Music is more than just something to listen to or something to play; whether we realize it or not, it’s an important part of what moves us during the holidays.

De-focused note melody background for a song via Shutterstock

De-focused note melody background for a song via Shutterstock

It’s so important to our experiences, and this is particularly true during the holidays, that the emotional effect may not be part of our conscious awareness. During the holidays, music even seems to bridge the gap between generations and genres. You find young and old alike enjoying classical, country, jazz, pop, rap, and a wide variety of music from around the world—from Tony Bennett to Lady Gaga to Renée Fleming—often all together. Music is special too during the holidays because it has a unique way of connecting the present with the past.

Music lifts up your soul and releases it.

Written by a middle school student—K.D.—when asked about importance of music.

Music is more than just something to listen to or play; it’s something to feel. It’s able to connect our inner and outer worlds in ways little else can. For performing musicians, there’s nothing quite like the sensation of creating what they find in the music and sharing it with the rest of the world. While you might not be a musician, you can benefit from listening more attentively, allowing yourself to be carried away by the movement of the music by becoming engaged in the melodies, the rhythms, the tonality, the harmonies and more. We could all benefit by taking a moment to listen more deeply and experience the depth of the music’s movement. What is so beautiful about the experience is that, if you relax and allow yourself to be open to the flood of thoughts and feelings that come from these parts of the music working together, you can often find new ideas and creative solutions to things that have been on your mind for weeks, months, or even years.

Winged Angel Playing FluteMusic gives a soul to the universe,
wings to the mind, flight to the imagination

and life to everything.

~Plato

 Challenged for authenticity, and whether written by him or not, this quote attributed to Plato does speak to the fact that opening, relaxing, and engaging with music can stimulate your creativity.

The holidays are times when we do things that aren’t a part of our regular routines. Even if they’re short, these mini-breaks are important and allow us to relax and open to things around us.  Music is everywhere during the holiday season, and it likely was a part of our childhood experiences. Music during the holidays brings us together and can help us rediscover our humanity and our connection to one another.

From Tuba Christmas to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with Renée Fleming to Bing Crosby to The Durham’s Ethnic Holiday Festival to Bobby Helms to Quincy Jones to Chanticleer to Natalie Brown to Jimmy Fallon and Rashida Jones to Nat King Cole to Messiah at the Mall and much more, take some time to make music a real part of your experience this holiday season. Engage in ways you never have before. Connect with your neighbors and children in new ways. Let your mind be free to wander inside the music and expand your creativity. Allow yourself to feel like an artist. As Helen Keller said, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”

— Pat

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