I was in downtown Portland yesterday with a friend, headed to a store to do some shopping, when, across the street, in a corner, were two guys playing guitars and singing. One of them was without a shirt. It wasn’t a particularly busy time of day, and so few people were walking by. And yet, these two guys were singing their hearts out, sometimes singing at the top of their lungs. I asked myself- “what would possess someone to come out in breezy weather without a shirt and much of an audience to sing in a street corner?”
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about music. Why is music so powerful? I’ve come up with some plausible explanations. First of all, music was created by God so that 1- we could worship Him through it, and 2- we could fellowship and communicate with others. Once we understand why music was created, we can use deductive reasoning to arrive at the answer. Music is powerful because just about EVERYONE can understand it, feel it, and use it to express oneself. If you think about it, we are all musicians, to one degree or another.
Now, having said that, there are some people that have NO business singing or playing an instrument publicly! 🙂 But because everyone has a bit of music in their heart and brain, we can ALL relate to it, understand it, and use it as a way to express ourselves. Obviously, there are some that are more talented than others. MUCH more. Classical composers such as Beethoven, Wagner and Tchaikovsky are some that rush to my mind when I think of über-talented musicians. Geniuses, really! And regardless of how you feel about pop music, artists such as The Beatles, Nat King Cole, Elton John, Jimi Hendrix, Sting were/are incredibly talented as well. I personally know or have worked with artists such as John Stoddart, David Foster, Nolan Williams, Jr., Sam Ocampo, Naomi Striemer, to name a few, that are amazingly talented.
But we don’t all have to have a high level of music training or knowledge to appreciate and enjoy music! Why is it that a guy like Elton John can have a career spanning 5 decades? There’s something about his musical talents and abilities, that allows many to continue to feel, appreciate and enjoy his music. And while many can do just that, many others have enough talent/desire to go out there, like these two guys in downtown Portland, to go out and sing as if they were singing in a stadium full of people.
Because I understand why music is so powerful (because everyone can relate to it, and is a musician, to some level), I strive to share what’s in my heart when I play the violin and give a concert. My greatest desire, artistically speaking, is to play in such a way that people are moved by and spoken to through music. I love it when people tell me “you played the words to that song”. I find SO MUCH joy in being able to communicate and speak through music, that I know of nothing else I’d rather be doing!