OK, I love music.
I love music a lot.
Something about summertime seems to intensify it for me.
I often tell new puppy owners to make sure that they introduce their puppy to as many new situations as possible, because exposure to novelty when they are young and malleable makes for a better socialized dog.
For those that look at me with their heads cocked sideways, I go on to say that it is like music preference in humans less than 25 years old.
When we are younger, we are likely to develop strong connections to music based on positive experiences (and probably amplified by hormones).
After 25 years of age (and this of course varies with the individual) , we tend to listen to the same old stuff over and over.
In puppies, the first 20 weeks are sometimes referred to as the critical window of socialization. Puppies that are exposed to new things (kids are a good example here) store that experience away so that when they are met with it later, they form a quick impression of whether they will tolerate it or not.
Puppies that are not exposed to small children at less than 20 weeks of age may very well not tolerate children if they see them for the first time later in life. Now, many humans may misinterpret this lack of tolerance as a history of a negative experience. In the kids example, that they were abused as a puppy by children, that is why they don’t like them.
What does that all have to do with me loving music you ask?
For one, it explains why I am not that fond of rap music.
I was reminded this weekend that my formative music was rock and roll. I saw the new movie Rock of Ages and walked away reminded of how visceral my memories are of some of the music in the film.
Remember that Journey song….
“Just a city boy
Born and raised in South Detroit
He took the midnight train going anywhere”
Now, I’m more a suburb boy,
Raised on a 1/4 acre lot in Maryland
I’ve never taken a midnight train
I have ridden a train to get to the Common Ground Fair once though.
I don’t know if that counts.
But somehow, the music speaks to something much deeper than actual experience. It draws on the experience of love, of rejection, of taking a chance and of following your heart to fulfill your dreams.
Now I recognize that we all did not grow up at the same time. But I bet that the time of life that we connected with the emotion and mystery of music was about the same.
I remember when Mary and I first started going out and the Fleetwood Mac song “Tusk” came on. Her dog Hari started spinning around and biting at her tail. Mary turned up the stereo and grabbed Hari’s front legs and they danced.
“Why don’t you tell me
What’s going on?
Why don’t you tell me
Who’s on the phone?”
Mick Fleetwood’s bass thumped as they danced together.
Hari was a German Shepherd, a breed not known for their spontaneity and lightness on their feet when dancing. But she and Mary loved that song. OK, maybe that is projecting too much on Hari…but I can tell you for a fact that she at least loved that Mary loved that song. Hari passed away many years ago, but I still remember her when I hear the marching bass beat that marks the beginning of Tusk.
The rest of this weekend I have been reminded of how much music moves me. I love lots of music, but this summer I am going to download some songs that remind me of some youthful, fun loving years.
Its not that I don’t have fun now, but I think I might have had more fun then.
Its funny how a song can get you in touch with an emotion so clearly.
We all have them.
One of the things that I love about my pets is that they never cease to remind me of the beauty that lives in the moment. Mostly, the lesson of this part of my life is that the most valuable thing that I can do is focus on the moment that I am experiencing right now.
Turns out right now I am listening to Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin and remembering hearing it for the first time at my bus stop when some older kids were playing it on a transistor radio.
If that doesn’t date me, I don’t know what will.
and for those of you who changed the number for Kindred Spirits in your cell phone to 867-5309….
Change it back to 825-8989
Cue up your favorite music this week and get in touch with your inner adolescent.