If you’re here, I imagine you’re something like me. Music has become such an important part of my life that it’s hard for me to disentangle it from everything I do. In a lot of ways, I guess you could say I use it as a coping mechanism. There’s rarely a time you won’t find me with headphones on or earbuds in while I’m reading, writing or even just walking around campus. Maybe it’s just a product of the environment I grew up in. My family always had the radio on in the house or in the car. Every chore was made more tolerable with good music. I first discovered my love for singing when I tried out for my 5th-grade talent show and sang “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5. I was surprised at all the positive responses I got from parents, teachers and my fellow students. This is probably what pushed me into taking chorus all throughout middle school and high school and being a part of a few auditioned groups. Even still, I follow my passion for music as a bass in Hofstra’s all-female acapella ensemble, “Makin’ Treble.”
I decided to take this love of music and apply it to a different form. I first started choosing a “Song of the Day” after seeing my favorite musician, Rob Thomas, do the same on his Twitter. I thought the idea was beautiful. It was such a unique way of sharing art with other people and this idea of community sharing really struck me. I found myself eagerly checking his Twitter each morning to see what song he’d chosen and discovering music I would never have otherwise listened to. After deriving so much joy from his song choices, I decided I wanted to spread that same joy to others.
It all started with the whiteboard in my mom’s 6th-grade science class. In the mornings, I would ride into school with her and go to her classroom before school started. This is where I decided to first write my “Song of the Day.” My mom agreed that she would play the song I had chosen for her students during homeroom. After a little while of keeping up this routine, my mom informed me that her students were always excited to see what the new song was each day and even asked her if they could choose the “Song of the Day” for next time. I was happy that I had such a positive effect on her students.
*Photo Courtesy of Mark Solarski on Unsplash
It wouldn’t be for another four years that I would think about my “Song of the Day” again. Last summer, I was wrapped up in this song called “Chasing Lions” by Natives and I was overcome with the feeling that everyone else needed to hear that song too. Without thinking much of it, I uploaded a picture of the song playing on my iPod and captioned it “Song of the Day” to my story on Snapchat. It started as something for myself. I didn’t expect anyone to really listen to the song, but there was some comfort I derived from putting it out there. It wasn’t until that August, about a month before I started school at Hofstra, that I saw that my song choices actually had an impact. Someone I had met through the “Hofstra Class of 2021” Facebook group messaged me on Snapchat and asked about a song I had posted the other week. He told me that he was trying to track it down because he had really enjoyed it, but had forgotten the name of the artist. The song he was looking for was “Ghost” by Mat Kearney, and having this interaction opened up a dialogue about my “Song of the Day.” I told him that I hadn’t thought anyone listened to the songs I recommended, but he informed me that he listened to my song suggestions every day. It was humbling to see that something I had started for fun seemed to mean something to people.
This is the direction which I hope Add This to Your Playlist can take. I’d like to take this blog as an opportunity to look at the music we listen to more critically by analyzing lyrics, discussing artists and telling my own stories about each of the songs I love. Each week, I plan to upload my collection of “Song of the Day” choices and talk about my own experiences with each of them. Music is such a powerful art form, and I hope that in sharing my stories with all of you that I can impact you in some positive way, and with luck, add a few new songs to your playlist too.