Headphones in your ear and the world skirts away. The music trills only in your world and you go about whatever you were going to do; cook, clean, dance, chill, or work. It’s your time, whether you’re one that listens to the soothing classics or one that has hammers thumping in your head from metal. This time is yours. People may try and talk to you, or get your attention, but that ain’t gonna happen till you decide to give them your time. This happened to me yesterday. Last period of the day, it was raining outside, I sauntered to the demountable woodwork room at the back of the school for my Year 8 woodwork class. The closer I got to the room, my hopes sank that they’d meet me there. Of course, they probably forgot that we’ve had a room change for the term so they can get into the prac-room and get their woodwork experiments going.

So in I walk and dump my bag, then straight out with my clear umbrella with red polka dots that matched my equally bright red ballet flats. No sooner had I walked passed the other two demountables and towards the solid brick main building, three students meandered out; two under an umbrella, and another, quiet kid trailing behind them with her jumper covering her head. This one, with her blue ear muff style headphones forever on her head, listening to some far-off tunes while she worked.

I’ve always wondered what kind of music she may be into. I know she practices piano at home in the evenings, so I kind of know that she likes a bit of classic, but still, what do 13-14 year old teenage girls listen to these days. Today, I got an opportunity to catch some tunes off her earphones as they hung around her neck. It was a quiet class, only three of them there, working away on their coasters. I made my plans for the next few lessons. She sat opposite me, ever quiet and working. I caught a bit of her music, sounded to me like jazz, old-school jazz. Totally surprised me, and at the same moment, reminded me of Michael Buble’s story where he used to listen to the classics in his own high school days yet pretend he was listening to rock etc for the benefits of others around him. She didn’t know what kind of music it was, but there was peace in it as she listened to the music floating out and continued in her quiet world.

Got me thinking. I do that. I actually do that myself whenever I’m working. Obviously not at school, but outside; whether I’m cooking, cleaning, or working on my scripts, I actually listen to music and create my own little bubble, and for that moment, it’s only me and whatever I’m writing. In fact, last night, I did it. I’m sitting there writing the final scenes to my feature script and in the background, I’ve got Chopin’s Nocturnes playing via YouTube. Hubby even brings me a cup of coffee and I forget he’s there talking to me. I’m drowned in my own world.

“Why are you listening to such depressing music?” was his question and I shrugged. It creates the mood, I told him as he walked off to his own world, where instead of music, its games. The dark foreboding notes of some of the classics really help me tap into the ambiance of the story I’m writing, and I’ve come to realize of late, the music I play depends on the work I’m doing. If it’s cooking and cleaning, I like playing all sorts of songs I can sing along to (I’m a terrible singer but that’s another story). If I’m doing school work, I play those weird compilations that are for ‘concentration’. It helps. And when I write, it really depends on the story. Is it dark, is it light, is it romantic? Is it…?

Of late, it has been the classics for me, but since I’m nearing completion of the said script, I dare say, the next tracks I play will be dictated by the story.

Who here does that? Do you let the thing you’re doing influence your music choice? I know most of us call it ‘mood’ but, with me, it’s not so much about what kind of music I’m in the mood for, it’s what am I going to do with it.

What kind of situation influences your music?

(Photo by Corey Blaz on Unsplash)

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