“Seek out new music.”
Most of us now carry devices on us that can store hundreds if not thousands of songs on them. We listen to these songs sometimes on repeat, sometimes on shuffle, sometimes in playlists, and sometimes on their own. We share music with our friends and family. Some people enjoy classical, others rock, or rap, or techno, or indie. But regardless of how diverse your musical tastes may be, it’s wonderful to give your ears and mind the chance to explore new rhythms, new beats, and new harmonies in music you haven’t heard before.
A song always requires at least two hearings to even come close to grasping its content. The first hearing is to familiarize yourself with the terrain of the new song. The second is to pay closer attention to that terrain, realize there may be meaningful lyrics, or harmonies that you missed the first time. After that, each new listen uncovers more and more layers of meaning, depth, and beauty.
We can easily condition ourselves to our music. Maybe we always listen to a certain song when sad, or playback a specific song to indulge in nostalgia. The harmonies that hit our eardrums surge signals to our brains that trigger familiarity in our memories, like the first scent of spring reminding you of childhood, or the campfire smell that reminds you of going trick of treating on Halloween. And sometimes its easy to get lost in the familiar, the comfortable, the nostalgic.
But challenge yourself to sample new music. Ask what your friends are listening to. Ask them to send you their “best of”, or the songs that inspire them. You may not get the same meaning out of the song, but listening to it makes the song yours to apply your own meaning to.
Music is universal to the human condition. To deny yourself the diversity of gorgeous music out there is to deny yourself the diversity of humanity. Indulge in the new. Seek out new music. Treat your ears to a new taste, your heart to a new decadence, and your mind to a new perspective.