Thursday, July 14, 2011

Does music inspire your writing?

I have been researching the anatomy, behavior, and habits of cows for a nonfiction project I am working on. There are so many things to love about these animals but one fact really caught my attention - cows like music! Some farmers play music to help cows relax. It has me wondering what a cow’s playlist might be. Do they have preferences? Do they enjoy some styles more than others?

This is such a contrast to something else I discovered last week – a study suggesting that teens who listen to too much music are at a higher risk for developing depression than teens who do not. The same study found that teens who read books, on the other hand, decreased their risks for developing depression. This is great news for readers! But what about young music-lovers? Growing up, I loved to read and listen to music for long hours. Music was a great escape for me and I usually walked away from a listening session feeling invigorated. Or relaxed, just like the cows.

While writing my YA novel set in a music school, I’ve been listening to a lot of Bach, Chopin, Ravel, and Debussy. My protagonist also loves jazz so my office has been filled with the beautiful voices of Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. It really sets the mood while writing relevant scenes.

             Do you listen to music while you write? Does it inspire the process?