One of my biggest musical inspirations and influences for a majority life has been Taylor Swift. This week is Taylor Swift’s birthday and my 13th blog post. I thought it would be fun to reflect on the influence Taylor Swift and her music have had on me as a person and a future music therapist. 

My Swiftie Origin Story

As a child I listened mainly to country music. Country music is very male-heavy, which, while I enjoyed it, didn’t resonate with me as a 9-year-old girl. I think this is why Taylor Swift’s music stood out to me. Her music was country, but held a similarity to the music in other media I was consuming, like Disney Channel. Taylor Swift’s debut album was one of the first CDs I owned and I was hooked from there.

Inspiration to Learn

As a child, seeing videos of Taylor Swift playing the guitar excited me. I wanted to play the guitar like Taylor Swift. I received a guitar for Christmas when I was in the 6th grade and I attempted to learn to play it for years to come. Taylor Swift’s songs were a helpful tool for me while I was learning how to play the guitar, ukulele and the piano. I used songs like “Mean” and “Stay Stay Stay” to learn and become comfortable with bar chords on the guitar. When I did my guitar and piano competencies in college, I used the songs “New Years Day” and “Stay Stay Stay.”

Soundtrack to My Life

Taylor Swift’s songs have a reputation for being about relationships and breakups. However, there are many songs that I was able to relate to as a child and then teenager listening to her music. Using Taylor Swift’s music, I learned how to emotionally relate and identify with songs. Additionally, I have many memories associated with the songs and albums of Taylor Swift.

  • “I’m Only Me When I’m With You” makes me think of my elementary school friendships. 
  • “Mean” got me through the ups and downs of middle school.
  • Her album, 1989, brings me back to driving around my hometown as a teenager with old friends.
  • Her album, Lover, brings me back to driving around Macomb, Il with my friends in college.
  • Her albums, Folklore and Evermore were bright spots to an otherwise dark year, 2020. 
  • “This is Me Trying” was a support for me during the stressful times in my senior year of college. 

A Uniting Factor

Taylor Swift’s songs have been a uniting factor in my life. I bonded with people in college who later became my friends because of Taylor Swift songs. Additionally, I have bonded over Taylor Swift songs with professors and supervisors. Since Taylor Swift is a very widely beloved singer, discussing and using Taylor Swift songs helped me build rapport with clients and patients who are Taylor Swift fans. 

Without a doubt, I wouldn’t be the person and musician I am today without Taylor Swift and her music. I am incredibly grateful for her music and am so excited about what she is going to do next.

Happy Taylor Swift Day!!!