A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Why I don't listen to music... much.

This summer, I spent a weekend at Crime Con with my cousin, Claire. One of the things I enjoyed most about the weekend was getting to spend some quality time with Claire so we could get to know each other better. Claire and I live in different states, so we really only get to see each other at Christmas.

Claire loves music, and the first night we were getting dressed for dinner, she asked me what kind of music I wanted to listen to while we got ready.

“I don’t care, I don’t listen to music,” I told her.

“What!? How do you not listen to music!?” she asked.

“I just don’t really listen to it. So you can put on whatever you want, I don’t mind.”

A night or two later, when Claire was playing me one of her favorite pieces of music, she really tried to get an answer out of me. Why don’t I listen to music? I’m a music teacher. It’s a little strange for a music teacher to not listen to music... especially since I like music.

The only answer I could come up with is that I listen to music all day. I sing all day. I think about music all day. When I get home from work, I’m over it! So that’s what I told her.

The answer I gave Claire is true, but it is only one part of the answer, and it’s a more simplified version.

I’ve obviously thought about it a lot since then, and I came up with the two major reasons I don’t listen to music much. (I can’t say I don’t listen at all because that is not true.) 

# 1:

It’s true, I do listen to music all day. And not only that, but I listen to a lot of sound all day long. There’s music, singing, chatting, ukuleles, recorders, and on and on and on. Paired with all that sound is commotion.

Being an elementary teacher means I have to be ALERT and ENGAGED all day long. I heard my name, “Ms. Michael!” one hundred times a day. I am not complaining, I am just stating the reality of the job I have. After so much sound and commotion all day long, I am so excited to sit in either silence or listen to a “chill” podcast after work.

Speaking of after work... twice a week I teach piano lessons at my home in the evenings. So on those days, I not only have to be “on” all day at work, but when I come home, too. Again, not complaining. That’s just how it is. I know some people use music to wind down after a busy day, but for me, it’s just too much.


# 2:

When I listen to music, I want to listen to it. Really listen. I don’t want to just have it on in the background. I want to be actively engaged and focusing on the music. For instance, I’m not one to put on the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat soundtrack and just have it playing in the background while folding laundry. If Joseph is on, I may be folding laundry, but I’m also belting out every single word to the songs!

The other day after work, I did decide to relax by watching performances of past Super Bowl Halftime Shows. (NSYNC, Madonna, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Michael Jackson, in case you were wondering!) I watched for over an hour but I didn’t do anything else. I sat and watched and was engaged in what I was hearing.

I know it doesn’t have to be one or the other with music. I’m sure many people have a happy medium of sometimes having music on in the background and sometimes really focusing on it. But ya all know I’m an all or nothing gal, and when music is just on in the background, it feels like “noise”.

Well, I hope I’ve explained myself well! I do really love music. I just have a different relationship with it than most people since it’s my job!
 

What is your relationship to music?
Can you related to any of these thoughts?

19 comments:

  1. I love listening to music--especially when I am baking or working on art. I used to listen to music when I ran but discovered podcasts last year and like that way better. I have started listening to them on my drive into work, too. Morning radio/music was a bit too stressful (i.e. me constantly searching for a good song).

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  2. I could have written this! Same on all counts. I ran for a couple years without anything to listen to. I was so excited when I got an iPod. Listening to music lasted for maybe a week, now podcasts it is.

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only music teacher that feels this way! Sometimes I feel guilty about not listening to music more.

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    2. As another music teacher, yes. This is spot on!!!

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  3. I can definitely understand the "commotion" all day long! Sounds like you want your music listening time to be "quality" time. I like listening to music in the car and at home but I am also totally okay with listening to news radio too. I prefer the radio to a play list because I feel it keeps me more connected to the outside world. I know that may not make sense, but I like listening to the radio DJs/ announcers.

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    1. I know what you mean about being connected! There was a radio show I loved and used to listen to all the time on the way to work.

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  4. Interesting analysis on your situation - makes complete sense to me! I pretty much just listen to music in the car, or working out. If I'm at home, I like to enjoy the silence. It drives me a bit crazy with noise (music) going on because I feel like I can't have conversations with my family.

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    1. I used to love working out to music- and it can be a GREAT motivator, so I definitely get that.

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  5. All of this makes perfect sense to me. I would not think that because you are a music teacher, it would mean that you are obligated to be listening to music all the time.

    I listen to music when I race, or when I want to feel something else. Like when I'm mad, and I need to calm down, i'll blast music. when we want to dance in the kitchen with my son, we blast music. Any other time, I'm listening to a book or to NPR.

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    1. I remember reading on your blog about how you use music to calm down when you are angry. :)

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  6. Very interesting thoughts, sheds a little light on why podcasts are your go to choice.
    I can go either way, sometimes I am totally into what I am listening to and sometimes it's just a distraction so I won't think about stopping lol

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    1. I'm glad I could explain my thought process!

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  7. I am that same way. I have tried to explain it to Dave how I find the quiet peaceful. If I listen to music even quietly as background I find myself trying to focus on it. I can't run with music in headphones because I find it claustrophobic. I can listen to podcasts (in only one ear), I think I can tolerate it, because there is quiet around the words. I would say 99% I run without media.
    What do you think about surround sound stereo?

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    1. I don't really hear surround sound a lot but I suppose I'm okay with it as long as I'm actually listening to the music or dancing to music. :)

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  8. That makes complete sense. It's like me not wanting to be on my computer at home since I'm on my computer all the time at work. I love listening to music while working out, and I don't have to think while I'm running.

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    1. Yeah if I have a planning day and I'm on my computer a lot at work, that's the last thing I want to do at home!

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  9. It makes total sense to me that you're 100% engaged when you're listening to music because you're knowledgable about all the technical aspects of it.

    I'm the kind of person who HAS to sing a long if I know the words to a song so when I want music to just play in the background I have to play something I'm not super familiar with. Like at work I wouldn't listen to Taylor because I would be singing along all day. Instead I listen to Adele or something because I know her hits and like them a lot, but I don't know the rest of the album enough so my brain can let it play without distracting me.

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    1. I guess I do know about the technical aspects but I swear, 95% of the time I am listening to music I am just listening for pleasure, not analyzing or judging the complexity or lack thereof you know what I mean? I normally like music that is just very pleasing to the ear. I'm fine with a simple, feel good pop song! And Mozart is my fav composer, so talk about pleasing to the ear!

      That is interesting that you will be distracted if you hear music that you know really well. But that makes sense!

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