Do you remember the cassette tape or even, gasp, the 8-track tape? Because of these tapes and their corresponding players, music could be portable. We no longer were confined to our record players and consequently our homes when we wanted to listen to music. Then came the advent of the Walkman—a device that allowed us to listen to music anywhere that we could carry it. And now, we can tuck a matchbook-sized iPod into our shirt and more conveniently have our favorite tunes at our fingertips.
And because these electronic gadgets allow us to listen to music anywhere, we now have a playlist for every activity in which we participate. We create playlists for the gym, romantic evenings, long car rides, and celebrations. It makes sense; music inspires us, calms us, brings us joy and peace, creates memories for us, hones our attentiveness and of course, music helps our creativity.
Music can activate, stimulate and relax the mind and body causing us to react and feel a particular way depending on the song. Music sets a mood and a tone; it conveys emotions, thoughts and ideas; it conjures images. Music allows us to daydream and fantasize, allowing us to let go, unlocking our own ideas, all of which are necessary in the development of any creative work. I find this particularly true with my writing.
For me, music forms a creative zone in which I can envelop myself. I listen when I write because I am soothed and relaxed by the beats and inspired by the lyrics. Music is the launching pad in which I often overcome writing blocks and generate ideas.
Playlists work because they give direction to our emotions. A slow, sad song may make you contemplative and melancholy whereas a rock song may make you want to dance and turn up the volume. So it’s logical that we would feel inclined to compile like music to fit certain situations. For me, the concept seems to work the same with writing. I listen to music that has a similar tone, emotion and feeling to what I am writing.
Although one playlist will not fit every writer and every piece of work, the following is a playlist I created to inspire and spark creativity.
Cheryl Wheeler (http://cherylwheeler.com)
“But the Days and Nights are Long”
The Weepies (www.theweepies.com)
“The World Spins Madly On”
“Take It From Me”
“Gotta Have You”
Alison Krauss &Union Station (http://alisonkrauss.com)
“Lucky as You”
“As Lovely As You”
“When You Say Nothing At All”
Nickel Creek (www.nickelcreek.com)
“When You Come Back Down”
These songs are just suggestions and might not work for you but it is a good way to discover music you may not know and a great way to start creating a playlist to pump your creativity.
Causes Sherry Parnell Supports
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, Heifer International