Music is a magic that can change the world.
Let’s unpack this. Gandhi told us to “be the change we want to see in the world.” Changing the world by making it a little bit brighter starts with a change in ourselves. We have to first find the light within ourselves.
The chair of the Department of Music at my undergrad is frequently quoted, “We believe that music has the power to change and transform lives starting with us.” When we make music, we must first be open to feeling its power firsthand.
But what is music, and what is its power?
Music does so many things. Although there is much debate about whether we can truly call it a “universal language,” music is a force bigger than ourselves that connects us together. It’s tied to culture, identity, entertainment, emotion, and so much more. There has probably never been a day you can think of that wasn’t in some way punctuated by music.
Joy has been defined in psychology, philosophy, and religion as both something (a mood, an emotion, a disposition, a spiritual practice, or all of these) that makes us feel more whole in ourselves and something that makes us feel more connected to others in the world. More specifically, we feel more connected and in tune with the uniqueness of other individuals. We sense and feel comfort in our own individuality, but we also sense and find profound happiness in the same thing in other people.
Music and joy must be connected.
This website is dedicated to understanding this connection between joy and music as well as other perspectives to understanding music as a listener, performer, or composer. The site is full of resources (geared towards pianists but can be applicable to all musicians) that examine why some pieces of music make us feel the way we do; how we can practice joy more deliberately and make practice less painful; and basic resources on music theory, piano technique, and music cognition.
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I hope the posts and resources here help you nuance your questions about music and get you started in the right direction as you journey to find the answers. I also hope that the resources here help you find more joy and meaning in the music you listen to and create.
In a world that stands divided more and more each day, we all need to keep making music to bring us back together. Music is a magic that can change the world, and it starts with us. Practice joy, and make unique music. <3