Music is one of the few universal traditions that has continued through generations in cultures all over the world. For some, it exists only in the background, and for others it has a place front and center. It has always been a fundamental part of my life. Music connects me to my family and friends, including lost loved ones; it stirs emotions in me that I can’t explain; it inspires me; and even as I write this, a concert plays in my mind with varied songs selected by my subconscious. Music has a special impact on people’s lives, and I am willing to bet there are a lot of people out there with stories to prove it.

So begins my journey to create Stories of Music. Over the course of the next few months, I will be collecting stories from a variety of authors and artists who would like to be a part of this multimedia book that will include creative nonfiction, poetry, photo essays, audio recordings, and videos. These stories can express any experience with music.

I’ll kick it off and tell you about my first memory with music, which is both magical and hilarious. My romanticized explanation is that I released my child’s song into the unknown. Picture it: me, a two-year-old—stark naked—singing into a stick on the front porch every night before bath time. I sang nearly to a scream and held onto every note as long as I could to hear the sky sing my song back to me. I loved a good echo. It was like pulling teeth for my mother to drag me back into the house and say goodnight to the day.

Dad with Guitar
My dad, Bob Tripp, with his coveted 12-string guitar.

I was lucky to have a childhood filled with music. Both of my parents played guitar and would sing to my siblings and me often. Dad’s favorite was singing Van Morrison’s “Brown-eyed girl” to my sister, Danielle, and then he’d swap the color to “Blue-eyed girl” for me. He was very accommodating. I laugh now at how upset I would get when Dad didn’t sing my version.

These are just a couple of my favorite memories that began my ever-growing love for music and this endeavor to create Stories of Music. What will eventually become a book (hopefully many volumes) is today an invitation to you to share your stories, and an opportunity for us all to create a community around music storytelling. Plus, something very near and dear to my heart, is that this book will support national music programs to inspire yet another generation of music stories. You’re welcome to share a brief story in the comments section, and I hope you will formally submit your work for inclusion in the book.

This blog will be a place for sharing a variety of stories—my own and those from the beautiful people in my life, and stories from other sources on the topic of music. It will also be a place to inspire writers and artists who might be interested in submitting works for the Stories of Music book. With that said, let’s get started! What are some of your first memories with music?

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to your stories.