What music does for our souls

For an Intro to Media and Communication assignment, students were asked to write about the impact of specific songs or music in general has had on their lives. Below are excerpts from their work. 

A song that has a lot of meaning to me is “Burn it to the Ground” by Nickelback. Nickelback is one of my mom’s favorite groups and she would always listen to this song whenever we would do stuff around the house and we would have so much fun together and it made it so special to me. Every time I hear the song I think about spending time with my mom. 

– Tanner Gintof

In all honesty, I listen to way too much music to necessarily have a “favorite” song as most of my screen time on my phone is listening to music and looking up songs that I like. I more or less have certain genres of music I really like based on certain things growing up. Like I have a big love for Spanish music because I have two cousins from Puerto Rico who my father raised like they were my sisters due to my aunt having to clean herself up. My mom is also married to a Puerto Rican man and all his family does is listen to Spanish music back then and the upbeat tempo and the way used their words always resonated very well with me even though I could not understand most of what they were saying.

I am also a really big fan of R&B as it just reminds me of the times in my childhood on Sundays when it would basically be family cleanup day and my father, or my other aunt, would play some R&B music to get us all up and moving and cleaning to the beat. 

– Isiah Hughes 

It is hard to imagine a world without music. Music, to me, seems like a natural part of being, like breathing. When we are not listening to music, we are playing it in our minds as we live out our daily lives. I have heard people say they cannot even work without music playing. So why is this? I believe it has a lot to do with expression. 

Most people have music moods. I’m sure you have heard someone say, “I listen to whatever suits my mood at the time,” or some version of that. I believe that is because we express ourselves through what we listen to and what we create, and it also serves as an outlet that allows for people to connect and communicate. Music has a way of touching us and making us feel. 

– Amanda Johnson

My most profound memory in music while growing up would have to be The Doors song “Riders on the Storm.” My mother used to play this song on a burned CD along with a variety of other ‘70s hits as well. It would bring me joy every time I heard the unique intro of rainstorm and melody. Nowadays, I find my playlist has this and other songs my parents would play for me when I was a toddler. 

– Christin Keeling

I came across my most listened-to songs for the month and the song “She’s Royal” by Tarrus Riley showed up and I knew that was the song I had to write about. This song used to be played around me all the time at family gatherings, cookouts and birthday parties. I recall dancing with my aunts and grandma to this song and being embarrassed when they would pull me out of my comfort zone. It’s a slow song about finding love and treating the woman of your dreams like a queen and I think that is a good message to preach to anyone. It doesn’t matter what age they are. It also helps that this is a reggae song. Reggae music has always held a special place in my heart because my family is Jamaican, and no other genre of music makes me feel more at peace than hearing a good, old-style reggae tune. 

– Devaughn Miller

A song that is meaningful to me is “Darkness on the Edge of Town” by Bruce Springsteen. From kindergarten to 8th grade, I rode to school with my dad. He was an English teacher at the school I went to, and every day the two of us would pile into his 2010 Honda and drive the 40-plus minutes to Evanston and back. On rare occasions, my dad would let me choose the radio station, but usually he would have E-Street Radio the whole way to and from school. Whenever I hear “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” or frankly any Bruce Springsteen song, I am taken back to that old Honda and the memories that we made together, five days a week for nine years. Listening to that song, I can smell the cloth seats, diet coke, and can picture my view out the front window of the car. Listening to the song with my eyes closed brings back so many emotions, and I’m so glad that my dad shared it with me. 

– Annika Nelson 

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