What is your theme song? | Connie L. Braun

By Connie L. Braun

Law360 Canada (September 5, 2023, 11:51 AM EDT) --
Connie Braun
No matter what profession you are in or at what stage of career, everyone of us needs support from time to time and in different ways. To that end, what steps do you take to support yourself? How do you build and maintain confidence, focus on what needs to be accomplished, celebrate success, cheer yourself up on a tough day, inspire yourself to greater heights and more? Here’s an idea! Choose a theme song (or two or three or more).

During the past several years, I have asked many people the question, “What is your theme song?” and I’ve received a lot of interesting responses. Everything from Led Zeppelin to Bach and Mozart to Céline Dion to children’s songs to Metallica to Bob Dylan to Dolly Parton to songs that a parent or grandparent sang to you to Simon and Garfunkel to Nickelback to Sting to Luciano Pavarotti as well as everything in between and around and on the edges.

What music do you listen to when needing support and encouragement, trying to regain confidence? Several years ago, while I was seeking to land a new position, having theme songs helped me to get through a challenging time. Frequent hearings of Adele’s One and Only, which has this lyric, “I promise I’m worthy” made a huge difference for me. By changing the intention of the lyrics away from the romantic to focus on myself and my hoped-for success, I felt supported and encouraged.

What music do you listen to in celebration? For me, I often go to jazz where my collection includes Hymn to Freedom by Oscar Peterson, the great Canadian jazz pianist and composer. Another is Take Five by Dave Brubeck. Both are such wonderful expressions of celebration and joy. Watch those fingers go!

When encountering confrontation, how do you respond? Is music involved? Some time ago, a friend told me of an untimely and inappropriate verbal blast from a colleague during a meeting. Before responding in any way, she chose to silently run through the first two stanzas of Gordon Lightfoot’s If You Could Read My Mind. This is quite similar to counting to 10 before responding, giving my friend control of the situation. Can you hear it?

What music do you listen to when needing rest or seeking peace from overwhelming distractions and disturbing situations? Recently, I have discovered Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust, an aria for mezzo-soprano voice by J.S. Bach. For non-German speakers, this text focuses on evoking peace and inner contentment in a quiet, almost introverted way despite the upheaval of life. When feeling stressed about what’s going on in the world right now, I listen to this recording regularly. It’s great as just-before-bed music.

When seeking inspiration or healing, to what music do you listen? I love to listen to Lux Aeterna by Edward Elgar, as performed by the British vocal group, VOCES8. The quiet strength and reassurance of this performance gets into my bones and stops me in my tracks. I simply have to listen. These performers are among the best there are.

Where else might music play a significant role? Check out this CBC report where scientists played Pink Floyd for people, then used their brain activity to re-create the song. The report shows that music can play a role in helping epilepsy patients to communicate, to convey emotion and tone, to be able to express themselves freely. There is much to learn from research efforts like this.

You might be wondering what any of this has to do with your work as a lawyer or in any other profession. To me, it’s simple: all of us need a release and resource like this … a lot. For some, music might not be your thing. Rather, it might be going out for a run, getting back to a favourite hobby, growing something new in your garden, trying a new recipe in the kitchen, almost anything you can think of that gives you means to embrace and appreciate all that you have in your life.

In my opinion, there is nothing finer than discovering music that can give a boost whenever required each and every day in our lives, and in each and every situation in which we find ourselves. As a classically trained orchestral musician, I have wide-ranging tastes and many theme songs that I call on. Sometimes, it is the music that gets me through a busy, challenging day. I have favourites in many genres as long as not any kind of heavy metal or hard rock. To each their own.

What are your theme songs? What music (or other activity) do you explore to help you concentrate, build and maintain confidence, deal with confrontation, celebrate successes, cheer you up or be inspired? I’d love to know.

Now, go ahead and “celebrate the glories of this day!”
Connie L. Braun is a product adoption and learning consultant with LexisNexis Canada.
The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author’s firm, its clients, Law360 Canada, LexisNexis Canada, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and 

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