The Universal Language

September 1, 2019 | by rebecca stewart

Is there anything that can pull instant emotion out of thin air like music? That can take you to a specific moment or memory in the space of a few chords? I’m sure we all relate to music differently, but relate to it we do.

I think back to the role that music has played in my life. I can remember the tunes my mom loved to jam to when cleaning the house or baking cookies on Saturdays. Music was a way for us to connect when our words (and let's be real my teenaged emotions) weren't. I’m talking a just-the-two-of-us road trip to Minnesota complete with Burger King crowns and suckers for microphones. I will never hear Build Me Up Buttercup and not think of my mom. When certain country songs come on the radio, I am instantly transported to me and my dad, driving to the farm, sneaking a taco from Taco John’s before heading home. As an adult, I sang a mini-concert to my daughter every night for the better part of a decade. Randomly breaking into song (and dance) is a life’s constant I’ve, shall we say, gifted my nieces and nephews. Music, it’s ever-present.

Music can build bridges and create connections where maybe you thought none existed. Think about it, we carefully select songs and music for weddings, slideshows, celebrations, funerals, and everything in between. They convey what we’re feeling, often more eloquently than we could express with words alone.

When we share a favorite song with someone, it’s almost like sharing a piece of our soul.

With that thought in mind, perhaps music can be another avenue of connection between us or our children and their and our grandparents. We often talk of completing generational projects, delving into family history, perhaps music should play a bigger role in that journey. Music is a bridge-builder, and just maybe this sharing of musical favorites could shine the spotlight on commonalities just waiting to be discovered.  

While one generation or another might consistently claim not to understand the other generation’s music, there are always intersections. Let music be your universal language because after all…that’s what it is. 

Originally printed in the September 2019 issue of Simply Family Magazine

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