Photo by Frank Claeys
Music is art.
Music is science.
Music is therapy.
Music moves you to happiness or tears. It teaches, relaxes, excites, angers, and moves to action.
Playing music gets you in touch with your soul. It lets your heart meet your mind.
Music is organized dissonance. The spaces in between make the notes and chords meaningful.
Almost every memorable moment in your life is marked by some sort of music. Fist kiss. First dance. First…love. As well as other highlights and lowlights of your life. It’s no wonder popular and successful musicians are so well paid. They are intrinsic and vital to our existence.
Learning to play music is a gift. A gift you give to yourself and to others.
I am reminded of the lyrics from the outstanding song Hold On from the eighties by the Canadian rock band Triumph, : “Music holds the secret. To know it can make you whole. It’s not just a game of notes. It’s the sounds inside your soul…”
I believe everyone has some sort of musical talent, just like pretty much anyone has some sort of athletic ability. We all just have varying levels of ability and interest in developing those talents. The trick is to unlock your abilities and develop them as best you can.
I worship my guitar idols: Hendrix, Page, Clapton, Blackmore, Young, Gibbons, Slash, Young, and others. I seriously doubt I will ever reach their level of playing but doesn’t stop from trying.
Do I get envious seeing a video of some young prodigy mastering a piece I’ve been trying to play for decades? Of course I do but that doesn’t mean I am going to sell all my gear and give up for ever. On the contrary; it motivates me to try harder, study more, and practice longer.
We all progress at different at our own pace.
I also love to play golf but I’m really not very good at it, even after several years of trying. I know I’ll never be a competitive player but that doesn’t stop me from trying. I like it because it’s outdoors, a challenging game and relatively good exercise. This year was a highlight for me as actually scored an eagle on one hole (that’s two under par, in case you didn’t know) and scored a few birdies this past summer. Just don’t ask about my other scores.
Same with music. It’s simply something I love to do and a big part of my life. I think it helps me develop and grow. I also love writing my own music and recording my songs. It’s a fascinating creative challenge that I love to undertake – my wife even lends a hand at arrange my tunes even though she is not a musician. She is a fantastic singer though. I will be releasing a video and article on songwriting in the near future.
As you might imagine, I also love to write. This year, I am trying to do something I’ve been trying something a little different, on the advice of various authors and motivational speakers. I am trying to write a little every day. It doesn’t matter what I write, just as long as I write something every day in my notebook. Mostly I just write my mental reflections of the day before and document my progress with exercise. I like to write long hand, with pen and paper. Just a cup of coffee and a blank page in my notebook in the early morning, writing for a few minutes every day is very liberating and quite interesting. It’s a great exercise to flex my writing muscles on a daily basis – well, as daily as I can.
I find it helpful to get my thoughts out of my head and onto paper. It helps makes sense of things. I find it hugely beneficial for anyone to express themselves through art, literature, music, or sport. It helps to make a person more well-rounded and frankly, more interesting. These are great endeavors to develop one’s creativity, which is of critical importance in a person’s career.
I am of the opinion that working too much at your job is counter-productive in the long run, as the law of diminishing returns lessens the overall output. Reflection, rest, and relaxation are key to help you stay focused throughout your workday.