Interpersonal connection, memories, and music

In our Music Pathways class this week, we talked about residencies, and one of the things we focused on is what makes people connect with what we perform. 

Why does music make people happier? What strikes a chord in the hearts of those who can’t speak? What connects us as performers to those in the audience who have lived decades longer than us?

Several students spoke up and offered ideas and experiences from performances we’ve done in care centers and community areas. Some of us play classical music with explanations of musical jargon. Some of us play movie music. Others perform Christmas carols, while others play simple art songs.

We focus so much on evoking emotion from our audiences that sometimes, we forget where the root of these emotions is: memories. 

Isn’t it? 

Why do people love Christmas carols? Music from old movies? Why are so many songs from the past so enjoyable to people of all ages now? What makes something timeless?

Not all of us can come together to love certain genres of music. Not all of us will even LIKE music. But even in the angriest of people, a fond memory just touches something that we wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise.