How Does Music Affect You ?

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If you didn’t read yesterday’s post, please give it a go, o.k.?

Those inspiring kids had profound results from relating to music. One important factor was that they all played music. Having grown up in a musical family, I know the power of “making music”. Psychologists and Teachers understand that power, too !

But whether you have music affect you by making it or just listening to it, it does have some rich rewards.

What’s your experience with music?

How does it affect you?

Why do you think music has such effects on people?

Do you dare leave a comment ???

Mideast Youth – Thinking Ahead

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I’ve received permission from Esra’a Al Shafei to reprint an article she wrote on Mideast Youth – Thinking Ahead. Here’s a bit of bio about her:

A 21 year old student from a Kingdom the size of a bathtub in the Gulf: Bahrain. She comes from a long line of lift engineers and personnel managers. She likes hardcore acoustic noise-terror music and people who can take a joke. She thinks college ultimately does not matter in the slightest, but unfortunately, some kind of socio-political imposition of cultural norms forces her to attend. She enjoys drinking flavored milk and writing about herself in 3rd person to remind herself of her existence.”

And, here’s her article, Iraqi Youth Use Music To Deal With Chaos:

Iraqi youth use music to deal with chaos

Author: Esra’a (Bahrain) – June 1, 2008

I’ve always wondered how Iraqi youth must feel now that at least 5 years have passed since the war started, with their situation only getting direr. Religious extremism there is worse than I expected, or at least that’s how the media right now is making it seem. Lately an article from Baghdad by Reuters explores how some youth deal with the war around them; through their passion for music. I found the article very inspiring and touching, especially since it deals with something that all of us take for granted but probably all love and can’t live without: Music. Something Iraqi youth are currently risking their lives being involved in.

“When I play my oud, I defy violence in society,” said Haneen Imad, 17, referring to her traditional Arabic lute, as she played an old folk song on its strings. “When I hear the sound of a helicopter droning over my head, I play louder.”

[…]

Farand Nashaat, 14, hides his trumpet in a rucksack on the way to school so as not to draw attention to his love of music.

[…]

Zuhel Sultan, a 16-year-old pianist, joined the music school when she was 10. Gunmen killed her father four years ago and her mother died of a stroke shortly after, but she says she’s lucky.

“I’m lucky because I have music. With music, I can overcome my difficulties — the dangers of roads, explosions, fearing for relatives,” she said with a broad smile.

[…]

Despite hardships, the school provides all instruments, ballet costumes and musical scores — and offers a cherished escape from daily life for pupils like Husam al-Deen, a 17-year-old cellist.

“My most joyful time is at school,” he said. “It’s a beautiful feeling — we forget the problems on the street, the war, the Americans. We forget everything until we go home.”

I bet after reading this article, you too might feel lucky that something you love so much (if you love music, and I can’t imagine anyone who doesn’t) comes so easy in your life while others have to risk their lives just to play it.

For the heavy metal fans out there, there’s a prominent band called Acrassicauda in Baghdad who are seeking official refugee status as what they do is extremely risky as well:

Original members Firas (bass), Tony (lead guitar), Marwan (drums), Faisal (rhythm guitar) and Waleed (lead vocals) were only able to play 3 shows before the war started in 2003. Soon after, Waleed retired from the band and fled the country, leaving Faisal to fill the void of lead singer. Due to increased security precautions throughout Iraq, it became difficult to practice or even get through a show without serious problems. As the situation worsened in Baghdad they began receiving death threats from insurgent groups and religious fundamentalists accusing them of Satan-worship. Eventually, it proved impossible to find any venue that was safe to perform in.

You can read more about them at their blog here. You can see how much they have to deal with just so they can practice and play their music. It’s an increasingly depressing situation for musicians and music lovers in Iraq.

Who Am I ?

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This blog is a response to some ‘Net-wisdom and the request of a bloggin’ buddy —> reveal more of my personal life.

For ten months, my personal life has been an unmitigated struggle with flu-like symptoms, nausea, muscle ache, bone ache, ultra dry skin, hair loss, exaggerated depressive tendencies, the potential to rage at irritants, and anemia with its consequent fatigue—just a typical response to the drugs that treat Hepatitis C.

What helps me fly above this unequivocal crappiness is, first, my sense of spirituality and my willingness to use the pain and suffering to learn submission to the invincible Power of God.

Second are the Ginseng and vitamins I’ve been taking for ten months and the recent addition of the best whole-food nutritional supplement I can get . . .

You should be resolving at least a fuzzy image of what I’m like by now.

However, as my Supreme Spiritual Guide says, “…music [is] a ladder for your souls…”

~~~Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 38

So, having my iTunes jacked into my ears is an important part of my spiritual therapeutics.

And, to reveal even more intimate knowledge about me:

My all-time favorite song.

My all-time favorite singer.

My all-time favorite musical group !

Now, I do hope some of you will leave your comments about what all this says about me…