“We can hear the silent voice of the spiritual universe within our own hearts.” Ruth St. Denis
It’s been a tough week, in several months’ worth of tough weeks. I’m exhausted, heart-sick and worried, and not necessarily in that order. I feel helpless and hopeless and a bit frightened.
Today I had planned to write about finding our voice. And perhaps that’s what I’ll write about anyway; in fact, several ways of finding our voice.
After years and years of singing almost every day, I am not singing, and can feel it physically. I have had voice lessons, from a retired professor of voice once a week almost year-round for 15 years and haven’t had a lesson since March 9. I always sing examples for my choir, but we’ve had no rehearsals since March 10. I normally vocalize each morning in the shower, working through a tricky Mozart run or singing a passage from one of my choir’s pieces. But I haven’t done anything lately because my heart hasn’t wanted to sing. And my voice is rusty.
On Monday, I decided I better start singing again, if only in the shower. I started with hums, then moved on to oooos, then maybe I’ll work on a couple of the easier pieces I’ve sung in my voice teacher’s recitals before I get out the Mozart or Barber or Handel. Singing is a physical thing, much like anything physical, and it’s best to try to work up to where I was gradually before I tackle the tough stuff again.
Every week since the Fall of 2015, Choral Potpourri/Choral Ethics has been my voice here on ChoralNet. I’ve tried to help with your sticky situations or explain how to handle a difficult issue in your rehearsal room. Or maybe I’ve taken your side OR told you to wake up, smell the coffee and change YOUR behavior. I’ve held up examples of friends and colleagues, both as what to do and what NOT to do in the pursuit of our Choral Art. I’ve shared things in my own life and spoken up about what I believe is important to be an ETHICAL choral professional. But I’ve haven’t talked about politics and that’s deliberate. I don’t feel comfortable, even now, to share anything of a more pointedly political nature. I believe politics shouldn’t distract from the making of music and that’s what I’ve mostly tried to do with Choral Potpourri/Choral Ethics. But today I will speak about an important component of Choral Ethics and what I hope could be a help in these challenging times.
Today, I raise my voice to ask you to raise YOUR VOICE for right and truth in your own community. Do what is right–I know you know what that is–and support those around you who do what is right. Dialogue with those who are different from you and make an effort TO UNDERSTAND. Be honest and ask questions if you don’t understand and listen to the response with an open heart. Don’t judge others and their motives just as you hope others don’t judge YOU and YOUR motives. And, if you can be anything, BE KIND; kindness is never wrong.
Until next week; be well and be SAFE!
I am taking my Choral Ethics Blogs to my chamber choir’s Facebook page for the foreseeable future. Please join me there this morning!