Music Nostalgia

  Last night, while searching through the ITunes store for some “new” music I came across Journey’s latest Greatest Hits Album.  Alone in my office at home, I clicked on the play button to preview one of their classic songs “Separate Ways.”  I hadn’t heard this song in many years.  So, I gave it a listen. 

Instantaneously, all of the words to the song came rushing back to me and without realizing what I was doing I began to sing along out loud. At the same time, I began drifting back to 1980- something.  There I was back in my parents living room, sitting too close to the front of their large television set with the black cable box equipped with a manual channel changer tuned to MTV.  I was infatuated with Steve Perry and mesmerized by the rest of the band in their blue jeans and 80’s styled hair.  There I sat with my tape recorder, making sure everyone else in the house was quiet so that I could record this very song to my tape.  For those few seconds, while previewing the song I was transported to a different time.   

Suddenly and unexpectedly, I felt a tap on my shoulder.  Startled I turned around.  Standing behind me listening to my off key rendition of “Separate Ways” was my husband who asked me “what are you doing?” with a perplexed look on his face.  I didn’t have to answer.  Quickly, he realized from the look on my face that I had clearly been somewhere else.  We both laughed.

This experience was a reminder of how quickly memories can surface while listening to music.  I have found with my use of music during art studio sessions that memories tend to arise quickly with clients as well.  Many discussions have taken place and art created from the music that has been played during these sessions.  I have also witnessed Alzheimer and dementia patients who seem asleep and unresponsive tap and move their feet while listening to popular music from their generation.   It’s magical every time I have seen this occur. 

Music has so many purposes and at the same time it seems to leave a lasting impression.