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The impact of music upon our lives

We must not underestimate the influence music has on us. Many situations have developed, some of which we had no control over, and some we contributed to. As some of our elders would say, “It’s a time in the land and it ain’t no turpentine.”

One of the ways some of us choose to cope with our various circumstances is to sing or listen to a variety of music. Regardless of our age, we have favorite types of music, such as jazz, rock and roll, classical, gospel, country music, spirituals, and others. I like all of the ones named, much to the dissatisfaction of one of our children. Because I played “The Messiah” tape year round, I have yet to locate my “missing tape,” as well as my classical music tapes. Former students at West Florence and Wilson High Schools were quick to veto my selected radio stations when I gave them a ride to the Career Center or home.

Nevertheless, how does music affect us? How does music influence our lives? What are the effects of listening to music? How does music affect our mood and emotions?

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The impact of music on us as human beings can boost our mood and reduce pain and anxiety. Music helps us also emotionally and relaxes and satisfies the mind. Evidence of this can be seen daily by witnessing headphones worn by persons who may be listening to music as they walk, run, ride the bicycle, exercise in the fitness facilities, ride in vehicles and on motorcycles, use various computers, and other opportunities.

Research suggests that music has sociological effects on us, regardless of age, gender, race, or socio-economic status. Music can affect illness, depression, spending, productivity, our perception of our society, the world, and our environment. Some research has suggested that music can increase aggressiveness in behavior, including committing criminal acts. Other negative effects include the playing of music in vehicles that is so loud, it can be heard blocks away. Too, listening to music that contains profane language does nothing to contribute to godly expressions.

While I personally enjoy the sounds of Motown, I encourage all of us not to forget the hymns. There is a serious need for us to be lifted up spiritually. The experiences caused by COVID-19, as well as the daily challenges we face trying to provide food, clothing, shelter, medicine, and emotional support for family and friends demands a “Blessed Assurance” from above. Whether we have a happy experience or a sad experience, we need to be reminded that “God Will Take Care of You” because “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”

So much is happening in our families, in our community, as well as the world, yet we need not forget to count our blessings. “Rejoice Ye Pure in Heart, rejoice give thanks and sing.” The next time you feel down and out, be reminded to sing “We’ve Come This Far By Faith.” “Father, I Stretch My Hands to Thee, No Other Help I Know.” Here are some other hymns that can help in our varied circumstances.

Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee

O Master Let Me Walk Thee

O God Our Help in Ages Past

Continue to enjoy your various types of music. However, whatever you may be going through, I encourage each of you to research the story behind the writing of one of my favorite hymns, written by Horatio G. Spafford, “It Is Well With My Soul.”

When peace like a river attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll,

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well with my soul,

Chorus: It is well with my soul. It is well it is well with my soul.

Allie E. Brooks, Jr. is the former superintendent of Florence School District One and past principal of Wilson High School.

Research suggests that music has sociological effects on us, regardless of age, gender, race, or socio-economic status. Music can affect illness, depression, spending, productivity, our perception of our society, the world, and our environment. 

Music affects us

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