This is a concept I've been embracing (I guess this is the correct word for it) over the past several months. Maybe its because I'm turning 40 this July, or because my grandmother passed away last summer or the music I've been listening to. Whatever the reason, its been something in my mind and I'd like to share how it can be a blessing. The dictionary definition is: a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.

This past summer I was really into Pretenders recordings. What a great band! This tune is about her hometown. Nostalgic? You be the judge. The point is, you can harness that nostalgic feeling and use it for your art. Use what you know! Also, what a killer bass line.

This tune also reminds me of the good old days of RECORD STORES! I spent many hours sifting through racks of recordings with friends. It started with 8-tracks, then cassettes and finally Cds.  Listening to people in record stores passionately talk about music seems to be gone now. Music used to be a social activity. I talk (ok, soapbox) about this concept to my students. Some of them roll their eyes but most of them are engaged and like to hear about the history of music as experienced by a real person. I understand those days are gone and won't return again, but I hope my students will take some morsel from my rants and make music a social activity again. Share your story with others and engage people in discussions about music! Please visit your local record store like, Twist and Shout in Denver. 

I've been listening a lot to grunge music in preparation for a recital I'm doing. Yes, you read that correctly. My childhood friend and fellow faculty member at Colorado State University are putting on a Grunge Recital with a Jazz quartet. This music means SO MUCH to me. I'm convinced the music of your teens through college makes the biggest impression on you. The fact that I can relate so deeply to this music makes it the perfect vehicle for me to arrange and perform. I'm STILL using this music for inspiration in every facet of my musical career. Driving with this music cranked can really clear my head.

So, the next time you get that nostalgic feeling, harness it for your art. Arrange a tune you were listing to in your youth. Take that drive with the tunes cranked to clear your head. Talk to a student about the good old days. Take a trip to your local record store and support a dying institution. Don't fight nostalgia, embrace it!

AuthorShilo Stroman