By John Posner: Guest Columnist
Editor’s note: This is part of in a week-long series in which local columnists talk about their love for music in celebration of “Music in Our Schools Week” at Clovis schools.
E.Y. Harburg once said, “Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.”
Music is not just a mere consequence of life — it is, in a real sense, the symbolic translation of the life process itself — for the procession of time and the unfolding of one’s life is but a series of events tied together by a discernable rhythm; a cognizable flow; a recognizable pattern.
One might wonder what the catalyst is behind our actions — what gets us going each day? It is that undeniable force that pulls a person from one action to the next, not unlike the movement of water from the snowcaps on the top of a mountain, flowing through mountain streams to the lake in the valley below.
In many ways, music replicates that process — notes that flow from one to another describing a pattern that is recognizable. Just as songs can be associated with a clear emotional reaction, the pattern of events describing our life can, likewise, affect our mood and mindset.
Music can set the tone for one’s entire day — conversely, our taste in music is often determined by our mood. Even stress can be affected by music — soothed or aggravated. The connection between music and its influence on our life is clear and significant.
Just think how you will feel sitting next to someone early one morning who is whistling “The Entertainer,” better known to many as “The Ice Cream Man Song.” You know they are happy and thanks to the song they are singing, it alters your mood and brings a smile to your face. This is all thanks to music — thanks to a song.
Music can make us happy or sad. Music can reflect back on a bitter or sweet memory. Music can tell a story about our lives. Music can express our thoughts and feelings in a way nothing else can. You can play a song for the one you love and they can fully understand how you feel about them sometimes based on that single musical choice.
Perhaps Victor Hugo said it best, “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.”
Music is a vital part of our lives and I encourage everyone to take a moment to pause and think about what role music plays for them.
Col. John Posner is commander of the 27th Fighter Wing at Cannon Air Force Base.