I live and breathe music, so I’m sure it won’t surprise you to know that I’m constantly pulling out comparisons between music and history, music and humanity, and even music as a parallel to life. I know that might sound like a bit of a sweeping comparison, but hear me out.
I often joke with my singers: “Music is like life — once you figure it out, it’s easy.”
(This normally comes on the back of them making a breakthrough.) And I’m only half joking. Just like music, life is both infinitely complex and ultimately simple. You can struggle with the same thing over and over again, only for it to finally click. The thing that seemed so impossible one rehearsal (or one year, or one relationship) ago suddenly becomes the easiest thing in the world.
Not to mention relationships.
If you ever want to really find out what kind of person someone is, make music with them. As I’ve said before, singing and making music is such a universal human experience that we can’t help but let our true selves shine through when we do it. That’s one of the things that makes singing in groups so very addictive. Where else do you get the chance to let yourself be seen, and to really see others?
And music can be a great teacher for living life too.
When you sing together with other people, you naturally learn some incredibly valuable skills for being a better human. For instance, when you sing in a choir, you learn when to step forward and when to hold back. You get a sense of what it’s like to lead and what it’s like to follow, and how to know when you should be doing one or the other. You learn when it’s appropriate to be loud or soft, fast or slow, etc.
You learn how to truly support others when they’re being vulnerable, and just how rewarding that can be for everyone involved. Starting to sound familiar? It should — in settings other than choir, we call these types of things empathy, emotional awareness, good manners, and graciousness.
And this goes even more for vocal improvisation! There’s a special type of vulnerability and a special opportunity when you’re making up tunes with strangers — and it teaches you so much about relationships! You naturally pick up on when to support others, when to build on others, and when to have the guts to take the lead. You have to learn how to be with others without shaking the foundation of trust you’ve laid down in the group. You have to learn how to take the people around you with you when you lead, and how to not lose anyone along the way. And you have to learn how to wait; to have patience and see what wants to be sung.
It’s one of the (many) reasons why I do what I do.
I truly believe in the power of music to change the world, both on the micro level and on a macro level. It’s renewed my faith in humanity personally, it’s provided a vehicle for change in seemingly desperate situations, and it’s been called the best therapy $10 can buy.
Music invites us to elevate ourselves and everyone around us all at the same time, connects us to the heritage of humanity, and ultimately, calls us to our higher selves.
If you’re ready to join in, we’d love to have you. Click here to find out how/when you can sing with us.