This fall, Music Unites and I continue our resolve to keep music present in all of our minds and lives, and we have started a campaign to ask those around us to complete this phrase, "Music is my..." We really want people to think about it! What does music mean to you?
But why is this even important?
In turn, I also began to think about a way to express what music means to me.
Track I: It is a very personal thing worth fighting for
We've spoken in the past about how music changes people's lives. I continue to stand by the position that it enriches those who actively participate in keeping music in their daily routines. Music can provide strength, warmth, nostalgia, peace of mind -- any number of states or emotions -- it is something vital to so many of us. In a world where music education budgets are constantly being sacrificed and we fear that our youth may not be given the same opportunities to explore their artistic side, I see the benefit of making sure that we keep those sounds and rhythms going through other avenues. We may not always realize that we are contributing to this cause, but the fact is, we are keeping the soundtrack alive.
Track II: Music brings people together
We see on a daily basis how our friends post videos on Facebook or YouTube and the tremendous amount of views that each of those obtain. Daily, there are people walking down the streets, sitting on public forms of transportation with their headphones on, or even bringing back some old school habits like blaring a boom box while walking down the street. Doesn't everyone know about iTunes and have a Spotify playlist? Reality shows like The Voice, The X Factor and American Idol have incredible ratings and are often the topic of social media posts, water cooler chats or blog posts. They demonstrate just how exciting music can be and bring it to the forefront.
Track III: Sometimes we think it's just background music
Though you consistently hear arguments or complaints about how this digital age is moving people farther away from each other and deeper into a world of solitude, and even a bit of ambivalence, I actually think that these new mediums are allowing us to express ourselves in an innovative and important way. Don't get me wrong -- I miss the days of fictional television where you could get lost in a good, complex character and follow a continued story line, but I think that what we can take from this daily flurry of musical "reality" activity is that people want to actively participate in music, not just watch someone else do it. It calls people to action!
Track IV: Music is a platform for innovation
Everyone, but most importantly, our youth, are learning how to pursue dreams by getting out there and performing -- for their smart phone, in flash mobs, on websites and blogs and then posting their talents for the world to see. By being involved and envisioning a bigger picture where greater goals can be achieved, these kids can cast a wider net than we ever could before. They are creating their own opportunities and are choosing to express themselves, most often through music.
Track V: Music inspires
This is the type of thing that inspires me the most, and fuels my desire to continue creating an atmosphere where one can further their musical dreams, career and showcase their talents. Last month, we completed a Music-Versity Workshop with Dell Intel and the amazingly accomplished producer, Danja. A new composition program was the focus of the event, teaching kids how to create their own beats, and Danja was there to inspire them and to share his story. At the end of the event, we played some of the compositions, and one 10-year-old child was so inspired, he got up to lay down an impromptu rap to the track playing. He was amazing! A prime example of how music creates passion. It's about keeping things relevant, and making things matter -- using music as a universal language to inspire everyone to be their best. Music is that powerful.
And after thinking about it, I've come to my own conclusions: Music is my soul. It's my calling. It's my life.
Here's to keeping the soundtrack alive! Now, what does music mean to you?