Working Music

Writing therapy progress notes and psychological evaluations is tedious work for me. I need music while I write. In fact, I have music playing in my office unless I have a client in the office with me. I usually listen to classical music, although lately I have streamed Radio Heartland, too. A counselor friend of my son insists that classic honky-tonk music is the best accompaniment for him to write therapy progress notes. Husband needs dead silence or else he gets distracted when he writes.

Many years ago, the office administration staff at my agency were delighted when our Regional Director at the time phoned to let staff know where he was on a drive back from Fargo, and then forget to turn off his cell phone. He proceeded to sing (well, bellow) along to a rather raucous country western song on the radio about true love. The administrative secretary put it on speaker phone so all the staff could hear him. When they teased him about it, he said “Well, I really missed my wife”.

We listen to classical music or the XM Radio 40’s channel or jazz channels when we drive together. Lately I have revisited CD’s by Solas, Salsa Celtica, and Le Vent du Nord on my way to work. Something about the right music makes me really ready to start my day.

I have a long list of CD’s I intend to spoil myself with for Christmas, mostly classical recordings. I am particularly interested in recordings of music by Ludovico Einaudi, a modern Italian composer. Check him out if you aren’t familiar with his work.

What music helps you think and get things done? What are some new recordings you have discovered? What music annoys you? What music makes you sentimental?

81 thoughts on “Working Music”

  1. Classical MPR every morning when I wake up and eat breakfast. That way, no matter what happens, some beauty has come into my life that day.

    I used to put on old rock records or CDs when I was the housekeeper in the family and clean house with the volume cranked up. Shania Twain was a favorite. Also Huey Lewis, Chicago, and often a classical symphony from Beethoven or Shostakovich.

    Eva Cassidy anytime for any reason. Same with Sam Robson.

    I never got into heavy metal or death metal or other music that seemed more like noise for noise sake than true artistry. Also, if I can’t understand the lyrics when you’re singing to me, why the hell did you bother to write lyrics?????

    Jazz when I want to mellow out a bit. Miles Davis, of course. Big Band stuff is fabulous. Great singers like Sinatra, Fitzgerald, Bennett, Hartman, Holiday, Vaughn. Beboppers like Parker and Gillespie. I could go on and on.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 2 people

      1. If she’d lived, I guarantee she’d be a household name despite her likely decision to never perform in public for huge crowds or buy into the musical stardom syndrome. I’d like to think she’d do either free gigs in small venues for poorer people or charge $1k a head to those who could afford at a different time at the same venue. Just make the music, Eva. Your place in music history was secure after you recorded “Over the Rainbow.” That alone gets you into my musical Hall of Fame.

        Chris

        Liked by 4 people

  2. Love the story about the Director on the cell phone, Renee!

    I remember cleaning my little apartment back in ’72 – I’d listen to Joni Mitchell’s latest album, or Traffic “Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys comes to mind”, Jethro Tull, Boz Scaggs, … I could go on for a while here.

    Then when we were stripping woodwork in our first Winona house, it was Fleetwood Mac – Dreams, and Abba albums. More recently, Beethoven’s 7th. will try to remember more….

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I used to regard Fleetwood Mac a guilty pleasure, a group I loved but shouldn’t admit to liking. Then I discovered this amazing bit of film. Steve Nicks, getting made up for a photo shoot, breaks into song with no audience and no money involved. She just gives herself to the moment with gorgeous singing and harmonizing, singing with her makeup girl and her best friend.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Me too. I have a mix relaxing music. Chants, lots of native flutes, music recorded in the Grand Canyon (cannot think of his name), very mellow jazz sung by exstudent, Enya, and the like.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Rise and Spin a Tune, Baboons,

    When I drive to Iowa I blast Johnny Cash’s “At Folsum Prison” Album because most of the songs have a heavy beat that keeps me awake. That is the only time I listen to that album. As I chug down the highway feeling the boom-chicka-boom-chicka-boom and the story of a Boy Named Sue, I always feel great and happy.

    When I go on a kitchen cooking or canning binge I often play my “Jacque’s Faves” playlist from my iPod which has a wildly varied list reminiscent of TLGMS (Eva Cassidy to Bruce Springsteen to Cantus), The ring on my phone is the opening notes of Beethoven’s 9th, Second Movement, because I like my calls to be announced with ALOT of drama: Bum-pum, Bum-pum, bum-pum. I was in the office of a financial advisor Friday afternoon when it rang after I neglected to turn off the ringer, and I thought the guy would die laughing.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ring Tones! I used to have the opening of Ride of the Valkries. And it would always become an ear worm then. Did it just now when I thought of it.
      Current ring tone is Good, Bad, and Ugly theme done by the British Ukulele orchestra.
      And my text tone is Brandi Carlile “Hold On, Just hold on”.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. I’ve always joked I do theater so I can listen to music.
    Dad always had a radio on in the barn so I think that’s what started my love of music and the need to have it on all the time. He played “old Time” when he could find it, not often, thank-you-very-much. Mostly country.
    I had classic rock, but the screaming electric guitars didn’t help milk production…
    These days I too stream Radio Heartland a lot. I have SXM in the car and listen to a lot of the ’40’s big band station. But I don’t like Bing Crosby; something about his voice. I also stream Jazz Radio and their Modern Big Band station.
    Yesterday at the college, for a few hours it was just me and I’ve been listening to Pink Floyd at high volume. One day was Janice Joplin, One day The Who, and Queen…
    Usually, about the last week before a show opens, I’m a little stressed and I play the entire audio transcription from the movie ‘All That Jazz’. (A friend of mine recorded the audio from the DVD) Gives me the energy I need to power through. But I guess this show is going OK; I wasn’t stressed enough to need that.
    We’re doing a play called ‘Women’ by Chiara Atik and it’s a spoof on Little Women. It’s pretty fun and this is just a really good cast; they’ve all become good friends, no one is a diva, and other than still waiting on make up and some costume pieces (shipping issues; I’m blaming tRump. 🙂 )
    it’s going well.

    #bethdies

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Last question first: sentimental.
    After one particular heartbreak I alternated betwween staring into pace for long periods, and playing “Cupid” by Sam Cooke back to back with “Misty Blue,” Dorothy Moore – for long periods. That was a bad one.
    I don’t like Sam Cooke, it was her that did.
    Another time it was The Drifters featuring Ben E. “The unquestioned” King, “Dance with Me.”
    For nostalgic sentiment, the one or two gems apeice from who knows how many vocal groups (OK, doo wop, if you must). Sandie Shaw, Dusty, Tammy. Right now I’m still sentimental and grieving overDon and Phil.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. After collecting many wonderful CDs, I recorded them all on my computer hard drive . . . and I never, ever listen to them. Instead, my music world has broken into two dissimilar parts.

    First, I have fallen in love with Folk Alley, an internet radio station whose tastes are exactly right for me. I hate knowing what is going to be played, so it suits me to listen to a radio station hosted by folks with sophisticated taste.

    Second, I have fallen in love with the upbeat sound of Tuba Skinny, the modern reincarnation of a Twenties and Thirties jazz band from New Orleans. The band is fascinating, partly because members are extremely shy and averse to publicity. It is hard to learn much about these players, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing just that. I mainly access Tuba Skinny through YouTube. In many respects Tuba Skinny is my dream band: they have mastered over 400 different tunes, all available on YouTube.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. And of course, TS come under my “new recordings I’ve discovered.” New YouTube posts, anyway. I’ve always liked early jazz, without knowing much about it. I’ve got a few 78’s I play when my needle’s worn out anyway, and about to be changed. Probably the wrong way to do it. Not having used my record player lately, because of YouTube, I’m getting behind. But Tuba Skinny and the Shotgun Jazz Band are NOT dressed in traditional jazz band uniform, ie boaters, striped jackets etc. They just play, and make it sound new.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I got some bone headphones, play through bone, don’t cover ears so I can hear phone rings. Bluetooth. Got me back to listening to my music files.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. On many Saturday mornings, my Dad would play Stars and Stripes Forever at high volume. We kids hated that.
      I do enjoy watching old film of people dancing to marches.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Commercial construction sites have become very restrictive on music. Many companies don’t allow earbuds for safety reasons. When I was working and could get away with it, I’d play Motown/Stax soul tunes.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. OT: I should be so ashamed of myself, but am not. I have a dark spot in my heart that is thrilled when one person I dislike victimizes another. Today’s Washington Post fleeced Betsy DeVos for $100,000. Boy, that’s a match made in heaven!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Betsy DeVos invested $100 million in Elizabeth Holmes’ company, Theranos, an investment that quickly went south. Initially she intended to invest “only” $50 million, but got greedy when she heard the projected financial growth of the start-up Theranos, and doubled it. A truly sad story for poor Betsy.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. One year we got a new assistant principal. I was in my room about ten days before school started listening to mpr. He can in and told me to take the radio out of the building. You can’t work listening to music. I told him I was not at work yet. Nope he did not allow music playing in school. I asked about the music department. He said to turn it off and get it out. I asked if he had cleared it with the principal. He said he did not have to. 30 minutes later I went into the office. They were talking, clearly about me. Do I stepped up. He said everyone knows you cannot do paperwork and listen to music. Do the three of us had a closed door talk. He lost that and a few other plans he had. He did not it hold it against me. He became a soso assistant principal. Then he got hired as a superintendent. He agreed to leave at semester. Why are such people?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I was working on a Saturday morning at a Children’s Hospital project. New building. Zero other trades working. Zero chance anyone but me would be listening. CD playing. The job superintendent came on site. Gave me the kill sign. No music. Next offense is a $500 fine to my employer. I obeyed.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Several years ago daughter got in trouble for something. I threatened to take her CD player away. She said “Go ahead. I have music in my head.”
        Curses! Foiled again!

        Liked by 4 people

      2. my wife listens to talk radio for a background i can’t do any work with talking going on
        i listen to music as a background she can’t do it
        we don’t office together ever

        luckily we can tolerate each other’s music but i still can’t believe i gave up a night of bib dylan at the orpheum years ago to watch the b52s at the state fair
        i was pissed the whole concert
        love can be stupid but not that stupid

        Liked by 3 people

        1. To have board press except one of my offerings that I didn’t even notice my typical typo of that word press has kicked off 50 of my entries in the last week I’m about ready to throw in the towel I looked up yesterday to see what the alternatives to WordPress are and there’s one called blogger but I’m not sure that we can transfer all of the 10 year old ones that we have on WordPress over so maybe I’ll just need to suffer through the word press challenge and you guys will all be grateful not to have to read those 50 missing posts every week

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Tim, do you mean they throw them out because they can’t understand them? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha what’s the matter with them?

          Like

  10. Sentimental? The Platters and Johnny Mathis. I used to listen to the Platters when I was sixteen and babysitting. Mathis came about five years later. Both appealed to my idea of romance at the time.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. For what it’s worth, I don’t have any trouble with WP, but I’m always using the same device (my MacBook Air). I’m wondering when others are having trouble if there is a pattern of particular devices causing the snafus. I know Bill at some point reported having trouble, and obviously Fenton, and now tim. Anyone else? Personally I’d love to blame WP for my typos, but I’m afraid I’d be proven wrong no matter which service we choose.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I had been having a lot of trouble with WordPress on my iPad when I was accessing it through my browser (Safari). I’ve switched to accessing it through the WordPress app and that seems to have solved a lot of my complaints.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. I can’t imagine some day to day activities without music. I need background (instrumental only) music to do long write-ups for both work and leisure. I do miss CDs (I’m an mp4 kinda guy now). Do share an example of classic honky-tonk. My mind wanders to Elvis Presley but what do I know, lol.

    Like

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