Letter to the Editor: Why music is important

Megan Jones

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Dear Editor,

Music has been around seemingly forever. Throughout history, music was a way to communicate, share stories, express oneself, and bond with each other. From the Bards of the Middle Ages and the Griots of West Africa, music has been a large part of human life throughout history. In fact, music has been around forever, for a reason—it’s vital to the human experience.

Music is one of the greatest influences in most people’s lives as it allows them to connect with others and spread new ideas and concepts. Fans of different bands are a wonderful example of this, as groups such as the Gorillaz, Coldplay, Aerosmith, etc. have well-connected fan bases that are supportive of each other and the artists. This sense of connection is aided by concerts where large groups of people can experience similar situations and bond with strangers in a unique way over shared likes. The variety in bands allows for different stories to be told by each song and person involved. These stories, concepts, beliefs, and ideas are all shared in a way that demonstrates meaningful emotion and the struggles and questions from human experience.

Personally, I can attest to the benefits of music for mental health as music itself has been a large part of how I cope with everything that comes along in my life. I have been playing guitar for four years and recently began learning piano a month ago and the result of this has been a growth in my understanding that music is a way to express anything. My favorite way to word it is that for every piece there are a million ways to play it and every person plays a different version. These avenues of expression allow for a healthy way to work through emotions like stress and can be very helpful for students and those going through difficult situations. As such, music is extremely important as a way to express and learn about oneself and others experiences.

Inspiration is also one of the benefits of music, as due to the shared ideas and the variety of forms of expression music can increase creativity by showing different ways of examining an aspect of life. Music is not only a series of sounds but, when done properly, an audible art piece that is meant to be felt and teach us something about either the artist, ourselves, or the world
itself. Whether or not a person can experience this “audible art” the same way as another person does not change that music affects every person in a different way and demonstrates an aspect of the human experience in a way that can inspire people to explore new ways of expression.

While some people are unable to experience music in the same way as others, and although there are other forms of expression, everyone experiences music in their own way no matter what outside influences there are to begin with. We read, talk, sing, dance, draw, paint, take photos, and partake in a million other forms of expression for the same reason— experiencing and sharing emotions is part of the human experience and music is a key way of doing so. It allows for new avenues of expression and a variety of ways to learn to express oneself to ourselves and
to others.

Perhaps you don’t enjoy playing an instrument, perhaps you don’t enjoy listening to music—either way, try something new. Explore new music that you’ve never listened to or try picking up an instrument—learn the kazoo for fun, or the ukulele because you want to play “that one song,” find a way to express yourself and figure out what types of music affect you a certain
way. Figure out how you best express yourself and which types of music help to remind you that you’re not alone in your pain, joys, and experiences. Try and figure out why you like “that” music or “that” artist and don’t be ashamed of it, because the expression is a fundamental part of human existence, and music is vital to it.

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