Music is amazing!
Regardless of culture, age, gender, time period or belief system, we can all appreciate some form of music. However, we are not always aware of how powerful music can be in shaping how we see the world.
Let me take you back to the late 90s to illustrate this power of music.
As a kid, I remember watching Arthur with my little brother. It would open with the classic theme song:
Everyday when you're walking down the street
And everybody that you meet
Has an original point of view
Quite honestly, this cartoon theme song helped shape how I interacted with people at a young age. The lyrics impressed on me that we do not all think the same (that is, not all like me!) and I should take notice of and respect different opinions that other people have.
And I say HEY! (HEY!)
What a wonderful kind of day.
If you can learn to work and play
And get along with each other
In the midst of a primary school argument, I can honestly remember thinking, “Well, Arthur says it’s good to get along with each other, so I guess I should make up with my friend.” I was persuaded to choose a particular behaviour because a cartoon theme song made getting along look cool!
Clearly, little me was influenced by music. And I would argue that this principle extends to all music! Here’s my point: music regulates behaviour.
Think about it – the messages in your music teach you what kind of behaviour is acceptable, and what is not. At this point, it would be super easy for me to make lists of songs we should blacklist and songs we should be playing constantly. But what might be good for you might not be the best for me. So instead, let me ask you some questions.
Think of your top five songs at the moment, or your favourite playlist. What is your music teaching you about? Do the songs inspire you and empower you? What do they teach you about how women should be treated, for instance?
Another question to ponder is this: Which songs do you want in the soundtrack of your life? I’m proud to have the Arthur theme song on my soundtrack (classic 90s cartoons rule!), but unfortunately, there are some tracks I’ve got in my mind that I wouldn’t even want to include on the B-side.
It’s something to ponder as we listen to and explore the vast and awesome world of music.
by Dani :)