“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” Plato
Why do we love music? And why make it our life’s work? I’ve been pondering this question as I organize some of my ChoralNetters favorite holiday Choral Ethics blogs. Here’s what I’ve come up with.
We, in the Choral Profession, are leaders and often lead by example. Because we need to be “the best we can be,” being a choral leader makes us better—whether a better musician or a better person. Hopefully, because this IS Choral Ethics after all, we can become both at the same time!
Music can be wordless but is never emotionless. Often, something touches us DEEPLY when we perform certain pieces of music. Many times, we’ve performed a piece before but this one time, the stars align, or the right people and conditions are performing together and BOOM—MAGIC. And we couldn’t repeat it if we tried. Music relaxes us and energizes us and gives us hope when we feel hopeless.
And when we make music in an ensemble, we are working for a shared goal. And that makes us better people to work with, no matter what we’re working on. Music-making with the same people, over and over again, brings us closer to them on a more personal and profound level. Perhaps we’re not exactly friends with our fellow ensemble members but we understand them better than real friends do.
Music brings fun, music brings joy, but music can give a voice to things not easily articulated. It also gives a voice to the voiceless, memory to those not able to remember anything else, and refreshes the soul of those whose soul feels emptied.
As we begin the month of December tomorrow, in between rehearsals, concerts, and holiday parties, let us remember how LUCKY we are to be in this profession. Let us remember we are the ones leading the music and how IMPORTANT that fact is to many people. In one of my upcoming December blogs, I’ll remind you of the comfort you may unknowingly bring to someone who needs it. But know this: you are loved and appreciated as well, and by many people, so keep on keeping on!