So, today I had two thoughts on my mind: How does music heal? and How does music allow one to express themselves? Answer: There is no exact answer! Music speaks the words sometimes you don’t even want to say.
I know for me, it has been a big factor in my healing process, and dealing with my Anxiety Disorder. Whenever I feel a panic attack, or anxiety attack coming on, I just pop in my ear buds and my stress levels instantly go down. That’s why the majority of the time, you will see me with at least one ear bud in because I’m constantly trying to heal and get better. I know that sounds bad, but the way I see it is because I listen to music every day to and from class, it gives me the energy I need to get through my classes.
My favorite kind of music to listen to is ANY Broadway Cast Recording, Disney, and the majority of music from Glee. It’s this music that gives me the energy that gets me through each day. My favorite Broadway Cast Recordings to listen to are the Newsies Cast Recording and the Wicked Cast Recording. I love Newsies, don’t get me wrong…but Wicked will ALWAYS be my favorite musical; I’ve seen it three times and my closest is filled with SO much Wicked merchandise, it’s crazy!
The reason why I have such a love for the Wicked Cast Recording is because it was the very first Broadway musical I saw professionally. I saw it three years ago for my Senior Year Spring Break band trip to New York. First thing I felt when I stepped on the pavement in Times Square: I’m in heaven. The first thing I felt when I walked into the Gershwin Theatre, and the first beginning notes of Wicked played: I’m finally home. The moment I heard Teal Wicks sing “Defying Gravity“, I knew right then and there that Elphaba was what I wanted to do for a career. I want to be painted green for eight shows a week, and being hoisted into the air. Wicked is magic in real life. I love everything about the show, but it’s the music that really speaks to me.
Whenever I’m feeling a bit down, the musicians I listen to are the following: Rachel Potter, Anna Clendening, Scott Alan, Lily Nelsen, Celtic Woman and Alex Sharpe. These are the musicians that have lyrics that really speak to me on a personal level. It’s these artists that have helped me heal whenever I’ve felt like I didn’t get the courage to do something, or I wanted to give up on my dreams. It almost felt like whenever I listened to their music, they are personally telling me “Don’t give up! You CAN do this!”
Anna Clendening is the first musician I can relate to on personal level. When I watched her perform on America’s Got Talent, and heard her story, I was touched. I thought to myself, “Here is a girl, who, despite the struggles she’s going through is able to make AMAZING music, and make people happy. Now, her music is the go to thing I listen to if I’m ever feeling sad. Her music has changed my train of thinking forever; She seriously is a guardian angel living on Earth.
I’ve been a fan of Rachel Potter ever since she was in Evita, Wicked, Spring Awakening and the Addams Family. I was instantly won over by her audition on the X Factor. Since then, I’ve been a loyal Potterazzi. The song “Live the Dream” is one of my life anthems because I want to be on Broadway, and I can’t let anything get to me to stop me from achieving my dreams. I sing that song at the top of my lungs like a dork and I do not care.
Scott Alan’s music has literally saved my life. I have all of his albums in my iTunes library, and I can honestly say whenever I listen to his music I am instantly motivated to push through and conquer any difficulty. Especially his song “The Distance You Have Come” sung by another one of my favorite artists, who also happens to be one of the reasons why I’m auditioning for AMDA in NYC, Natalie Weiss. The message of the song is so inspiring: Just because you’ve gone through difficulties, doesn’t mean you should give up. Look at how far you’ve come! Your dreams can happen! I told him that he was the reason why I started writing my own music, he told me that I should start creating my own masterpieces AND called me Ms. Composer! That gave me the validation I needed to pursue writing my music.
Celtic Woman and Alex Sharpe go hand in hand for me. Alex Sharpe is a former member of Celtic Woman, and she always has been my favorite. Her versions of “True Colors” and “You’ll Be In My Heart” brought me to tears. Her voice is so angelic and beautiful, every time she sings I get goosebumps. Her album Be Still My Soul is probably my favorite album to listen to whenever I need time to meditate. It absolutely stunning, and it makes me smile every single time. One day, I hope I can meet Alex, and thank her in person for how much she has helped me face my fears, and take my challenges head on.
On March 15th, 2014 I finally got to see Celtic Woman perform live for the first time. I waited four years to see them; I’ve been a fan of theirs since I was 13 years old. Their music gives me a sense of belonging in this world, and safety. After the concert, my best friend and I were about to leave when the producer came to find us after the show. She introduce herself, and she brought us back stage to meet them! Their girls are my inspiration, and I finally got to meet them! This was a dream seven years in the making! All four of the girls were incredibly sweet. Máiréad Nesbitt, the fiddle player is Tinkerbell in real life! She’s so tiny and adorable! Mairéad Carlin is the newest member, and she was super sweet. Meeting Susan McFadden was amazing because she is one of my favorite Elle Woods in the history of Legally Blonde: The Musical. Hearing “Hi Miranda, lovely to meet you.” in that adorable Irish accent made me have a fangirl overload! Getting a hug from Lisa Lambe was probably one of the best things in the world! Hearing her say my name, and rush over to me to give me a hug felt like a dream. She then tells me, “Thank you so much for the lovely things you’ve written to us.” WHAT?! I didn’t think they actually ready them! That night will forever be one of my favorite night of my life.
And my friend who inspired me to start this blog, Lily Nelsen. She’s an amazing musician, and she’s 17 years old! She may be younger than me, but she inspires me on a daily basis to keep going. I can’t wait to meet her because she is so incredibly sweet. I Skyped with her one time, and she is adorable! She’s one of the nicest people out there. Her music is so amazing. Her lyrics tell a story, and the message of her songs is beautiful. I’m so blessed to call her a friend, and a role model.
Music has many ways of helping people. For me, it course through my veins: I play an instrument, and I sing. I love expressing my self through musical theatre. Music helping me heal whenever I have an Anxiety/Panic attack. If I could pick music as my religion, I would. Because, music is the one constant thing in my life that has made me smile no matter what.