Memoir Prompt #119: The Power of Music

Music has a powerful effect on us. It has a way of touching our emotions, connecting our body to sound, and connecting us to days gone by. Today I want you to pick one of your favorite songs. Take a minute and just listen to it. Then put it on repeat and keep listening to it as you set your timer. Remember to use all your senses as you write: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.

Begin by writing the feelings the song brings up. How do those show up in your body? Do you feel it in a particular part of your body? Does it bring a warmth, tension, energy or some other feeling? When was the first time you heard this song? Where were you? Who was with you? What were you doing? What was your first impression of the song? Did you like it, hate it, or did it really do nothing for you? Why? What about this song made an impact on you? Was it the music, the lyrics, or perhaps it was the way someone described the song or the song’s meaning to you? Following your thoughts until you come to a natural end. Perhaps the first encounter of the song leads you to a later experience, the one where you finally understood the meaning of the song, or at least the meaning the song has for you. 

You may be able to do this exercise several times for the same song, bringing to light different experiences you had where it played in the background of your life. You may want to try this for several songs, even songs that bring negative feelings. What can you learn about yourself from these songs and the experiences that surround them? Is there a lesson there you can share? Is there a story that unfolds when you follow the soundtrack of your life?

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