The first time I can remember really listening to music, or how Tina Turner made me come alive

I’ve been debating on writing this for a while. It’s been some time since I’ve posted any significant blog posts and after my exciting week of hurricane fever I find myself inspired. I’d like to take a second and dedicate this post to two people oddly enough with the same name.

First I’m dedicating this to my fiance Erika. I think you can sum up our relationship with the phrase “never a dull moment” but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thank you for giving me the courage to be myself.

I’m also dedicating this to my colleague Erika who has an amazing blog. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and inspiring me to remember to write and share for real once in a while

Most people don’t remember the first time they heard music. I’m not talking about the first time sound hit your tympanic membrane, but the first time your mind became aware of the complex patterns that create music. The first time sound created an emotional response. Those that do remember that I’ve had the chance to talk to talk of epic classical compositions, large orchestral arrangements and sacred music. My experience could not be more of a polar opposite.

I remember being in my room at a very young age. I want to say 3 or 4 but much of that time in my life is hazy at best. I got this very high-tech Sony CFS 920 boom box for christmas. This isn’t the exact model I had but it’s very close from my recollection. I also got a pair of headphones to go with it.

I went downstairs to my parents living room where my dad had his stereo. This thing was massive. It was a Technics 2 speaker system with those giant floor speakers that at the time looked like mountains (now they come up to my waist about 4 feet), and you could never turn up past 2 without breaking windows. I’m not sure why but I grabbed a Tina Turner tape, Private Dancer which on a side note is an epic album and you should listen to it if you haven’t before, and went upstairs. It took me a minute to figure out how to get the stupid tape in the player but once I did I placed the headphones on and pressed play. The song that happened to come on was called Steel Claw:




I always had music going growing up, but this time it was different. For whatever reason my mind made a connection to it. It was like hearing for the first time. I remember after the first 3 seconds I had goosebumps on my arms. I put my hands onto the headphones pressing them into my ears even more. My heart was racing a mile a minute and I stood up and started almost running place (I was little so coordination was an issue). I felt electricity coursing through my body from the stereo out to the bottoms of my feet and I had to get it out or I was going to die. Even at this moment as I’m typing this and I have that song on repeat I can still get that feeling.

The song ended and it felt like I inhaled for the first time in 4 minutes. Ever since that moment I’ve been chasing it non stop. It took me through high school, to Westminster, to the high school music classroom, where I tried my best to give that feeling to others.

I don’t know much about assessment other than it’s somewhat important, and I find it folly to attempt to decide if you’re an effective teacher or not. Truly I look back on my three years teaching and I don’t know if I was any good or not, but to be honest it doesn’t really matter. If I got just one person to feel what I did, and continue to, feel I’ll go to my grave knowing I did one thing right.

2 comments on “The first time I can remember really listening to music, or how Tina Turner made me come alive

  1. Pingback: The first time I really listened to music | The 365 Playlists Project

  2. Pingback: Announcing 365 Playlists! | The Real Mr. Hollands' Opus

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