My favorite music memory is when I played my first live gig: the high school talent show. I was only 14 at the time, and wrote a love song for the girl I had a crush on. I practiced diligently for almost a month, and when the performance came around I nailed it. Not only did everyone like it, but the girl I wrote it for came up to me, smiled, and said “I have a new favorite song.” That was one of the most gratifying moments, and my favorite music memory.
Take a moment to let us know your favorite music gifting memory. Then read what others have said ... the stories here are truly inspiring.
Music matters. It’s important in our household…the quality, the artistry, the message. So years ago, I noticed that my 9 year old son was listening only to music that was trivial. I found it necessary to intervene. Much like its OK for your kid to have some candy, its important that its only in small amounts. Music is the same way – its OK to have some fluff, but it has to be balanced with alot of content and quality. I called him into our loft, and opened a double sided record album….a little album called “Born to Run.” I asked him to sit down and listen to this entire album and read along with the words….and off we went into Bruce Springsteens world of cars, girls, grit, and escape. When those last aching wails of Jungleland ended, we sat silently for few minutes until I finally asked what he thought. He looked at me and said, “I will never listen to that other music again.” And from that day on, I focused on introducing him to as much of a musical variety I could – from Rush to Green Day to Steel Pulse to Glen Miller. And it stuck. Fast forward 10 years, he is a Jazz trumpet player, and now brings ME to the loft to hear Charles Mingus, Streetlight Manifesto, Lee Morgan, or whatever he thinks is “important” for me to hear. In my world, The Gift of Music is given every single day.
My favorite music memory was back in 1981 when Bruce Springsteen was the hottest thing on the planet and I got 6 front row tickets to his show in Chicago when I really shouldn’t have! I was at work listening to a local radio station. They were promoting his concert and were telling the listeners to act now for a chance to get tickets…with all the excitement and desperation to do it in a hurry, I didn’t listen too well and mailed them a personal check, not a money order that was supposed to be done! But I got a call and they told me they will hold my order if I mail them a certified check/money order. It was about a week later when the envelope arrived. Before I opened it I said to my brother “that would be funny if they were front row seats” They were! Seats 1 through 6 front row!! A concert I’ll never forget!
The day my grandmother died I lost a piece of myself. I had been living at boarding school and got the phone call at 8:45 pm. I had been doing homework and had been beating myself up so much at how much I had to do and how little patience I had, worrying about stupid little things like homework, and then the phone rang and my homework just didn’t matter anymore. Homework, school, friends, all of it was pointless because she was gone. In her sleep, without a sound, without a complaint, peaceful and gone. I’ve never been one for tears or much emotion, but I just broke down. I cried and I hit the walls and did anything I could think of to make the pain less. It was, and always will be, one of the worst days of my life. Less than a week later we had the funeral in her town. A small brick church on a small street, cars passing by, oblivious to the feelings that church contained that day. The ceremony was quiet, solemn, and nice. I use the word nice only because so many people I barely knew came to speak for her, to speak the words I wished she could have heard, the words I would have traded my life for her to here, and the words she would never hear. Kind words, but nothing really helped much against that pain. At the end of the ceremony, they lifted her casket and carried it out. The organ played a song but it was lost to me, all I could do was follow her, deaf to the world. When the doors opened and the sunlight streamed in, playing its fingers over her casket, I saw a street musician standing across the street. He sat tiredly on the stoop, a man trying to sell music no one wanted to hear, lives to busy to listen. As we exited the church, for a reason I will never understand, he began playing his guitar. A melody that neither inspired nor disgusted, just a song. But his song floated through the air, simple and ungrand, and somehow found its way to my ear. I remember following my grandmother on her last walk down the street and hearing his song playing. Something soft, sad, but ironically hopeful. Something that spoke not of endings, but of life. That was not intended to lighten the heavy hearted, or tug on the gray sadness in my head, merely music to fill the air, to accompany us on our way to her resting place. That song I will never forget. I may never fully remember the song, nor speak again to the man who played it, but I will always have that with me.
That is the greatest gift anyone has ever given me. Music, simply to be music.
My favorite music gifting memory is from my birthday party a few years ago. All of my friends pooled their money together and bought me a video iPod, which was the coolest gadget to have at the time. They even had it engraved with Happy Birthday. The best part of the gift was the amazing card my graphic designer friend created. The card was several pages long and each page was dedicated to a different friend. My graphic designer friend had then photoshopped pictures of me and my friends into the screens of the iPods on each page. And my friends wrote special messages to me. It was one of the best gifts I’ve ever received and it was several years before I had to replace it. Sadly (but not really sadly) my music collection had grown too large and I had to invest in a larger iPod!
The most valuable gift of music I’ve ever received was Paulina Rubio’s newest album, ‘Gran City Pop.’ I received this album from her manager, Marya Myer, when I was working an assistant manager position during Pualina’s Gran City Pop Tour. To date, this is the most integral part I have served in the music industry and this album meant alot to me in terms of making my in into the industry.
The greatest musical gift I have ever received was from my grandmother. I don’t think I was much older than 5, when she took me to see ‘Peter and the Wolf’ played by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. It was family day, and in the lobby, members of the Philharmonic were letting kids try out many different instruments like violins, cellos, and even a green, plastic trombone. I remember being so excited to be able to try all these wonderful instruments, but what I was looking forward to the most was hearing those instruments being played by people who REALLY knew how to make them sound good. I sat and enjoyed the whole concert, and came out feeling enthusiastic about how those cool musicians could tell the story without saying a single word. I wanted to be just like them, make the sounds they made, and share stories with a crowd. This performance inspired me to become a musician, and to pursue music even further than just a hobby. Thanks to my grandmother, and the single performance that sparked my interest in the musical world, I am now working hard and studying music at the University of Miami.
I’ve had some great musical gifts, like when I was 15 and my mom pre-ordered N’Sync’s ‘No Strings Attached’ album from fye so I could have it in time for christmas. I was so excited. I ate, slept and showered to it. It drove my mom crazy. Then there was the time I discovered that I couldn’t afford to see Aerosmith on my student budget and my supervisors at work gave me their extra ticket. The show was magical mostly because I knew I would never have been able to afford to go. But I think the best gift was a Reggae Album that a friend gave me right before I went away for college, that became the soundtrack for my freshman year. Every time I listen to it, I’m taken back to my first dorm, how terrified I was to be out on my own for the first time and all the fun I had. It’s amazing how magical the gift of music can be.
My favorite musical memory is of my mother singing me to sleep every night of my childhood. It’s how I learned to speak hebrew.
Christmas has always been about music to me, ever since I started playing in band and throughout my undergraduate years. But the thing that really got me into popular music was my first CD player, delivered by ‘Santa’ when I was 9 years old. I got so into music that I decided to pursue a career in the music industry.
Probably the most meaningful music gift that I have ever received occured in the 7th grade. Around this time is when I first really started to get into music. After taking piano for a number of years I had recently decided to begin learning to play the guitar so that I could learn the rRck songs I was hearing on the radio. At that time, mid-1990s I was hearing a lot of Green Day, 311, Third Eye Blind, Eve6, etc. For my birthday that year, my best friend gave me the self titled 311 album. Also around that time, I got the self titled Third Eye Blind album. These early gifts came at the time that my passion for music was really developing and they played an integral role in my love for music. I’m currently still playing the guitar, in law school, and getting a Masters in Music Business and Entertainment Industries all in pursuit of my dream job as an attorney in the music business. Receiving those albums in my formative years played a huge role in my desire to pursue a career in music and for that, I’m thankful.
My husband was deployed in Afghanistan during Christmas and he sent me a single of our wedding song, Stevie Wonder’s “Ribbon in the Sky!!!”
The best music gift I ever received came on Christmas from my father when I was 10. I was given a beautiful mistletoe printed notebook and was told by my father to start writing songs. In my head I thought he was crazy for ever thinking I could do such a thing, but this gift turned out to be one of the most valuable ever received. Eight years later I was given a hefty scholarship from the University of Miami to enter the Bruce Honrsby Program. I was offered a publishing deal for my songwriting skills AND I still use the same notebook to this day to write down all my ideas and concepts! Thanks Daddy!!
The greatest musical gift that I have received would have to be my first microphone, when I was 10. I am constantly inspired by the music industry and to have my own device to record my music on. Having my first mic still motivates me to do more so that one day I am a proud owner of a Grammy!
On his 21st birthday, I gave my nephew, a musician, 21 of my all time favorite all time albums. Gotta pass it on to the next generation to keep it alive. He liked Leon Russell the best.
As a shy teenager, the gift of music has helped to make my life complete. When I was about 12, I received my first guitar from my parents as a gift. I had no idea what that guitar would mean to my future. Every single day, for at least a couple hours, I play guitar, keyboard or write songs. Without music, I would be lonely. It is my passion and outlet for letting me be myself. It has been a way of helping me to open up to others, and now I am in a band with a few kids from school. I hope to write music to make people feel something from my songs. Even if I never become famous, I am fortunate to have had music in my life.
I’ll never forget my first big music-festival experience. I attended a Bonnaroo Music Fest with my younger sister. We were both in college at the time, but on separate sides of the country. Those five days gave us a chance to bond over our shared experiences and our love of music. She liked jammy bands like Phish, while I preferred more traditional rock-n-roll songwriters like Wilco and Elvis Costello. We both had a blast enjoying each others’ favorite bands, and we stayed up until 4:00am dancing in one of the tents. I came away from Bonnaroo closer than ever to my sister, and we still reminisce about our experience to this day.
Some of the best gifts of music that I have received are actually from working with and knowing some amazing people in the music business that inspire me. It’s a difficult time in a tough industry, but I’ve been lucky enough to find people who, when I have even the least bit of a discouraged moment, manage to remind me why I’m so lucky to do what I do. I’ve had some great mentors and colleagues alike that I can collaborate with to continue to do great work. And I have been blessed enough to work with musicians that are such great people that I not only am awed by what they do, but can call them my friends. So, I guess, my career in music has been an amazing music gift thus far – but what has made it so special is the people that are in my life as a result of our common love of music.
One of the most touching musical gifts I ever received was from one of my best friends, who is a singer-songwriter. Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” was in his repertoire, and I found it to be one of the most beautiful and calming songs. Knowing how much I enjoyed it, he made me a recording of it for my birthday one year. While a very nice gift in and of itself, it became more meaningful later. I ended up having surgery and was having trouble falling asleep from the pain, so my mom asked me if I would like her to put on some music. She put on that recording on repeat for me and I was finally able to relax enough to fall asleep. I will always remember that. You never do know just how much of an impact a simple gift of music will have on the recipient.
My first music gift was a red, blue and yellow cassette player for my 5th birthday. I can still remember going to the store with my mom and picking it out. A cassette player is useless, however, without some great tapes and I was allowed to pick one out. I chose the Little Mermaid sound track, and I’m fairly sure that it’s at least part of why it is one of my favorite children’s movies to this day. Who can resist singing along to“Under the Sea?”