By Contributor Eve Curley (@eveyandidotcom)

Music makes me happy. It can also make me sad, but mostly it is therapy….and music as therapy has been proven. Music is emotional, memorable and powerful. There was an amazing piece on ABC’s Catalyst recently called Music on the Brain.

Eve and her daughter Isla cruising

Eve and her daughter Isla cruising

I don’t sing in the car, I PERFORM. Cruising across the Tasman Bridge I can turn rapper, all dramatic and Broadway queen, or all pop and teen…. or, let’s face it, bogan as hell. Tay Tay, Beiber, Bon Jovi, whatever. I own it.

Have you ever been tapping and singing to your fave tune and happened to stop at the lights, only to have someone else also tuned in TO THE SAME SONG?  It is a rather awkward moment when you lock eyes with a fellow motorist who looks like he may have just escaped maximum security singing Bon Jovi…but at the same time it is kind of nice, in a weird way.

Look, I should say that I AM NOT A GOOD SINGER. I still remember the comment from my first music teacher. She gave me hope…just a little. “Eve has a strong voice”. Basically, I was more Bjork than Celine…but she was trying to let me down gently.

If you feel like a little pick me up, give music a try….lose yourself (did you just start rapping like Eminem? I did, but maybe that’s just me) and dance like no one is watching in front of your babes or toddler…..or the mirror. Draw the curtains (or not), turn up the volume and dance to the beat of your own high chair table, nappy box or brush mic. Take control of the mix.

My husband plays the guitar.  He also has a good ear for music.  I am so jealous of that trait.  I hope our daughter Isla inherits this talent. As long as it doesn’t start with the recorder coming home.  All that spit and that souunddddd. They are horrid. Surely they aren’t on the curriculum anymore? 

Eve's husband giving their daughter a guitar lesson

Eve's husband giving their daughter a guitar lesson

When I was only a few months pregnant with Isla we went to a rock concert. Hubby was pretty stoked to be seeing Aerosmith. Our next concert as a family will be The Wiggles. There will be no “Janie’s Got a Gun” or wild rockers.  There will be “Hot Potatoes” and hypo toddlers with weary adults wishing there was wine. While I was pregnant Isla really only partied and kicked while I was sitting back or trying to sleep. If I was in the sunshine or listening to music she was still. Her little face concentrates and crinkles when she listens to music and if she’s playing in the sun she is content, she is HAPPY.

So what brings us a feeling of being content no matter what else is going on?  What takes us back to a moment in time? What soothes our soul?  Apparently some people have music playing while they give birth.  There is actually a playlist of more popular songs for bringing a child into the world. I know you are all thinking of “Push It”… it wasn’t on there…really, it wasn’t! For the record I had no music, just the Melbourne Cup playing in the background along with the dulcet tunes of me counting (okay, maybe screaming) in between inhaling gas and abusing the LATE anesthetist. I bet my husband would have liked some Aerosmith or Foo Fighters to drown me out.

I am lucky to have an awesome posse of friends. We are tight. We still bond over Backstreet Boys, Mr Big and Britney. Before CDs we would tape the radio. YES, we would tape Love Song Dedications and we would do it while talking on the LANDLINE. I used to rollerblade with my walkman and listen to “Walk by an Egyptian” by the Chipmunks on cassette. I would get excited over the music store and hang there after school with my pocket money. I can’t, however, work and listen to music and I think the main reason is I like music LOUD….background is just a distraction. Our wedding included quite a few musos, it was loud, too loud for some and the “Rivers of Babylon” played randomly during dinner as one of the tables consumed red wine like it was the last they would ever drink.

A memory my Mum shares with me is when we won America’s Cup (1983 was a good year) and she sang “Down Under” to me while I sat in my high chair bopping away. I went to a concert recently with my Mum for her 60th Birthday. John Farnham, Daryl Braithwaite and Ross Wilson rocked. It didn’t matter there was 30 years between us and looking around at the concert ages merged together over “Eagle Rock”, “Horses” and “You’re the Voice” like they were signing for their life…but so free.

A little Isla rocking out in her cot

A little Isla rocking out in her cot

Isla bonds with her Great Grandparents over music heading straight to the record player when she arrives. The other night she was in her cot singing ”He’s Got the Whole World in his Hands” like some kind of an innocent child straight from Sunday School after listening to it at their place.  In the same breath she can break out into “WHOOMP there It Is” like she is straight out of the RnB Room at a club. My pop is 89 and he still knows every word to many songs and whistles a tune to perfection. It amazes me. To be honest though, I forget what I go to the fridge for daily but I can easily recite Savage Garden’s “I Want You” circa 1997. It’s funny how you remember.

I think music makes us feel young again, but you can’t tell me that music isn’t also something that you want as you depart from this world?  It sounds a bit depressing but it’s a decision you could make right now - what would your soundtrack be?  I always like to be in control on the music, the volume…everyone close to me will know what I would want. And I’ll give you a tip, it won’t be church organs! Oh actually, “Like a Prayer” is pretty damn good! Peeps will be boogying….and it won’t be to the Wheels on the BLOODY Bus. 

“I often think in music.  I live my daydreams in music.”  Albert Einstein.

“Music is what gives us memories.” Stevie Wonder.

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