Jamie Burton
Recently a friend asked me, “What inspires you?” Without hesitation I answered, “Music.” I’ve always loved music, but this question got my thinking deeper about why it’s so important to me. Not only this, but how it has played a major role in both my peers’ and my own life.

I grew up performing in local theater productions while also singing in both my church and school choirs. From a young age, I was always known as the musical one in the family - humming a tune or performing “Barbie Girl” by Aqua in the backyard with my sister. Whether it was rehearsal, chorus class, or a performance, there was always a designated amount of time every day to get lost in the music.

After getting to college, things changed and music didn’t play as big of a role in my life. It became one of those things you realized you took advantage of having while you did. This feeling crept up again over the past year, as the world began to shut down and live performances were taken away due to the pandemic. In this feeling, I was not alone.

I miss singing songs in unison with strangers around me, putting aside all of the factors making each and every one of us different human beings and forgetting about the disagreements and past troubles in order to mutually enjoy a piece of art.

"In times of trouble, devastation, and even a global pandemic, music was and is always there without fail." - Jamie Burton

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In times of trouble, devastation, and even a global pandemic, music was and is always there without fail. Words are so unbelievably powerful and, I don’t know about you, but when I hear lyrics that match my thoughts exactly, I am left speechless. These songs remind you that you are never alone, especially throughout a year of isolation.

Music has the capability to take us back to a moment in time. Whenever I hear “Closer” by the Chainsmokers, I will forever think of my freshman year at Penn State, resurfacing all of the emotions I had during that time. A song can contribute to our happiness or even sadness we are feeling or have felt once before.

Needless to say, I think it’s pretty cool when you think about the process of how your favorite song came together. You will never find me turning off “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5 or “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls.

Do you have a favorite song? Feel free to share it to [email protected]. There’s nothing better than getting new music suggestions.

Jamie Burton

Jamie Burton is a journalist and music enthusiast, originally from Upstate New York. She graduated from Penn State in Broadcast Journalism. Check her out on Connect's "What are We Doing?" weekly podcast.

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