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The power of music

X-ray Touring's Beckie Sugden reminds us of the vital importance of the product we work with – and the good it can bring into people's lives

16 Mar 2017

Beckie Sugden, X-ray Touring

Working in the music industry is a demanding job, and only the luckiest of us can say they don’t occasionally have a day when they wonder why on earth they do it to themselves! But we should never make light of what we do, as every one of us is adding to the human experience on an unmeasurable scale. While we obviously couldn’t do what we do without the music, facilitating people’s interaction with music is helping in more ways than we realise.

The building of my music memory began in the womb, when my dad used to play me a variety of music, from Prince to Frank Zappa and Metallica. Music connected us throughout our lives together and even up to his last weeks on Earth we catalogued and listened to new music from an unknown band he’d discovered in America. He is sadly no longer with us, but not only have I been left with an extensive collection of CDs and vinyl to treasure, I have the emotions, memories and experiences we shared, all of which come flooding back to me when I listen to the music that we shared together.

We’ve all experienced that: hearing a favourite old song that brings up good and sometimes bad memories of people, times, places and even sensations. You can probably remember vividly your first concert or buying your first record or CD and how that made you feel. It’s been shown repeatedly that there is an inseparable connection between music, emotion and memory.

Remember that while we may only be small cogs in the bigger wheel … we truly are making a difference to humankind

Not only can music help preserve memories, it can play a part in the construction of us as people, determining what we wear, who our friends are and where we spend our time. And it can also aid in our physical wellbeing.

Look at the incredible work that charities such as Nordoff Robbins do in rehabilitating people through music therapy, as a shining example of the power of music. Even towards the end of life the positive effects can be seen in Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers. This was demonstrated most recently by 80-year-old Teddy Mac, ‘The Songaminute Man’, whose car-pool videos posted by his son went viral. As an Alzheimer’s sufferer, Teddy was unable to remember almost anything except the lyrics to the songs that he so beautifully delivers.

So when we have those days of doubt, remember that while we may only be small cogs in the bigger wheel, and we may sometimes doubt the significance of what we do, we truly are making a difference to humankind.

 


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