In his book 'This is Your Brain on Music', Daniel Levitin, a rocker-turned neuroscientist, explores the connection between music and our brain, providing some interesting insights on why we love the music we do. In particular, Levitin helped me understand why Stevie Wonder, who made his way on to my soundtrack as a pre-teen, was still on my soundtrack during my 30's, the decade of launching a career and learning to mother. He writes, "teenage years are emotionally charged years of self-discovery. Because of the emotional component of these years, our amygdala (the seat of emotion in our brain) and neurotransmitters (transporters of information from the brain to other parts of the body) act in concert to 'tag' these musical memories as something important." What kinds of music and which artists did you love as a teenager? As an adult, do you listen to similar music?
The Night Journal by Elizabeth Crook has me asking a lot of questions about the telling our story. Here's a synopsis from the back cover: Meg Mabry has always felt oppressed by her family's legendary past. In the 1890's her great-grandmother Hannah Bass wrote revealing diaries of her life on the southwestern frontier, Hannah's daughter published these accounts, creating an American literary landmark, and cementing her career as a renowned historian in the process. Meg, however, in rebellion against the imperious Bassie, has refused until now to read her great-grandmother's journals.
In analyzing my teenage 'tell your story' soundtrack, I observed a thing or two about myself. Not so much the need for story edits, but definitely some insights, clues as to what I might want to think about for the future. But more on that later. As you scan this mix, you'll see that, as a teenager, daring to dream, for me, was largely about becoming a cheerleader and finding true love. Piano and grades had become inconsequential, and angst was now on the scene.
Definitely, definitely consider creating a musical mix for your children, grandchildren. As I pull together these songs, limiting myself to only five songs (constraints can be a good thing), I am not only sharing the highlights of my soundtrack story, I am finding that there is some re-writing of portions of the story -- a very good thing. But more on that later. Without further ado, here is Part II, memorable songs from my pre-teen years:
Have you ever wondered -- What if my great grandmother had bequeathed to me an iPod (suspend your disbelief for a moment) with songs that had inspired her, that encouraged her to dream? What if she had annotated her musical mix with a sentence or two saying why these songs had been meaningful to her? In short, what if she had told me her story through with a soundtrack? On the odds that I will someday be a great grandmother, and because I do have an iPod, I hereby bequeath (thanks to iMix) Part I of my soundtrack story to my posterity - the music which inspired me as a child, as well as beloved Christmas songs.