Why Your Life Needs More Live MusicOctober 17, 2018
By Sydney Glass
As graduate students, we often encounter many ups and downs or “rollercoasters” throughout our graduate careers and personal lives, and the burden of both can be overwhelming. It is easy to become consumed by our studies and research because so much of our future depends on successful completion of our program. In doing so, it’s easy to neglect ourselves and those closest to us. To find balance in our lives, it is essential to have a positive outlet and strong support system where we can release our pent-up emotions and renew our motivation to continue. Research has shown that music can be beneficial to incorporate into our everyday lives,[i] but I think that we should take it one step further and consider why live music could be the key to solving many of our problems and our stress reliever as graduate students.
“Music’s the medicine of the mind.” – John A. Logan
I think that there is truth in this quote, as I can recall countless times when being at a live performance and singing or dancing along to my favorite songs put me in a great mood. Whether it was because I was able to relate to the artist’s lyrics and draw connections to my own personal experiences or the beat simply moved me, listening to music live made me feel like I wasn’t alone in my journey. Through the experience, I could appreciate all the little things that made life worthwhile.
Live music creates a space for people from diverse backgrounds to come together and bond over their mutual appreciation of a particular artist or band. It doesn’t matter if you go with a group of friends or you decide to go solo. You won’t feel alone because you will share the same connection with everyone in the audience, the love for whoever is on stage. You might even end the night with a number of new friends.
Not only does live music give you a chance to meet new people, but it also lets you disconnect from the real world. For those two hours, you are able to simply live in the moment without a care or worry, which we all know is rare for grad students. Two weeks ago, I went to a concert and it was the highlight of my weekend because I didn’t have to think about approaching deadlines or the number of chapters I still had to read for class. Instead, I took advantage of the self-care opportunity that this concert presented and absorbed the positive energy radiating from the hundreds of people around me. I think that sometimes we forget that we are human, and to continue to succeed in our everyday lives, we have to step back and take time to recharge.[ii]
So, the next time you feel stressed or bogged down with your graduate studies or life itself, stop what you are doing and get tickets to see your favorite artist, or check out the smaller venues in the DC/Northern VA area.[iii] It’s a must-have experience, and you will be surprised at how much better you will feel after the performance.
“There’s nothing better than live music. It’s raw energy, and raw energy feeds the soul.” – Dhani Jones
[i] Kendra Cherry, “The Surprising Psychological Benefits of Music,” reviewed by Steven Gans, MD, Verywell Mind, last modified July 14, 2018, https://www.verywellmind.com/surprising-psychological-benefits-of-music-4126866
[ii] Ruben Castaneda, “6 Reasons Going to a Concert Is Good for Your Health,” U.S. News & World Report, last modified October 26, 2016, https://health.usnews.com/wellness/mind/slideshows/6-reasons-going-to-concerts-is-good-for-your-health?onepage
[iii] “Concert Venues,” Discover Fairfax Virginia, accessed October 9, 2018, https://discoverfairfaxva.com/things-to-do/concert-venues/