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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, February 18, 2010


My sister, Lori, used to work in a bank as a teller. One day, during break she happened to mention innocently how frustrating it is when she hears music in her head that won't go away. Her supervisor suspected that Lori had some form of mental illness and urged her to see a psychiatrist.
When Lori told me about what happened at work, I laughed for a long time, incredulous that anyone could be so clueless as that supervisor. Perhaps Lori just didn't explain that the music she heard was inside her head, not some audible stuff that everyone else in the area could hear.
That was some years ago and since then I've told this funny story to many friends.
It was only recently, talking about listening to music internally, that my husband informed me that he does not usually hear music in his brain.
"No, really," he said when I looked unconvinced. "Oh, sometimes I'll get a tune in my head that annoys me for an hour or two. But mostly, my mind is music-free.
Bruce is a musical fella. He's got a Master's Degree in music and is a terrific drummer. But, no, he doesn't usually hear music in his head. He listens to his ipod all day, though.
I'm a musician, too. But, by contrast, my mind plays music constantly, sometimes maddeningly. It can be a beloved symphony, a recently listened-to CD, a tune I've known all my life or my own original musical score, composing itself as I write, sleep, brush my teeth, read a book.
Bruce wonders why I frequently prefer silence to music while I'm working in my office. I tell him, "It's not quiet in here." I point to my brain.
Then there are the little snippets of music that get stuck in your head for hours or even days, sometimes called earworms. Horrible. I usually try to replace the annoying music by conjuring up another tune.
So, I'm doing a little informal poll.
Do you frequently hear music in your head?
Or are you more like my husband, Bruce?
I'd love your comments.

Have a great day and listen to some music.


  1. Yes, Dena...I have earworms. When I was in the Air Force, I worked in a secure area where radio transmissions could not come in or go out. I had to learn to work without music. At first, it was weird. Then, I began to like how I could think so much better without music playing. So, I generally don't have music going for background noise. Therefore, I often DO have music going through my mind. And yes, sometimes a tune gets "stuck" in there, and it's quite annoying. I bet if Bruce quit listening to music all day, he would have tunes in his head, too.

  2. That's an idea for Bruce. But I bet he wouldn't give up his music for anything, not even a scientific experiment. Haha. My other sister said some people really don't have music in their heads. So what's playing in there if there's no music?

  3. I love listening to music any time except when working - not music I like anyway. I can't concentrate. I call myself an "active listener", meaning that when good music is playing, some portion of my mind automatically wanders off to the guitar and tries to figure out how I could play that tune. It never shuts off. If it makes sense, I think I listen to music "through" the guitar. What key would I play it in? How would I fret it? It's probably some sort of mental disorder... ;)

  4. Not a mental disorder, Jim; the mind of a musician. I can understand why you'd do that; your guitar is such an extension of you.