I have very few memories of…well, life in general. Apart from a few vague images, primary school is a complete blank. My high school memories haven’t aged much better. In fact, I barely remember most of my university career.
Most of the memories I do manage to dredge up have one thing in common: music. The only reason I have any memories of my grade 4 camp is because we rewrote the words to “Summer Holiday” from Mary Poppins to speak about what happened. A small selection:
“The sun didn’t shine so brightly,
The rain fell down all day.
We went into the forest,
And completely lost our way!”
Not too shabby for a bunch of 10 year-olds. My point is this: without that song, I would never have remembered getting lost in the forest at camp. This technique has worked particularly well for studying as well. I will forever remember the difference between a simile and a metaphor after hearing “similes and metaphors are similar but nothing more than a comparison in different ways” repeated in a chorus over and over again.
I’m pretty sure everyone has experienced the power of music in evoking memories. Or even feelings. A certain Imagine Dragons CD makes me feel the slightly queasy yet excited feeling of being on a plane on the way overseas. On a not so great note, I still feel car sick every time I hear certain 60’s songs, just because they always played during our family road trips. Psychosomatic musical reactions should definitely be studied at some point in the future, if they haven’t been already.
But what’s the point of all of this? If you’re like me, it lends itself to an interesting idea. Designing a soundtrack for your own life could be the key to keeping track of it! We might not all get to live in a musical (sadly) and sing and dance our way through life, but we can connect songs to people or events and relive them later on. Plus, trying to find songs to represent the people in your life can be an incredibly entertaining experience. Making specific road trip playlists for holidays can increase the chance of making a connection between a song and an event. Perhaps the most effective thing you can do, if your pride allows it, is to dance your way through life!
This is exactly what we will be attempting. On an upcoming trip to visit a friend, we will be choosing a soundtrack of songs and choose one song for each location we stop at. Ensuring we have a portable form of music playing, we will then play our chosen song and proceed to dance in an embarrassing manner.
Chances are, I will probably remember this road trip.
JJ is a primary school teacher with a serious music and series addiction. She began writing for AMP under protest but now happily attempts to write an article bimonthly. These articles cover tangentially musical topics and other musings on life.