Start Me Up With Jazz

22 01 2011

Over the past few weeks, I read a book by Dr. Caroline Leaf called “The Gift In You”. Dr. Leaf gives 210 questions to help you find your dominate thinking process. All of our brains have a dominate “gift” that makes our brain work as a whole. Through the questions I discovered that to make my logic part of my brain to work with the rest of my mind I have to start with music.

That was always my first love, music.

As I have been going through this I have rediscovered Jazz music. While I was growing up, the music that I heard around the house was the big band swing music. Oh there was some classical, but my favorite music was that swing. I started to discover that to have a good day and be able to think fully that I need the jazz to start my motor. My school days from 7th grade on always started with swing. I was a drummer in the stage band in middle school and then in High School. The classes I enjoyed most were the band classes at school. All the other classes seemed to be a distraction.

Big Band Swing artists like Count Basie, Woody Herman, Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey were big influences during my musical stylings. Basie’s Straight Ahead album was my “Bible” for playing drums back in High School. All the songs were written by Sammy Nestico and even today the music is still wonderful. Brings back wonderful memories.

Through out my life the most times I could think clearly were when I was playing some kind of instrument or singing. This is the gift in ME.

I learned also from Dr. Leaf that we have two ways in which our brains work. They work on either love or fear. Both can not work together but they both make the chemicals in our brains fire off. Both are addictive and if you feed the wrong one, you end up depressed and end up in toxic relationships. Guess which one that is.

I was in the fear camp for a long time, but I finally figured out with the help of the 210 questions in “The Gift In You” that I was not thinking out of the love part of my brain. And like with any muscle, the more you work it, the stronger it gets and the weaker part goes away. My fear factor is going away. Thanks again to Jazz.

What I’m finding out now since I understand how my brain works, that it takes music to fire it up, that I can now think fully and clearer than I have in the past. I understand that music is the key to doing what God wants me to do. I am more willing to be open to whatever is happening around me. As long as I start with a song, I am whole.

Jazz has even helped me in my school bus driving work. I keep the radio on KMHD, the local Jazz radio station. I used to take time on my morning run to pray out loud, keeping the radio off. I realized that this might not be a good idea when I would wonder how I got from the yard to my turn around point out on Sauvie Island. Spacing out while driving is not a good choice. So I put the radio back on. I found that the commercial radio stations have too many adds, too much talk, and not enough music anymore. KMHD is listener supported and has some talk but mostly the station lets the music do the talking. I find KMHD quiets my mind and I find I’m now focused on the road, knowing where I am at all times, aware of what I’m doing and what is going on around me.

The music is affecting the kids on the bus too. Research has proven that instrumental music does wonders for the mind. While the kids are on the bus I have KMHD on the radio, volume barley audible. I have noticed that the kids, all 55 of them, are not as loud now. They talk in calmer tones, though there are a few who still get loud, there are less fights and the bus is cleaner. I have see a vast improvement on how the kids acted when I took over the route 3 years ago. They were all over the bus, moving while the bus in motion, picking fights, and really acting out. I have taken great strides to correct the behavior with positive reinforcements, but nothing really took hold until I started the music.

I have been seeking God and his way, not understanding that I would find his way for ME through music.

Now will music make your brain work? It might and it can’t hurt. But everyone doesn’t think like I do. Your brain may use logic as your start button.

This is the gift that God has given me and now I really want to use it. The gift has been sitting in the closet for too long. It’s a gift that I can not return and it is a part of me that I have to use now.

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