When I was child, I never really got in to any kind of music. All my friends and cousins where huge fans of Bollywood music. They often insisted me to join the gang but I never did.
Until one fine evening in 2012, I stumbled upon Numb by Linkin Park on YouTube. Boy, did I loved the song so much that I kept listening to it until my ears bled. With internet at hand, I started exploring and found more songs by Linkin Park and Green Day. Guess who was their latest fan?
I started going around in my hostel making everyone listen them. Blunder years, where making a fool out of yourself was easier than sending a text message these days. I continued doing it until one friend insulted Linkin Park. I was pissed and got into an argument with him. Instead of attacking back, he laughed at my ignorance, sat next to me and introduced me to world of music.
He shared with me Opeth (Death Metal band from Sweden) and asked me to listen to their Damnation album. I was hooked. Linkin Park stayed for hours, Opeth stayed for life. It made me curious for what these fellas were playing. I researched a bit and learned about Metal Genre. Next he shared few documentaries and more music from other bands. He welcomed me to world of Rock and Metal.
My life took a turn from here. Over the years, I became a Metalhead and Music is the biggest passion I live by. I started exploring different forms and genres of music. Started listening to bands around the globe playing various styles. Attended gigs, concerts, met bands members, and passionate music lovers. Now when I meet those friends and cousins who talked about being music fans, I find it funny how tables have turned with time.
As I started exploring deeper, I developed my ears to capture sound better and being able to identify every instrument individually. I even got a decent pair of studio earphones that have flat output. I decided to never multi-task while listening to music, as I loved it so much that I did not want to miss a beat, literally. When I listening to music, I tend to be extremely focused as I wish to enjoy every node, every solo and every string that is plucked.
I got into lyrics and started to understand what the artist(s) was (were) trying to convey. Slowly I started to understand music better and the instrumental part gave away the strong vibe of intention of the sound. I started to feel music as if it were any physical object. The feeling is beyond words.
That is when I came across an article about active listening. I had never heard of the concept earlier. I found it interesting and realised that most of us listen to reply and very few listen with an intent to understand the other person.
I started implementing my music listening skills in my real life while conversing with people. It was difficult at first, but then the habit kicked in and sub conscious took care of the rest. My conversation were better and discussions led to better conclusions. The people I talked/listened to felt valued talking to me because I was present in the moment when they spoke to me and actually listened to them trying to understand what they wish to express.
This not only helped me to better understand the other person, but also respond better. Because I understood their intentions not words.
Overall, music changed my life completely and I still thank my friend who laughed at me. Today I am a better person because that day he sat beside me and guided me into a new world.