Last week I wrote about making money – and that there are a few non-negotiable components of how I set the stage to work each day. Those included my ergonomic chair, a weekly massage and “In the background I have music playing -specifically setting the stage for productive “knowledge work.”
Well that prompted questions about the music I listen to. Here’s probably more than you cared to know – but maybe it will stimulate a useful practice for yourself.
Most of the time when I’m thinking, planning and writing I have “Classic FM” on iTunes radio playing in the background. It’s just great classical music – fairly light and inspirational – and free.
Sometimes when I’m just doing routine office work I’ll switch to “Beatles-A-Rama” – all Beatles music or the all-Elvis station.
In my car with the top down, screaming down the road, I listen to U2 and Alicia Keys.
And then I sing with The Nashville Choir. Most of our singing is based on church music. Recently, on a Sunday night we did a community hymn sing at the beautiful new symphony hall here in Nashville with Bill Gaither, Melinda Doolittle and Amy Grant.
I believe music releases a creativity that stays blocked otherwise. And not just listening – but singing. Yes, I believe everyone ought to sing! Diane Austin, adjunct associate professor of music at New York University, says “The voice is like a bridge from your heart to your head. Singing freely releases what’s locked up in your body.” A pilot study published in the British Journal of Nursing found that singing greatly reduces the anxiety and depression patients can experience following a major surgery. Another two-year study of elderly people with dementia found that singing slowed the natural rise in blood pressure associated with aging.
So if you want to lower your blood pressure and unlock your creativity – try singing. Release the music in you and you may release the other areas of success that are waiting to be set free – physically, relationally, spiritually, in your work, and financially.