Communication – verbal and musical

“Are you a hot or cold person?” Now, if you were posed this question by someone you had just met, you might be slighlty flummoxed by the kind of question. If it was by someone you knew quite well then you might have to gauge exactly what they meant – after all, to describe yourself as a hot person would be to imply that you are quite bad-tempered, prone to bouts of anger or irritated at the very least of provocation, whether verbal or physical. And f you were to describe youself as a cold person, it would be to imply that you were actually lacking in feeling, devoid of empathy. It would be a choice with not much positivity, a lose-lose situation. You would rather describe yourself as a warm person.

And what if – upon closer probing – you realised that there person who had posed you this had not actually meant to question your personality, but actually meant to ask you about your preferred weather? Are you a person that prefers the hot weather, or one that prefers the cold weather. You might breathe a sigh of relief. You were not being questioned about the kind of person you were – not that kind of intrusive question – but more a general question where you could express a preference without fear of being judged. You might breathe a sigh of relief. Awkward moment ove. Cue nervous laughter. Cue embarrassed laughter from the person who had posed that question.

Of course, if it had been someone you know, and you realise that their intent was not to question your personality, you would have double-checked. But if it were a first time impression, you might have decided not to continue your acquaintance with the other person, who may not have intended that slight. It goes to show how we need to be more precise so that our communication is not misunderstood.

But sometimes communication can be expressed on a non-verbal manner. Using music to express emotions can be equally effective. If you are feeling sad, play music that sounds slow, is in a minor key, and mournful. If you are happy, music that is fast, lively and in a major key may best express your mood. It is no wonder that music is prescribed as a means of help to those who suffer from autism, and who may have difficulty expressing their innermost feelings. Songs such as Johann Pachelbel‘s Canon can allow to emote feelings that are hard to express.

Learning the piano may be a useful aid because the piano allows you a different range of emotions. Feel angry? Play music that has power chords (usually heard in rock songs.) Those who also take it up may eventually also do piano exams, and get a useful qualification out of it.