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Not Synonymous

September 4, 2010

I love to sing along with the songs in my music library (even if there aren’t any words). I only have elementary school training for singing, so how great of a singer I am is debatable (or maybe it’s not). I still sing, nonetheless, nonstop. Living in a dorm, however, has caused me to be unable to sing the same way as I used to. Or it at least caused me to feel more cramped as I am no longer living with my family but with people whom have never seen me prior to the first day of orientation. This only caused me to listen to my music with limited singing.

While doing homework for a very fun class I decided to listen to my radio. May I add that that was probably one of the few times I was able to concentrate on my homework while listening to music. Maybe it was because I felt too closed in to sing. I remember a professor telling me how she found it difficult to see how music even without a definite beat can help people relax because she felt that it was still music, nonetheless. Anyway, while I was doing my homework, I was able to listen to the music, which is a skill that is commonly impaired when we sing with music. It was such a touching moment, to listen to my music with its natural voice(s). I actually felt more affected by the music when I wasn’t singing along which is odd because you’d (at least I would) assume that by placing yourself into the music, you are connecting to it on a deeper level. That might be true, but what people tend to do when they sing along with music is hear and not listen. When you hear the music, you are able to connect with the techniques used in the song such as intonation, and rhythm. When you listen to music, you are able to connect with how the artist or composer wanted the piece to feel and be interpreted. Only on really genuine levels do we ever manage to execute both of those tasks while singing.

So if you are one of those people who loves to sing along with your music, try, every once in a while, to just listen. We do a lot of hearing in our lives, and sometimes the listening part is forgotten. Once you have that feel, then try hearing the music as well as listening, and your version of the song will be that much more precious.

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