The Sound of Music

“Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.” ― Maria von Trapp

What is it about music that can affect us so strongly? My husband and I recently enjoyed the musical Singin’ in the Rain. The song by that title was intended to be uplifting for the audience, as the main character sang and danced in rain that poured all over the stage. I was probably the only person in the audience who cried throughout that piece. I remembered the many times I’d seen my Mom watching Gene Kelly in that role on television. Mom passed away earlier this year.

My Mom loved watching old musicals for pleasure, and her favorite was The Sound of Music. I love this and other musicals too, and I have an extra motive—I find them inspiring. The song “The Sound of Music” is on my MP3 player because it is so uplifting:I go to the hills when my heart is lonely/ I know I will hear what I heard before/ My heart will be blessed with the sound of music/ And I’ll sing once more.”

© Copyright Stephen McKay and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

© Copyright Stephen McKay and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

My MP3 player has only songs that I find uplifting or inspirational. From The Sound of Music, I also recorded the Mother Abbess singing, “Climb ev’ry mountain/ Ford ev’ry stream/ Follow ev’ry rainbow/ Till you find your dream.”

Whenever I hear “The Impossible Dream” sung by Placido Domingo. I listen to it two or three times. “This is my quest, to follow that star/ No matter how hopeless, no matter how far/ To fight for the right, without question or pause/ To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause.”

As I take timid steps toward being a writer, I love to join Frank Sinatra in singing “My Way”: “For what is a man, what has he got?/ If not himself, then he has naught/ To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels/ The record shows I took the blows and did it my way!/ Yes, it was my way.”

When I dream about making it big, what could be better than singing along with Frankie, “These little town blues, are melting away/ And I’m gonna make a brand new start of it – in old New York/ And if I can make it there, I’m gonna make it anywhere/ It’s up to you – New York, New York.”

© Copyright Robin Webster and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

© Copyright Robin Webster and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Oldies are great for inspiration, but more contemporary songs are also inspiring. How about Whitney Houston singing “Whatever You Imagine”: “Whatever you imagine/ Can one day come to be/ There are dreams to awaken,/ Roads to be taken./ Follow them and they will set you free.”

I often bring my MP3 player on my walks or runs, although I keep the volume low so I can hear what’s going on around me. Sometimes I’m tired and want to stop running, and an inspiring piece like the theme song for Rocky comes on. Other songs that inspire me are “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?”, “Imagine”, “I Hope You Dance,” and “Reach for the Light.” Such music gives me the strength to keep going and distracts me from minor discomfort. It also gets me in a rhythm as I move forward.

When I listen to songs, my walks or runs do double duty as a way to care for my mind as well as my body. The sound of music gives me inspiration as well as pleasure.

* * * *

What music or songs inspire you? Any particular lyrics? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

About Susan Ekins

Freelance writer and blogger at Women Making Strides. Interested in personal leadership and empowerment. Wanting inspiration and to inspire. Leader in church ministries. Blog: Facebook page:
This entry was posted in Inspiration, Music, positive-thinking and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to The Sound of Music

  1. At this moment my home is filled with instrumental Christmas music and your blog gave me inspiration to stop and LISTEN for a few moments. Soothing and centering – ahhh!


  2. Kathy Smith says:

    Sue: I’ve really been enjoying your blogs, and am also hugely affected by music. One of my favorite musicals (other than Sound of Music) is Fiddler on the Roof. Thank you for blogging, and a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!


    • Susan says:

      Great one, Kathy! Here’s some lyrics from the toast song “To Life”:
      (Tevye) God would like us to be joyful
      Even when our hearts lie panting on the floor

      (Lazar) How much more can we be joyful
      When there’s really something
      To be joyful for

      (Both) To life, to life, l’chaim


  3. I love The Sound of Music! Who doesn’t? One of my all time favourites is Somewhere Over The Rainbow. My mom has played it on the piano since we were kids. She’s declining now but can still play the piano, and still plays our favourite song. Even though tears are coming to my eyes as I contemplate being in your situation, hearing that song once she’s gone, it will always be with me and I hope, as I hope for you, that it will recall happier times.
    Thanks for following my blog. I wish you a happy holiday with music of the season to uplift you.


    • Susan says:

      Carolin, Wizard of Oz was a family favorite in our house, too. Thanks for reminding me about that beautiful, uplifting song. Your blog “Wrestling Pollyanna” is an uplifting read.


      • Thanks. Most appreciated. I thought of another song afterwards, another one my mother always plays; When You Wish Upon A Star. “…anything your heart desires will come to you.” Very Pollyanna, wouldn’t agree?


  4. Sarah Smith says:

    I so look forward to each article you post! I just saw ANNIE at the Paramount and was reminded what an uplifting story it is. Of course, when reminded that “the sun’ll come out/tomorrow”, I have to thank an 11 year old red-headed girl for reminding me of that through song.


  5. Ann Wohlberg says:

    Sue, I really liked your thoughts on music and how uplifting it is. I sometimes don’t exactly know what I am feeling other than I am drawn to a certain piece of music. But when I listen, my feelings become evident to me and I can feel my sadness or grief or whatever feeling it is that I am having difficulty experiencing. I think that function is part of why my husband loves opera. Ann W.


  6. celiabrown says:

    Music always sets the mood & emotion for me when I write.
    Susan I am also please to add that following your ‘Beautiful Blogger’s Award’ to, I have now nominated 7 more blogs for the Award see . Thanks once again Celia


  7. Jennifer says:

    I have been a musician since I was in 4th grade. Having learned to play 6 different instruments allowed me to learn how to express myself through my instruments and through the music we played. Writers write to express themselves as musicians do the same but with their instruments – this is why music is the best example of sheer passion from all parties. “The Sound of Music” is all time favorite from our childhood. It hits us close to home since our grandparents came from Vienna! I find “How Great Thou Art” and “Shout to the Lord” two of my most ultimate favorite songs. They are so descriptive and emotion filled that it is hard not to get wrapped up in the meaning behind the songs. And as Susan mentioned, how can anyone NOT be encouraged by the theme song from Rocky? 🙂


  8. Susan says:

    Jennifer, I love that thought “Music is the best example of sheer passion.” Thanks for sharing your story with us.


  9. For me, one of the songs that gets me motivated is more modern. The song is called “Move Along” by the All-American Rejects. The video that goes with it (which can be found on YouTube) is also very uplifting.


  10. catnipoflife says:

    Music is just good for the soul! It’s a great day starter, as well as ender! Keeps the blood pumpin’ and the feet a jumpin’! Great post, Susan!


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