It’s only rock ‘n’ roll, but I like it

Music Appreciation Club President Tyler Cole with fellow members Ethan Best, Palmer Mowlam and Zach Detota draw inspiration from the songs they discuss in their weekly meetings to create their own art. ORACLE PHOTO/MATTHEW CUTILLO

Music can be a very personal, influential device for self-expression. During exposure to new kinds of music, motivation encourages the listener to create their own art as a reflection of their new-found knowledge. The Music Appreciation club best exemplifies these moments.

With discussion-based meetings, the club works diligently to express and spread awareness of interesting pieces of music within numerous genres. Every member takes their turn showing off what they have been listening to during the time between meetings and they pay attention eagerly as their colleagues present their findings.

One of the most rewarding parts of the discussion sessions is becoming aware of new, unpopular music. Whether it be playing the group a song with little recognition or something in a different language, each club meeting is a varied affair.

Tyler Cole, a junior year majoring in psychology and the current president of the club, expressed his astonishment toward the new music the club has presented him with.

“I’ve discovered all sorts of new music,” Cole said. “I thought I was really into music before, but people come in and throw me a curveball.”

All genres of music are presented at the meetings, allowing for a wide array of musical talent to be showcased.

Meetings are usually genre-themed, allowing for each member to display their findings in a structured and organized way. However, occasional meetings will simply be centered around whatever the members were listening to after the previous meeting.

If a new, interesting album were to be released, it would not be uncommon for a discussion to be started around everyone’s thoughts regarding it. The instrumentation, song structure and overall thematic elements all come into conversation.

Many members within the organization often create their own music and find inspiration through the newly discovered tracks discussed during the club. Each new song creates a sense of deep motivation which results in personal, original songwriting.

“The nice thing about this club is the different tastes I have gotten to know from other people,” Cole said. “It has influenced what I’ve made. The more you have to listen to the more you’ve got to work with.”

Inspiration runs deep into the members as they often take their newfound knowledge into their personal endeavors. The range of music that appears within the club is inspiring and can often drive the members to take creative leaps on their own time.

“Even after this meeting, I’ll go home and listen to things we discussed today, there’s all sorts of cool stuff I learn every meeting,” Cole said. He is a member of the local rock group Coastals.

Cole is not the only member who finds influence through the club, however. Vice President Ethan Best, a sophomore majoring in accounting, took guitar more seriously after becoming involved with the organization.

“I’ve been playing guitar for like a year and a half, I don’t play in a band or anything but it’s nice playing alone,” Best said. “It’s awesome being exposed to a bunch of music you wouldn’t have found yourself. You wouldn’t have given it a chance, but you realize when you’re listening to it with a group its pretty good and you can appreciate it too. That’s what’s cool about listening to all the different types of music that people bring in.“

Sitting down with a group of like-minded individuals to discuss passionate opinions often results in fulfilling conversation, with the musical discussions typically derailing into personal anecdotes as to how each member feels about the music being listened to and any first hand experiences they may have with it.

Telling tales of seeing artists live in concert is common for the club, as a live show can create a deeper appreciation for the musical art. Very often besides listening to music, the members will discuss recent concerts they have attended and express their thoughts on it.

The Music Appreciation Club helps carry the torch of considering music to be a more than just sound, and rather a discussable art piece ripe for conversation and personal opinions.