By, Christopher Michael

“When you’re happy, you enjoy music. But when you’re sad, you understand the lyrics” – Frank Ocean

Think back to your first memory of music. Where are you? What are you doing? How do you feel?

Music is one of the great wonders in life. It can help us time travel, it can make us feel, it can soothe us, it can occupy our time and it can be there for you like no one can. The wonderful thing about music is our ability to have a personal relationship with it, while at the same time having a shared experience with millions of people around the world.

When “Hey Jude” by The Beatles comes on I immediately think of how this song speaks to me on a personal level and by the time the end chorus arrives I am singing in unison with all my brothers and sisters around the planet. What was Paul McCartney thinking when he wrote this, what was going on in his life, does he still think about that when he performs it? Wow, what a powerful song and that is one of the millions that do the same thing for us.

What is it that draws us to music? Is it the rhyme or the rhythm or the lyrics or the feeling? It’s personal and only you know. At the same time, it’s universal and we all know. The feeling of being at a live concert and hearing your favorite song performed by your favorite artist and the pure joy you receive from that is something we are all missing right now. The great news is that music and the ability to access it and play it has never been easier. You can stream music on many different services. Some popular ones are iTunes, Pandora and Spotify. Youtube is another option to explore too. Most have a free option with commercials and all have the opportunity for you to subscribe monthly for unlimited listening.

The wonderful thing about these music streaming services is the ability to make a playlist. You can choose songs to put together in a collection and play them in order or on shuffle. You can share them with friends and family. I have playlists for all different types of moods and music. I have my Boat Cruising playlist for time on the boat, my Life’s Favorites playlist that includes all of my favorite songs, my Laid Back Sunday playlist for relaxing with a coffee, and my Grateful Dead favorites list that I am always adding to. The fun part is that you are the DJ spinning the songs that speak to you.

Many musicians have started performing live on the internet or streaming old concerts during this time to keep us all entertained until we are able to gather in large groups again.
Do a search and see what your favorite artist is up to.

It is time to sit back and relax, put your favorite music on, and start creating playlists. Share them, listen to them, and keep adding to them. Music truly is the playlist of our lives.

4 of my Favorite Music Apps

Streaming music has never been easier thanks to our smartphone technology and the plethora of quality music apps available to download. Our smartphones, both iPhone or Android, have become this incredible tool to discover any and all genres of music with a push of a button.

There are tons of music apps offering a free version and a paid version. Typically, the paid version is ad-free and/or unlimited music. They all possess their own unique features but here are a few of my favorites to get you started to listen to the playlist of your life!

Apple Music offers subscribers a vast library of more than 60 million songs. Users can create custom playlists, try out new tunes in the “For You” category (which builds recommendations from your listening habits) $9.99/month. Expertly curated playlists.

Spotify has become synonymous with online streaming music, thanks to its familiar interface, Facebook integration, and massive song library of more than 60 million tracks. The Spotify mobile app has been updated to allow for more free music streaming than ever. $9.99/month for premium.

Amazon Music is available for free as part of your amazon prime subscription Amazon’s music streaming offering, Prime Music allows you to stream the music you’ve purchased from Amazon, as well as music stored locally in your smartphone or tablet. Prime subscribers ($119 per year) can also access a library of more than 1 million songs along with convenient playlists all through ad-free streaming. If you have Alexa you can listen hands-free! Amazon music unlimited is $7.99/month.

Pandora has been providing personalized online radio for years. A solid choice for users looking to stream music straight to their tablet or smartphone. This free app allows you to create stations based on your favorite artists, with users able to stream an unlimited amount of ad-supported music every month. Pandora Plus is $4.99/month or Pandora Premium at $9.99/month.