Music is an almost perpetual presence in our lives; whether it's the latest chart topper playing every time we turn on the radio, or a long-forgotten classic playing in the background when you walk around the shops. Thanks to widely available mp3 players, you need never be without music. As long as you have a pair of earphones, and maybe a long train journey ahead of you, you can plug yourself in and listen to your favourite artists, without any interruption.
One of my favourite artists, the British singer-songwriter Ben Howard, is currently on tour in Europe. As tempting as it is to dedicate a whole post to Ben Howard and his musical genius, it could be very boring for anyone who isn't as obsessed with him as I am.
Instead, I thought I'd concentrate on something that Ben Howard himself is particularly famous for, and which many people love: live music. If you've ever been lucky enough to see your favourite band in concert, go to a music festival or even see a musical at the theatre, then you know what I mean. Perhaps you play an instrument yourself - like the piano, the guitar or the saxophone, for example - or sing in a choir. Any kind of musical talent is proof of amazing skill, and means you can enjoy live music any time you feel like it!
However you are able to share in it, there is something so uniquely special about experiencing music live, first-hand, in the flesh. Beautiful, well-played pieces of music can be electrifying. There are songs that can bring you out in goosebumps on the warmest of days, and make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Music has the power to completely change your mood. It can make you want to laugh or cry; it can make you want to sing or dance along; it can transport you far away from anything troubling you in your daily life.
As useful as mp3 players are, there is nothing that compares to standing in the middle of a crowd, watching your favourite singer or band perform their greatest hits. So if you get the opportunity, go and see them live - it will be something you never forget.
Note from the editor: If you want to know more about the singer that Kat mentions, Ben Howard, check out this post from last year.
Have you ever been to a concert?