Designed to help you find functional and positive ways to use music in your daily life. You will learn not only how to listen to music in a new way, but also how to listen to the impact that music has on you. This course will allow you to experience the work-at-home assignment of the in-person “Sound & Music Exploration Course” at Converge York. No prior musical knowledge is required.
I would like to talk about listening to music – not about just plugging in those ear buds and listening to the music, but about deep listening —> listening not just to the music itself, but listening within ourselves; listening to the response that we have to that music; listening to what is happening in our mind, in our body, and in our spirit. This is the type of inner listening that we are going to explore and bring music into our life.
We are going to develop some music playlists in a bit, so think about the music that are important and meaningful to you. I am sure you will be able to find the music that was important in a moment in time; at a time of your life when something important was happening; or maybe at a moment of deep emotion – those times do not have to be all happy-go-lucky, they can be the times when you really felt deeply about something and a piece of music said it just right, in a way you could not have said it yourself, but you connected deeply with the emotion of the lyrics; of the music itself; or maybe the expression of the singer / the player / the ensemble.
Click the below link to play the music. As you do, close your eyes and imagine the most beautiful place. Maybe it is a place that you have been before. Maybe it is a place in your imagination that does not exist. Maybe it is a place in your future. Listen and see where the music takes you:
Certainly you have listened to a lot of music in your lifetime. You have listened to lots of melodies, harmonies, and rhythms. You have listened to various artists, lyrics, and maybe even listen to the sounds of nature, and listen to the silence. But I am going to ask you to listen in a different way —> Click the below link to play the music. As you do, let the music “bathe” you in sound and then listen to what is happening inside your body, mind, maybe even your spirit, and see how that music is affecting you:
- Was the music evoking some images, some memories, and taking you somewhere? If so, where did you go?
- Did you find a place in your mind’s eye, in your imagination, that the music takes you somewhere beautiful?
- Have the music brought up a memory or association?
- Have the music just changed your mood?
Personal Music Playlists
Question: What is a personal music playlist?
Answer: A list of selected songs / music chosen and organised by you and to be played on your phone or any device (tablet / computer / CD player / Record Player) whenever it is needed and whenever you feel like.
Question: How to create personal music playlists?
Answer: Create some functional playlists (if possible, through Spotify or iTunes, so that you can use them conveniently) —> For examples: the first one, for relaxing music playlist (and when you are feeling nervous, stressed out, overwhelmed, you can put on this relaxing music). In addition to relaxing music, you can create a sleep inducing music playlist to help you sleep and bring on a deep sense of calmness, so that you can sleep restfully and comfortably. One suggestion for sleep music is to use the sound of nature, such as the sound of the ocean / rustling leaves / birds chirping / a wind chime. The other one, energizing music playlist, and remember that energizing music does not have to be really fast and rhythmic – it can be anything that gives you a sense of energy! The next one is attention focusing music playlist. This is for that special time when you really need to focus on music, when the things around you are overwhelming, when you really need music – whether you are in physical or emotional pain, when you are in great distress, you can find something that drives you! The next one is spiritual music playlist. Spiritual music does not have to be religious music. Although, for many, it is, but it can also be something that transcends, something that offers you something that you cannot describe. It may be an ancient chant, contemporary or new-age music – the music that gives you what you need to get through the day.
In this assignment, you will develop a total of 4-5 personal music playlists.
Follow the steps below to complete your personal music playlists:
- Create a document with the song /music titles and artists on your playlists. You should have a total of 4-5 playlists for different purposes, so make sure to make separate lists for each playlist. Each playlist should have at least 5 songs / pieces of music.
- Write a reflection for each playlist explaining why you chose each song / music for that playlist. You may ask yourself: How do your playlists make you feel? Do the emotions they elicit match your goals?
Here are some examples to help you understand what your assignment should look like:
Attention Focusing Music Playlist
- When We Were Young – Adele
- Here I Am – Leona Lewis
- My Love, My Life – Mamma Mia OST
- The Rose – Westlife
- People – Aretha Franklin
Attention Focusing Music Playlist – Reflections On Choice
- When We Were Young – Adele: This song has a bittersweet story that relates very much to me. It feels good when I could not verbally express myself, while the song does it for me. It keeps me concentrated when I listen to how the singer express the lyrics, and how the song (music and its story) begins and ends.
- Here I Am – Leona Lewis: Listening to this song is like visiting a therapist or counsellor. It gives me the emotional support when things around me are too painful and overwhelming. I will always pay attention to the words of the song, and feel much better after listening to it.
- My Love, My Life – Mamma Mia OST: This song describes a mother’s unconditional love, which is something that I could always relate to. It reminds me of how my mum would sing for me and tell me how special and important I am. This song is so heartwarming and can always touch my heart when I listen to it.
- The Rose – Westlife: It is a simple song in terms of the melody and harmony. It is also a very slow piece of music. However, because of that, they allow the poetic lyrics to be clearly delivered and expressed. I listen to this song when I am in great distress, as the lyrics of the song would always drive my attention and allow me to focus on the words.
- People – Aretha Franklin: This is a beautiful song performed by a great singer with a highly expressive voice, and that brings my full attention to it and carries me away. I would focus on how she sings and expresses each word, which would occupy my mind for a moment.
Often times, music is just playing in the background, but I hope that this assignment will help you to find and apply music to serve specific purposes in your life 🙂
Please feel free to email your assignment to the course tutor (Aaron Soon) for marking: firstname.lastname@example.org