If you're on this website, I think it's safe to assume that music is important to you. It's something that defines so many aspects of our lives; there's really nothing in life like the sensation of being taken to a very specific moment and time in your life just by hearing a song.

One of the things that has been a consistent, reliable joy in a world full of inconsistency and uncertainty is the constant discovery of new music. For as long as I can remember, I have spent hours upon hours each week appreciating, studying, digging through music both new and old, familiar and completely fresh. I don't know what's more enthralling: the excitement of finding something I never knew about, or discovering something new to love in an artist or genre I thought I knew everything about already.

I started playing both bass guitar and guitar before I hit my teens and, while I'm not even remotely as good at either as most people who play instruments, playing them enriched my life in a lot of ways. I feel like I am able to understand music more, that I can relate more to the visceral and cathartic feelings expressed by artists, that I can appreciate how different styles are incorporated by artists to make something new.

I was lucky enough to have access to guitars from a young age, but a lot of people don't. And it's heartbreaking to know that there are kids who could be deprived of the ability to enjoy a deep love of music that has improved my life in incalculable ways.

We could get into the plethora of studies and thinkpieces aimed at demonstrating the cognitive improvements from appreciating and playing music, but I can only attest to the emotional and psychological benefits (although if you'd like to read more about the cognitive stuff, you can do so here, here, here, and here to start). It's life-changing.

And you can help provide that life-changing experience by checking out more information about Music Matters, a program WRRV is proud to be a part of at this link.