Monday, November 23, 2015

Why Music Doesn't Recharge Me

The other day I wrote about ways I recharge as an introvert. If you know me, than I bet you were wondering why I didn't include any music on that list. That is simple. Music DOES NOT recharge me. Not one bit.  I will tell you what music does for me and why it is such a huge part of my life.
Music is a what I do. It is a part of me and it is important that I keep music in my life in various forms. Besides listening to music, I play instruments, sing, arrange music, teach music, and on rare occasions compose music. These different aspects of music have an effect on me.

When I teach, I am listening, critiquing, helping, and shaping my students to become better musicians. Because I am interacting with other people I need to tap into my fake extroversion and it continually drains me. Teaching music is important because I am instilling a love for music in the next generation. Ideally, as they grow up, the skills I give them in musicianship will enable them to spread the love of music to other people. Perhaps having music in their lives will sooth rough times and lift up the joyous times to higher heights. Expanding music, one child at a time, is a way I can give back with the talents God has graciously given me.

When I sing, it is with others. With others = extroversion. Do I even need to explain this one?

When I listen to music, I can't easily do other tasks such as reading or school work. My mind races to the chord progressions or tunes into an awesome piano solo or meditates on some lyrics that I found encapsulated the particular mood I am in. Listening to music is fully immersive for me, so the few things I can do while listening to music include cooking, a craft project that isn't too mind intense, and cleaning. Anything else is impossible to do while listening to music, so I tend to limit my music listening time during the day so that I can focus on my children.

When I play an instrument, my whole body and soul are in the piece. Even if I am practicing by myself in my studio, there is an element of extroversion. I have a relationship with my instruments, and playing them is like a conversation. After some time conversing, I find myself drained. Accordingly, after I put that much of myself into playing music, I need to recharge with a separate activity.

When I arrange or compose music, I lose all track of time. I could spend two hours working on a piece of music and think about five minutes have passed. Although arranging and composing do recharge me, it takes up so much of my time that I just don't do it often. My kids need me more than I need to be arranging and composing music. For all one knows, I may have a chance at arranging and composing when my kids are grown but for now I am content with not working on these skills.

I hope you now understand why I don't count music as a way for me to recharge. It is an important part of my life and I wouldn't feel whole without it, but I cannot use it as a way to recharge at the end of the day. It builds me up emotionally, but it can also sap my energy.

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. -Victor Hugo
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