It is a perplexing problem to be sure. Science has studied the question for years and still have no definitive answer.

Some thoughts:

1) Patterns – our brains love patterns. Is that sound dangerous? Did that bump in the night, the one that changed the pattern of our regular sleep, mean danger? Our primitive mind instantly comes alert. Maybe it is the same with music. We become lulled and secure with the pattern of the music we like. Perhaps that is why we become so aggravated when a familiar song is sung in a different way by a new artist. An unexpected pattern change is unwelcome to our primitive limbic system.

2) There is no evolutionary reason for us to have such a love of music. It did not help us survive or prosper as a species so the emotional impact it has on us cannot really be explained. But we all feel the emotion, the goosebumps, from a beloved piece of music.

Why do we Love the Particular Music we Personally Like?

When we hear a piece of music, its rhythm latches onto us in a process called entrainment. If the music is fast-paced, our heartbeats and breathing patterns will accelerate to match the beat.

Our choice of music, the music we like is based on multiple factors. Your personality choice can predict the type of music that you like. Gender plays a role in the music that moves us. Boys are more likely to embraced exaggerated bass rhythms for example.

Finally, we do not exist in a vacuum. Our culture and life experiences within that culture help shape our acceptance and embrace of certain musical genres.

The Point is….

Music is all around us. Music moves us. It can soothe us or agitate us or be a faithful companion to our moods. Exploring music, beyond the obvious, diving into its depths is a most worthwhile endeavor. Inserting an appreciation of music is a wonderful thing to do for our children and ourselves.

Perhaps a FREE music lesson for the whole family is a great way to start your musical journey.

Contact Heather to arrange a free lesson by clicking HERE!

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My older son has the same issue; it is funny how we see ourselves in our children as they grow. This thrills my Mother to no end.

As a child, I was always walking in the forest. The trees are where I found peace, communing with nature and spiritually. I loved listening to the wind in the leaves and still do. It may seem odd to say, but trees talk to me. I feel how they feel, healthy, sad, or joyful.

Mrs. Parsons was my music teacher starting in grade 3. Her voice sounded like an opera singer; I loved hearing her sing so much I joined her choir class. My favourite time in school was listening to her powerful voice soar. Every note spoke to me and I yearned to sound like her. It is a favorite memory of mine.

When I was ten years old, my grandparents brought me to the Dartmouth Ferry Terminal to watch and hear the Dartmouth Boys Pipe and Drum Band. This is where I felt it. I would become a bagpiper. There was no doubt in my mind. This was the first step in a life-long journey.

I joined Dartmouth Boys the moment I was allowed and never looked back.

Being part of Dartmouth Pipers was all I needed. It was my musical heaven. From training to playing, it was a foundation for all the music in my life. It was thrilling. We had musical masters, Matt MacIsaac, Geoff Peladeau, Wayne Moug and Jim Bain to name very few.

To this day, tunes and segments of songs stay in my head from those wonderful days.

My childhood private bagpiping instructor was Roblyn "Ballam" Williams. Roblyn was a bagpiper with Halifax Police and member of “The Pointless Sisters”: a funny female bagpiping group. Members were Roblyn, Mickey Stewart, Cheryl Mangusso, Karen MacLean, Robyn Whitty, Rosemary MacNeil and Kelly Campbell. They all had their own “Tilda” name; Roblyn's was “Tilda Smokes”. Apparently, there is a jig written in their honour.

I thirsted for every lesson, they sustained me every week. Roblyn was an incredible teacher. One technique I have always remembered was the “touch” trick: when you are trying to force muscle memory to a certain note, touch that finger. It works, trust me!

When I was 12 years old, disaster struck. My friends informed me that the pipes were not cool. I was devastated. Then, my sister accidentally fell on my pipes causing them to crack. I took this as a sign my friends were right, and I quit. A decision I regret every single day.

That is when I turned back to voice and then guitar at 19.

Being best friends with my guitar got me through some hard times and it is where I learned to lean in and really feel music. It was an emotional savior during many tough times. I use it to channel positive feelings when depression came to call.

This journey kept me safe in my room. It was a difficult time –not rainbows and butterflies—but I would not change it for anything in the world. It is a blessing to experience pain and then live to understand how to prevent it. One of the reasons I teach is to help everyone feel the power of music to heal.

The career search took me more into the hospitality route. Cooking was delectable, and I have the highest respect for those in that industry. It is the hardest work I have ever experienced.

I used Hospitality to help me come out of my shell. I communicated with so many diverse people it allowed me to develop the “gift of gab.” (Many people today may say I took the gab gift much too seriously.) It was a beautiful learning experience, but it was not what I wanted to do. I wanted to make my living in music.

I got a job in St. John’s Newfoundland. This is when my ‘want’ for a music career exploded. I was basically alone and ready to reinvent myself. The want for music changed into a need and this was the perfect time to launch my career.

I became a musical scavenger, performing everywhere I could. While performing at an open mic one day, somebody liked what they heard. I became the lead singer in a band called “Aphelia”. While not lasting long due to musical differences it just helped my confidence grow.

They liked me, they really liked me.

After gaining my confidence, I moved back to Nova Scotia. My brother, Jeremy, was then drumming with Dartmouth and District, and insisted I get back into bagpiping. I am forever grateful to him. A musical family sticks together!

What wonderful memories. Those days were a whirlwind of competitions, concerts and travelling around the world. It felt comforting to be back at home with a band family. Days were spent working in hospitality just to pay for bills, rent, and travel but my heart was always in the music.

Love knocked on my door when I met my husband, Randy. One day Randy and I went to “Picnic in the Park”, a local music event that happens Tuesday evenings in Chester, Nova Scotia. I remember feeling so excited, but noticed a large piece was missing. It haunted me…

No bagpipes… anywhere.

I could not sleep. This is when I had to pull the reigns. I knew there was a calling, I could feel it. So, I turned to the trees again and became a horticulturist while listening to what God was trying to tell me.

After channeling the right voice, South Shore Pipes and Drums Association was born. I found my calling. Let bagpipes reign in Nova Scotia forevermore.

Fast forward to day – We have Scotia Music. A business dedicated in teaching, promoting, and supporting musicians. I’ve never looked back since then. My work is my joy. Teaching is my joy. My family is my joy and music will always be my joy.

This is my future duty… to ensure everyone knows how important musicians are in our community, our children, and our souls.

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