Post: Music A Fabric of the Maritimes

Music A Fabric of the Maritimes

Earlier in my career I taught fitness classes on a regular basis. I remember loving getting new music to play and seeing how excited participants would get as well. You could feel the energy go up, see smiles on faces and people truly enjoying the experience. Then I found a study that showed when people added music to their workouts that energy expenditure went up by 10 per cent. These days I can’t even go out for a run anymore if I forgot my headset. Music is what gets me going and keeps me going. I have created whole playlists to get me through different types of days. Long run playlists, hard runs playlists and then some heavy metal for lifting weights.

Music has been around since the dawn of ages and has played a role in nearly every society during every period of history. We have a special connection to music. I know one of my only regrets in life is not being able to play an instrument. I always get a little jealous when at a social function and someone can just pick up the guitar or jump on the piano. That happens a great deal here on the East Coast. You can see the joy it brings to people.

When I discuss the concept of total health it is more than just sleep, eat right and exercise. People who live a fulfilled life have a passion outside of work and, I believe, outside of family.

A passion is defined as a strong inclination toward an activity that you find important, and that you enjoy and invest both time and energy into. Research has shown that developing passion toward activities contributes to emotional and personal growth. Passion can also positively impact overall well-being and provide a sense of meaning in life. Engaging in one’s passion can be an excellent way to overcome worry and anxiety. A study from 2010 found breast cancer survivors had reduced worry, as well as stronger control of the psychological and emotional impact of cancer in their daily lives when sustaining their passion.

A passion gives you a reason to stay engaged with life, to keep learning, to work toward mastery of something. It gives you something in common with other people and can help build a positive social network. It can give more meaning to your free time and structure. It can be solace in times of physical and emotional pain.

So why not music? It is part of the fabric here in the Maritimes. You cannot walk downtown in any city on the weekend without hearing violins, guitars or people belting out tunes. One of my favorite things to do on vacation is to go to a concert. When in a new town I always Google who is playing in town. My last trip I saw both ZZ Top and The Cult. Amazing.

Your passion can be listening and appreciating music. Researching the history, learning about music or just becoming a fan and student all can be rewarding. Some people collect vinyl at Taz Records here in Halifax. I have strolled through the record shop many times. You can read biographies on your favorite bands or artists. If you want a fun night in Halifax, watch for one of Bruce Guthro’s songwriters’ circles. You learn the process and background of some of the best songwriters from here in the Maritimes.

The other option is to do like many of my friends these days and take some lessons. I don’t even think I could name all my friends who have taken up the guitar in the past 10 years. I have even been saying I am going to take singing lessons. I have a colleague who tells me he can tell me in three minutes if he can teach me or not. I think I am going to take him up on it this week. I want to be one of those people at the party who can belt out a tune when the guitars come out.

We live in an area where music can easily be a passion, but you need to foster it. It could be booking one night a week to hit the local scene and see a new band, join guitar lessons, or take the time to read the story of one of your favorite artists from right here in the Maritimes.

The key is to put it in your schedule and make it part of your life on a regular basis. I rarely see someone who makes music part of their life who feels less fulfilled. Get out there, fill up and enjoy the great music scene in your community.


Source: The Chronicle Herald

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