Life is hectic. As a husband, father of three wonderful children, entrepreneur and triathlete it seems as if there is no time to relax. Seriously, I do not remember the last time I laughed the kind of laugh you get when you completely let go. Ever been at a concert and see someone who is lost in the music, dancing like they just don’t care? Ever wonder what that must be like? Me too, until last night.
We went back to Wisconsin for Christmas to see our families – first time in 5 years. As you would expect, the airport was crowded and our flight to Chicago was delayed. Even after takeoff we circled over Indiana for an hour before receiving clearance to land at O’Hare where my parents picked us up. Despite these typical travel challenges I enjoyed the flight more than any recent trip I can recall. My 11-year old son sat next to me and we pulled out our iPad and used a splitter so we could share music on our headphones. For two hours we randomly selected artists and songs and played air guitar and drums the entire flight – much to the embarrassment of my 17-year old son and wife in the seats across the aisle. This didn’t bother me a bit, as we laughed the entire flight.
Music has a funny way of unleashing the inner child in all of us. We played songs we haven’t heard in years. My son listened to an entire Boston album (yep, Boston). Throw in some Eminem (edited version of course), Young the Giant, Hootie, U2, Pink Floyd, Incubus, Foo Fighters, Goo Goo Dolls, Dave Matthews, Tony Bennett, etc. and we hit every genre. A few U2 songs had me focusing heavily on the music, the memories associated with my college or high school years when these bands were in their prime. For a few hours I was lost in the music, the smile on my son’s face as he experienced new songs (well, new to him) and the bond we shared through music – not the popcorn variety out today, but real music.
Music can be an incredible weapon in stress management, learning, exercise and simple happiness. We play the classics every evening in our home – Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, etc. We keep it a low volume but simple background music as we prepare dinner and eat as a family. It is amazing how this type of music can calm your nerves and inspire conversation. Acid rock may not have the same affect. Our kids have grown up appreciating all genres and will associate Frank Sinatra with pleasant family memories and hopefully do the same for their children. Workouts are often inspired and even improved with a perfect soundtrack. As I reflect on the power of music I think of Kenny, our audio expert here at Rival – he would be the first to remind us of the power of music…..it’s why there is an Academy Award for best soundtrack. Music creates the move, the emotion, the pace and even the energy of any movie. Try watching one without it!
Here’s the takeaway: Put on some music, right now. Find your favorite artists, pick your favorite songs, make a play list for your iPod, look up Pandora and find a genre, artist or mood and have music bring it to life…..and enjoy some time with family and friends as you create your own soundtrack.