Music is life. I read it on a bumper sticker. I’m pretty sure that it was a musician who drove the car. But I disagree.
I have another idea. Music is a quality of life activity.
Perhaps that is too long for a bumper sticker. It is definitely a demotion for something that I spend a lot of time on, but I think it is a healthier perspective.
Music makes us more human. It allows us to go places emotionally that we might otherwise not discover. It connects us with perfect strangers. It draws us closer to those we love.
Music can make life bearable. It shares space with friends, pets, a good novel, a memory of a beloved relative, a dinner conversation that lasts for hours, a caring partner.
Music has the power to make us happy. That to me is the definition of a ‘quality of life’ activity.
If we can agree on that perspective, we can talk about the next question — what makes us happy? — and why we so often get it wrong.
There has been a lot of research in recent years about what makes us happy. I have written about how playing music can, in fact, make people unhappy. What can happiness research tell us about how music can make us happy?
I will explore that idea more in future posts.