ability to give us hope, inspire and motivate us. We call it the “feel-good” or simply “happy” music.
As John Lennon sang in “Intuition:”
As I play the game of life
I try to make it better each and every day.
And when I struggle in the night
The magic of the music seems to light the way.
Fact is, we can’t listen to music without feeling some kind of emotional feedback. Even if we play it in the background while working or doing other activities, the sounds we hear affect us in many ways.
Studies show that playing or listening to “happy” music will have a positive impact on our thoughts, feelings, and general outlook on life.
The key – no pun intended – is to choose pieces that are upbeat and uplifting. Generally speaking, the more up-tempo the music, the more happy emotions it will generate. The same holds true for lyrics – a sad song will bring us down, while a cheerful one will make us feel good.
That’s the magic of music!
What pieces of music will make you feel positive and optimistic? We can’t answer this question unequivocally because personal tastes and preferences vary. However, we feel pretty confident about the following choices – they are cheerful and upbeat enough to put most people in a good mood:
Ninth Symphony “Ode to Joy,” Beethoven (By the way, one of the most eloquent descriptions of feelings evoked by this piece came from the famous philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. A listener, he said, “might feel that he is floating above the earth in a starry dome, with the dream of immortality in his heart; all the stars seem to glimmer around him, and the earth seems to sink ever deeper downwards.”)
“Happy,” Pharrell Williams
“Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” Bobby McFerrin
“Call Me Maybe,” Carly Rae Jepsen
“Dancing Queen,” Abba
Just as listening to music is a deeply emotional experience, so is playing an instrument or singing a song. Very few people (we personally don’t know any) can detach themselves from the music they are making and remain “neutral.” We can only imagine that this kind of rendition would be totally flat and lifeless.
Being a good musician – even if you are just starting out – means that you can convey your own musical emotions to your listeners. That’s an art, but the kind of art you can certainly master.
That’s where our wonderful teachers come in. Accomplished musicians in their own right, they will teach you or your child not only the right techniques, but also how to convey your feelings through music (and yes, even children have the ability to connect with their audience on a deeply emotional level). It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for guitar or piano lessons (or any other instrument), just contact us and we’ll send an emotionally aware teacher to your Manhattan, Brooklyn or Riverdale home or office.
And here is another quote to inspire you on your “emotional” musical journey. It comes from Plato: “Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.”