The Playground

The Simply Music blog

From Neil Moore

Found in: Neil Moore

I’m sitting here at home looking out of my window. It’s a beautiful morning and it’s very quiet. I’m thinking about what has happened this year.


So far, I’ve traveled throughout the USA. I’ve been to Germany and Canada, and next week I head off to Australia. During my travels I’ve met with many people – music students, piano builders, college professors, private teachers, music therapists, heads of multi-national instrument manufacturers, studio engineers, software developers, specialists in autism and Alzheimers, technology experts, marketing veterans, publishing agents, attorneys, accountants, clergy, doctors, performing artists and entertainment industry heads.

The common denominator underscoring every encounter has been music. For every person mentioned above, music plays a significant and often critical role in their life. For some, it’s an important social activity. For many, it is the driving force in their life.

When I stand back and consider my travels and all of the people that I have met, I am struck by the ‘globalness’ of the shared love of music and its value.

What is it about music that impacts us?
Over time, I’ve considered the question – why does music make us cry? One thing is for sure, I have no definitive answer. Try searching the internet for an answer and what you’ll find are opinions, postulations and explanations. Some are intuitive, some ethereal, others purely mathematical. No one answer leaves me with any real clarity. No one answer resonates as being definitively ‘true’. Frankly, I’m not really looking for answers. I am far less interested in ‘why’ music impacts us, and far more interested in ‘that’ it impacts us.

I look at my own experience and know in my heart that I’ve been profoundly touched by music. And while I have no real answer as to ‘why’ that is, I am nonetheless deeply grateful. I love that I love music. I love its mystery, its art, it science. I love that I’m touched by its beauty and its intrigue. I love that its essence lives beyond words – no description of the Perfect 5th interval comes close to giving us the experience of its perfection.

About 12 years ago one of our teachers in Australia, Hilary Cook, said of Simply Music, “I love its simple complexity, or is it complex simplicity?” For me, Hilary was actually verbalizing one of the mysteries of music as a whole. How extraordinary it is that a small collection of pitches and rhythms can be organized into an infinite variety of musical expressions. How remarkable that these expressions, varying profoundly from culture to culture, can move us to laughter, tears and thoughtfulness, invoke memories, reignite physical and emotional experiences, and speak to the core of the beauty and privilege it is to be human.

How fortunate we are to have music, and how wonderful it is for music to have us to experience and appreciate it!

How fabulous it is that there are populations of people, all over the world, who play a role in continuing to have music be woven into the fabric of our lives. Regardless of the question “why does music make us cry?”, and regardless of whatever answers it evokes, it’s clear that the essence of music and the nature of being human are a perfect harmony.

Neil Moore
Founder & Executive Director 
The Simply Music Institute of Learning and Education