Music, at its essence is what gives us memories. And the longer a song existed in our lives the more memories we have of it.
This morning, standing in line at the local coffee shop, I hear it. It’s one of my favorites. The instrumental intro followed by the opening lyrics: “They say that the road ain’t no place to start a family…”My face lights up. I close my eyes and smile. I love this song. I It brings back happy memories.
I’m 16. Its spring and it’s warm outside. The girls and I are heading to a baseball game at our high school. All the windows are down and we sing as loud as we can. It’s like a visit with a long-time friend. It’s like a warm hug.
I like hearing old songs. They bring flashbacks of people. Places. Smells.
Has a song ever caught you off guard and brought back a tidal wave of memories? It’s like flipping through a photo album of your life. You can remember all the details of experiences like a first love or leaving home for good. Music is like your own personal time machine evoking specific memories.
Studies have shown that music engages our brain regions linked to emotions and creativity. That same region of the brain where memories of our past are supported and retrieved. It serves as a hub, linking familiar music, memories and emotion together, helping to explain why music can elicit strong responses from people. Our brains are hard-wired to connect music with long-term memory. Even for those with severe dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other diseases that damage brain chemistry, music can tap deep emotional recall and reconnect to the world.
“We don’t remember days, we remember moments”
– Cesare Pavese
Music is a universal language. Common emotions like happiness and anger are expressed similarly in music across cultures. Music is powerful. It’s a fundamental bridge between people. Leaving with my coffee, I hear it: “I’m forever yours, ever yours, faithfully.” My day is starting out with a smile about the past with my high school friends and also the future – I can’t wait to make new memories with new friends at the Eastmark First Friday Concert featuring a Journey tribute band.
What else do you think is awesome? Check out our previous post – we think laughing is awesome.
Why 22 things? Learn more about the 22 Awesome Things series in our kick-off blog.
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