I love when I find other musicians who feel similarly about listening to music as I do. I went to a Labor Day Eve party (there is no reason Christmas can have an Eve and other holidays cannot; why not get even more excited about a day when not laboring is celebrated?) of a really good friend of mine who happens to also be a music therapist, and though I knew that she prefers not to listen to music during her “down time,” I didn’t realize that she gets as distracted by environmental music as I do! We all were seated around the table and my friend’s fiancé controlled the music. Several times my friend asked him to either turn it off or turn it down. I can hardly handle environmental music because as soon as it begins, my attention snaps to it and evaporates from any conversation that is happening around me. Sometimes I find myself analyzing the music, but most of the time I am pulled very strongly to a memory that is attached to the music. Or, if the music is new to me, I’ll listen for its rhythm– essentially, I am too absorbed by the music to function in other ways.
My friend and I have had a couple of short discussions about why we love but also need our space from music, but I’m not sure if she feels exactly the same way I do. One of my favorite parts of the night, though, was when we all convened in the living room, and as soon as there was a mention of turning on music, the two of us snapped, “No music.”
I do like music, though. I promise.