Music is Life
Self Portrait Series 4/52
As I’ve pondered over things to include in my self portraits, I’ve had to dig deep to identify things that are a part of who I am, or things that have shaped me. Music is 100% one of those things. I get that there are music people and then there are kind-of-music people. I’m a passionate music-is-life kind of person.
From a young age, I listened to the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, and the Grateful Dead with my dad. On Saturdays we would jam out while doing chores. I know that my love of music came from my dad. He always made sure we had a sound system in the house and in one house he even created an outdoor sound system so we would be weeding while listening to CCR or on Sunday he would turn on the Tabernacle Choir or Handles Messiah and I swear my mom would lock herself in her room and put in earplugs. Me, I loved it. Whenever I hear those songs I am immediately taken back to those moments and my heart swells.
My mom’s favorite band is Bread. She was more of a Dr. Laura Lessinger kind of person. IF Dr. Laura wasn’t on, or the weather/traffic report wasn’t on, the station was FM 100 or just silence. From age 13 to 17 I was in Clayton Productions, a singing/dancing group that performed all around the Salt Lake valley. We had practices every Thursday so my mom and I would drive down from Park City to SLC each week. On many of those drives we would listen to music and I noticed I could listen to a song once or twice and easily memorize the words. It’s literally my super power! Ask anyone in my family and they will confirm this.
A Lifelong Hobby
Music has also been a hobby. I took piano lessons from age nine until my senior year. I can still play and read music (not as well as I could but I can get through some songs). I was in choir all four years of high school, and we even took state (I’m an alto). I learned that my voice was very similar to an instrument and loved learning how to harmonize. I don’t sing as much as I used to and am feeling like I should change that. I learned how to play the guitar when I got home from my mission at 21. It was fun to strum and sing at the same time. I have always preferred listening to music over podcasts and audiobooks even now as an adult. Don’t get me wrong, I do love those things too, but man, music feeds my soul more than anything.
The Power of Music
Music makes me feel so many things. I find inspiration in the melody, lyrics and rhythm. My heart beats with the music. It makes me want to do things - cry, laugh, dance, sing, move, sit and be still. I am more self aware when I listen. The first time I heard Christmas Shoes, I literally bawled for three days. Like, I was a mess.
I feel that music is a universal language. It communicates things, not only with words, but through feelings. It helps me connect with myself more, I connect with others through it, and I connect to God through it. It’s more than just music to me. I wouldn’t be who I am without it.
So tell me, are you a music person? What are you listening to right now? Is there a song or musician that changed your life? Do you still listen to toons in your bedroom and zone out sometimes? If not, try it and thank me later. I promise you’ll connect to your inner teenager again. Here are a few Spotify playlists I’ve put together, if you wish to take a listen!
Amanda Hensel —
Omg , I can relate on so many levels except I do not play an instrument of any kind. Well I have been known to shake a tambourine!
Music keeps me sane! I feel it deep within my bones.
Thanks so much for sharing your playlist