The buzz…

Diving Deeper - The Power of Song by Kitty Skeen Part 2 of 2

List your ten favourite songs… your own ‘playlist of your life’. Do they have a place, a memory, a person associated to them, or do you love them simply for their gorgeous melodies or beat? You could show another person your list (or better still, share with the Mini Maestros community on Facebook or Instagram). Do your songs, whilst deeply personal, also resonate with others? Would they re-awaken your memories if you ever forgot? Below is my ‘playlist’, in no particular order;

1. ‘There Is No Such Place’ – Augie March. I first heard this song whilst a uni student. The band hail from country Victoria, like me, and I felt a natural affinity for them from the beginning. Simple, clean, perfection. If I want to remember my Uni days Augie March certainly help. Notable mentions to Powderfinger and Crowded House for more trips down memory lane.

2. ‘She Used to Be Mine’ – Sara Bareilles, from ‘Waitress’. A new song to my list, as I only heard it in 2017 when I saw the divine Jesse Mueller perform it on Broadway. Heart-wrenching, and now forever linked in my mind with the incredible experience seeing NYC and performing at Carnegie Hall I had with my choir in January. Second place for locational song goes to ‘New York State of Mind’ – Billy Joel.

3. ‘Breathe In Now’ – George. Katie Noonan’s divine voice. Try and find ‘Holiday’ if you’ve not heard her music before and prepare for goosebumps. A voice like hers can truly make you feel. It is raw, vulnerable, and utterly ethereal. Which leads me to the next song (for the ability to make you stop and draw-breath). Not a notable mention, it needs its own place;

4. ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ – Eva Cassidy.

5. ‘Superstition’ – Stevie Wonder. The best song to dance to. Full stop.

6. ‘London Still’ – The Waifs. This song debuted when my twin sister was living in England. The singer tells of being in London and missing life back home. It resonated with me and makes me think of her every time I hear it.

7. ‘Scene’ from Tchaikovsky’s Ballet ‘Swan Lake’. You know, the bit with the oboe. It actually changed my life.

8. ‘I Never Cared Before’ – Cordrazine. Pretty much in this list for the gospel chorus at the end and the simple piano accompaniment. Notable mention to Radiohead for ‘Paranoid Android’ for their use of gorgeous choral harmonies.

9. ‘Ave Verum Corpus’ – Mozart. In my opinion, the most beautifully crafted short choral work in existence. I’ve had the pleasure of signing this many times and I get choked up each time.

10. ‘Moonshadow’ – Cat Stevens (Yusef). My mum loves the folk singers for the late sixties, early seventies, especially Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel. I could’ve listed songs from all of these artists in my top ten, but this one makes the list as it was one she used to sing to me. Notable mention to You Are So Beautiful – Joe Cocker, because mum sings this to my children.

A couple of additional sources and ideas for you if you’ve got some time to explore. In particular, the Catalyst program is a beautiful way to spend half an hour. Have tissues handy;

Concert crowd singing Bohemian Rhapsody - https://youtu.be/cZnBNuqqz5g

Australian train passengers singing - https://youtu.be/xctzp0dp9uc

ABC Catalyst ‘Music on The Brain’ - http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4421003.htm

Benjamin Law: singing in a choir is like a natural antidepressant - http://www.theage.com.au/good-weekend/adult-education/benjamin-law-singing-in-a-choir-is-like-a-natural-antidepressant-20170530-gwguj5.html

Now that you’ve overcome the goose bumps and wiped away the tears I really do encourage you to get out there and make music a bigger part of your life. Join a choir, sing with your children, attend a Mini Maestros class, dance to your favourite tune, listen to music that you love and that inspires you. Make your own playlist. Remind yourself how powerful a song can be.

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