Do you ever sing really loudly, not caring whether anyone can hear you? Sometimes the only thing that will lift my mood is filling my flat with my favourite music, loud, and singing at the top of my voice, even with the windows open, completely oblivious to whether or not my neighbours, people walking past down on the street under the window, or anyone else, can hear me. What’s more, I know I can’t sing. People often say that they are tone deaf. I’m not. I can hear perfectly well just how badly I sing, and it makes me sad, because whereas some people dream of flying high above the treetops like a bird, or ruling the world, or having mountains of gold to roll in, my dream, if I could choose any, would be to sing brilliantly, and play Sally Bowls in Cabaret.
The problem I find when it comes to music is that I often feel my listening habits are stagnated. Back in the days before i-tunes, when we actually played CD’s, I would always, without fail, put a CD in and immediately skip between the songs I liked. I later developed a nagging worry that I was, quite rightly, skipping past many songs that I would probably love if I only gave them a chance, but I never did. As technology progressed, so did I, and I moved on to creating CD’s of my favourite songs; disks filled exclusively with songs I loved and had listened to over and over again. While it made me happy to hear these songs, I realise now that I was narrowing my musical taste, and limiting what I was exposing myself to, robbing myself of many opportunities of discovering new, equally loved, music.
Nowadays, I’m guilty of the same flaw. The luxury of i-tunes has allowed me to create my ‘Top Rated’ playlist (a list of all the songs I love) and I find that I increasingly only listen to these songs. The reason? I don’t trust the other songs, the ones that I haven’t earmarked as somehow special, to make me feel happy in the way the others do. When I put my headphones in, I want to know that I’m guaranteed of hearing a brilliant song. Now, I know that I should have more faith in the other songs, because I know very well that my i-pod only contains music that I love, by artists who I consider ‘good’. So, why can’t I have more confidence and just reach for the shuffle button? It’s a gamble, but I must do it.