The Power of Love! Do you know it? The old song from Huey Lewis and the News? (See it on YouTube here.) It is one of my favorites, probably because I was in college and college is where I met my husband. The song was popular at that time. It was featured in the Back to the Future movie in 1985. When I hear The Power of Love, it immediately transports me back to the 1980’s. Music has the power to do that, in my opinion. We hear a song from the past and in a flash, we remember; before we consciously even realize, we are singing along, word for word, with the tune. It happened again this weekend.
A friend of ours has a very talented daughter. We have watched her grow up. We used to be neighbors and know this family well. On Saturday, this young lady was singing at a classy lounge in a small downtown in the mid-west, near where she grew up and we were neighbors. This was a three-hour acoustic performance – just her and a similarly talented guitarist. We were treated to songs from Elton John, The Eagles, Christina Perri, Taylor Swift, and more. Each was better than the rest! My favorite was probably Unchained Melody, which most people today know from the from the movie Ghost with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore (1990). The song has a long history before that, as noted in this article in The Atlantic in July of 2015. Our lovely young singer-friend got to show off her wide-range in this piece and hit the high notes beautifully without any hint of a screech or crack in pitch. It truly gave us all chills. Her mom gets chills every time she hears it. I can more than understand why. It was beautiful!
While listening to this beautiful, talented singer, I told her mom that it made me miss the music in our house. We never had a singer. But, we had/have a talented pianist. It is just that he does not live at home any longer. Now, a graduate student in the field of Statistics, our young pianist would fill our house with all kinds of music. Classical, and broadway musicals or show-tunes were most commonly played, along with some pop and of course any music chosen for recitals – which were held once a year, right at this time.
A lot of memories converged for me this weekend. I am working at a school where I drive past the church where the piano recitals were held. My pianist has played many acoustic performances, some with the very music our friend sang on Saturday night.
The piano would be played in practice, daily, sometimes for great lengths of time. It was obvious the performance on Saturday had required practice. As a performer, our friend was relaxed and enjoyable to watch. She has been performing with this guitarist for a while, as well as with a band during the summer months in which he is also the lead guitarist.
Both of these talented young people, my son and our friend, have incorporated their love and talent for music into their lives. Yet, neither are majoring in college for music. It is possible to love music, be a talented musical performer, and share your love for music without making it work or filled with competition of chair placements, section leaders, or winning a solo. Let me be clear that they both, as individuals, have enough talent to have made music a more “official” part of their degrees, lives, or wages. However, their love for music has kept it alive for them – we benefit because they share their talent through performance and practice.
It is obvious that music in some form will always be with these young adults. Just last week, my son had to take a break from studying. What did he do? He went and played piano. He has access to music rooms at his university, as well as an excellently maintained piano at the church he attends. His self-imposed therapy worked……upon returning to his apartment, he was able to finish his work easily. His head had been cleared! I love that playing the piano can do that for him!
Music is powerful! It can be used for entertainment, enjoyment, relaxation, and even stress relief. Music can transport you to a different time and/or place. It can give you chills, make you cry, or fill your heart with joy. Those who have music in their lives, in some form, are probably some of the most lucky people on earth! Music is powerful!