Instead of a bunch of in-jokes and had-to-be-there stories only relevant to a few people in the room, this speech was all about the music that had defined various moments in this woman’s life (complete with corresponding photos and album covers!). Everybody was intrigued, laughing, and loving it – even total strangers like me.
Music has such universal power and can evoke such strong responses, whether you’re a die-hard fan, an occasional radio listener, or a dancer who uses it in class every week. That’s why this speech was instantly so relatable – as she told us what she was going through when she bought that New Kids On The Block album, we all had our own memories associated with those songs. Her story about hearing Prince for the first time also brought back a flood of stories for everybody else. When she went through her Kate Bush phase, others reminisced about theirs.
I love how music becomes this backdrop for such a huge range of experiences. And how our associations with certain songs can change over time, as we make new memories and move on to different seasons.
As a dance teacher, I love that music plays such a huge part in my life, not only in terms of enjoyment but also for ‘work’. We discover new music together, songs that our students hear for the first time in Term 1 become favourites a few months later, and of course, concert songs will have lasting memories for years to come. Who knows, maybe some music you’ve been dancing to lately will make it into a speech at your 40th birthday!