I wouldn’t call myself a sports fanatic, but I’ve been enjoying watching some World Cup games the past couple weeks. Soccer was actually a big part of my life growing up. I played from the time I was 5 yrs old until I turned 21. I played on club teams as well as school teams, earned a soccer scholarship in college, and ultimately gave it up due to a couple knee surgeries combined with a growing interest in music.

There’s many lessons to be learned from a team sport. Learning how to work together toward a common goal while putting aside your own self-importance is one of the greatest benefits of being a part of a team. How well a team functions as whole is dependent upon the singular attitudes of the players themselves. It’s as much a mental and emotional game as it is a physical one.

These lessons have served me well in the music world. A group of musicians playing together draws similarities to a team sport. Each person needs to learn how to interplay with each other, backing away at times and taking the lead at others. The best performance of a song can only happen when each player is tuned into the others, reading cues and being fully tapped into the vibe of the song. Music is a technical thing, but also a thing you feel.

Going back to the World Cup: It’s fascinating to see countries from all over the world playing the same game across language barriers. It’s a language of its own that is accepted and understood throughout the world. That same thing is what fascinates me about music. A song can communicate emotion in the absence of words. Music remains one of the greatest languages of humanity. It can communicate celebration, comfort, romance, anger, confusion, and happiness. Music has been with us from the dawn of time. It’s a natural way of expression.