So it turns out that I am a music freak. I listen to music whenever possible, and when it’s not possible there is a soundtrack to my life playing in my head. Music has a lot to teach us about life, whether there are lyrics or not, all depending on how you listen:
1. Listen to the words, because words transfer meaning very well (you are reading right now, aren’t you?). You will gain some wisdom and knowledge out of this; however, you will hear the same thing that everyone else hears, or at least on a basic level. You will learn from words, like most of us have our whole lives.
2. Ignore the words (if there are any) and listen to all of the instruments and harmonies that are making a very embellished phrase into music. This way, you listen to the nonverbal message found in the crevices between notes and within chords. You might feel sad, or happy, or have no idea what you’re feeling because you’ve never felt that way before. But here’s where it’s really cool: no one else will feel that same way. Unlike just listening to the lyrics, you are experiencing something entirely different than what anyone else has before. And, what’s really awesome, is that this makes music the true international language. No matter the language someone speaks (and here I need to say: I do know that deaf people exist, and I am terribly sorry that I am not addressing them in the post, but I cannot speak from personal experience and do not want to misinform or mislead), anyone can understand the crescendos and decrescendos, and minor chords and the triumphant fermadas. Some say that love is the international language, but music is almost as qualified to bear the label.
3. Listen to the words and connect them to how the other parts combine together to make the whole. When you combine feelings with words, you get a lot of information at once. You will likely feel overwhelmed, and depending on the song, you with either: a) stop what you’re doing, stare into space, and feel tears well up in your eyes, b) stop what you’re doing, jump up and dance uncontrollably, or c) do both simultaneously.
When there is truly amazing music, and you are hearing it with your whole being, you will know. And you will undoubtedly fall helplessly in love with the beauty of music.