A Word on Music
A bridge is a structure that allows people to cross an obstacle.
Last week I attended a panel discussion at my alma mater, Florida A&M University. The panel, which was comprised of a great group of successful women, offered advice to young ladies about how to address such issues as self-esteem, dating and how to pursue their dreams. Many of the young women in the audience were excited to see that Chrisette Michele was on the panel, along with Meredith Clark, Helena Andrews, LaShawna Stanley and Dr. Michelle Callahan. I’ll admit that I was excited to hear that Chrisette Michele would be on the panel and performing because musical artists of her caliber don’t come to Tallahassee very often. I would’ve gladly driven to a nearby city and paid to hear her perform, so to hear her for free in my city was a no-brainer. I enjoyed the comments from all of the panelists, but since this is a music website, I’ll focus on Chrisette Michele’s contribution.
With two hit albums and hundreds of thousands of fans, Chrisette could easily be described as a superstar. However, during the discussion her superstar status was outshined by her very humble personality. Chrisette responded with a caring tone to each question that was posed, and she displayed a sincere desire to pass along advice that could help the young women in the audience. When asked about love, she spoke about it not having selfish qualities and talked about her belief that Golden years (described by the song Golden on her album I Am) are definitely within our grasp. When asked about how to pursue dreams, she encouraged the audience to always work hard, especially when things are difficult. Chrisette used herself as an example and mentioned having several jobs before signing with a record label.
We often read articles in the news and see television programs that suggest our young adults, including those in college, need more direction. The discussion usually involves some expert saying that music is for entertainment purposes only, and not fit to offer any help in addressing real-life issues. While I agree that music is for entertainment, I’m making the argument that every once in a while, music can be more than just entertaining. Oftentimes it can be a bridge to help its listeners get over their life obstacles. During the discussion, I sat next to young ladies who listened attentively each time Chrisette Michele said anything, and several of them even took notes. After the discussion, Chrisette performed a few songs. As the audience sang along, many of them smiled, showing that they were empowered by the words they heard. That evening was special for me because it reaffirmed my belief that music is more than just a melody. It is a dependable bridge across which obstacles can be overcome, available to anyone who can appreciate its worth.