I’ll be the first one to admit that I am very biased when it comes to singing. I think it’s an amazing, powerful force in our lives, and I tell everyone I meet about it. It’s also why I don’t believe anyone when they say they can’t sing — not because I’m some all powerful music teacher who can coax a song out of even the most tone deaf person — but because I know that music is something that is so basically human that everyone can make it. Just consider this:
There is no culture in the entire world that has not known music.
Take a second to read that again — no culture, ever, in the entire history of the whole world has not known music. Over 55,000 years ago, people were making music, just like we are today.
Music is such a fundamentally human thing. It gives us a way to talk about the things that we struggle to articulate, and most of all, it shows us just how connected we are. Just consider the lyrics to the oldest recorded composition:
“While you live, shine. Have no grief at all. Life exists only for a short while, and time demands an end.”
That was composed thousands of years ago, and yet it still resonates with things we think and care deeply about today! That’s so incredible to me, and such a source of inspiration.
And just in case you start to think of music as some grand, cosmic, connective force that’s nice to think about, but not all that relevant in the day to day …
Music does connect us as humans throughout history, but it also connects us to each other on the micro level, right now, every day. It’s an incredibly powerful force for building a community, as I’ve seen firsthand at concert after concert, and I see every single week at Sing Portland!
Music brings us out of ourselves, saves us from our self-imposed isolation, and links us, body and spirit. Most of all, it reminds us that we are just that: not “you and me” or “me and them”, but “we” — a community of people connecting with each other through a heritage of humanity that goes deeper than our skin, our religion, our culture, and even our lifetime.