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  • Rachel Ireland

12 Quick-Fire Questions to Connect with Music Lovers

If we start by defining a song as simply a short piece of music with words, that doesn’t really tell us why we have favourite songs or why we connect to music so deeply.

I think it’s because songs also have that little bit of magic, that thing you can’t quite describe, but you can feel.

I often share this quote from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, as said by Dumbledore:

“Ah, music," he said, wiping his eyes. "A magic beyond all we do here!”

And this is why we build such strong associations between songs and memories or experiences in our lives.

There might be a song that takes you back to the perfect summer.

A song that you just have to get up and dance to?

A song that reminds you of falling in love.

We might also knows songs that remind us of loss – of someone no longer around, or of a previous version of our lives.

And, have you ever heard a song, for the very first time, and it really feels like it’s been written just for you? It can’t be just me!

So have a think about those songs or the genres of music that you associate with periods in your life or with particular experiences.

Let’s imagine we are compiling ‘The Soundtrack of Your Life’.

I’d like you to think of:

  • A song that reminds you of your childhood – this could be taken from the music your parents or family members listened to, or it could be what was on the radio during that time.

  • Let’s take a step further and think of a song from our teenage years


  • A Holiday song

  • A Heartbreak song

  • A Song to dance to

  • A Song to cry to

Listening to the music you used to listen to, that you used to love, is a great way of reminding you of who you were when you were younger, perhaps before you felt you had to change or conform or become the roles you now have.

How about creating a playlist of those songs; the songs that would make it onto

‘The Soundtrack of your Life’.

Next, have a think about whether we listen to music to match the mood we're in, or whether we can actually change our mood through the music we listen to?

I often joke that sad songs make me happy. I love the deep heartfelt emotion in a country ballad, and listening to them genuinely makes me feel happy. I know that some people listen to trance music to relax, which doesn’t make sense to me, and just proves that the way music can affect and alter our mood varies from person to person.

This week take note of the music you listen to and see if you can identify any themes when it comes to the mood of songs.– have you chosen upbeat songs that make you feel happy? Poignant songs that hold a significant memory for you? Or, like me, is there a bit of a contrast between the type of music and the way it makes you feel?

Take some time over the next few days to observe how different music makes you feel.

If you can identify what makes you feel happy, relaxed, positive, motivated, thoughtful, you can go on to deliberately use music in this way to shift your mood, to re-energise you, to calm you down, to help you sleep even. Treat it as an experiment and note down what you discover.

Music is a great way to connect with others, whether through liking the same type of music as you’re friends and going to gigs together, or having a completely different taste in music to someone close to you. Next time you’re chatting to a family member or friend over coffee ask them about their favourite music and about the songs that have meaning for them.

You may be surprised to see how much people love to talk about their own connection to music.

You could share yours then ask for their…

  1. Favourite band or singer?

  2. Favourite album

  3. Favourite musical film

  4. Genre of music you don’t like and why

  5. Best cover song

  6. Best album cover artwork

  7. Favourite music video

  8. Favourite one-hit wonder...or you could:

  9. Talk about how you like to listen to music – do you collect vinyl, love old second-hand cassettes or have you fully embraced digital music?

  10. Talk about a live gig or festival that changed your life.

  11. If a band or singer were still around today, what would they be doing?

  12. Your musical guilty pleasures

Have fun with this task, and perhaps think about using it to start a conversation with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.

You can find more details about workshops, courses & mentoring here on the website.

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