Whether you play an instrument or just value the joy of listening to a Beethoven symphony, you are using your brain to help solve a problem: creating an environment that provides a heightened state of enjoyment. This state can take the form of relaxation, excitement, passion, or simply rabid agitation. All music is enjoyment to someone, somewhere!
Engineering may be your chosen career, but it can also be your subconscious means of satisfying your personal need for this enjoyment. Music and math have always had a direct connection, but this engineering connection is more cerebral and at times does not seem to have a specific design. Hence you mentally create the tool and the design begins to take shape in the mood or state of mind you wish to achieve. Studies have shown that while in this state of mind, creative juices are flowing (see “The Power of Music” by Elena Mannes).
Technically, the means of creating or admiring a set of mathematically tuned pressure waves can be easily seen as an engineering marvel, but I am talking about the use of your mind to create this tool called music appreciation. We all have it. Yes, even that curmudgeon in the next cubicle. Listen closely and you may hear him humming “I am Woman, Hear Me Roar.”
And how many of your coworkers are just now sitting at their desks with earbuds in place, bobbing their heads in spastic rhythmic patterns? They’re not listening to the latest YouTube Kitty vid. Well, not most of them, anyway.
Take a moment, use your brain and create that magical place. After all, you are an engineer!