Music is not just an art but a universal language.
Music can convey emotions like happiness, anger, love, disappointment, etc. – in ways simple words cannot. Through the pairing of melody, harmony, and words, thoughts, and feelings are transformed into stories. These narratives bring to life the innermost parts of the self through vulnerability and strength. Music is a tool all can use in times of chaos and calm in ways we can all relate to regardless of race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, and geographic location. Listening, singing, or playing music can reduce stress through movement, influencing thought, and sparking conversation.
We are experiencing a double whammy. We are struggling as humans to deal with the continued existence of a global pandemic that has threatened physical and mental health and shut down entire economies. To compound this stress, we are dealing with social and racial issues that have plagued the United States for hundreds of years that have festered, boiled over, and become background noise, for some, until the next act of violence brings escalation. Tensions have come to a head and, as the collective come together and demands for reform become strong, there is one constant that all have been returning to and using to make the message loud and clear…music.
Think about the messages made in turbulent times: Vietnam, Gulf War, Los Angeles Riots, 9/11…think about the music you may have listened to. When I think of these snapshots of time, particular songs come to mind (and yes, they may date me so don’t judge and keep your old lady comments to yourself 😊):
- World War I
This is a very short list, songs that just came to mind in a stream of consciousness; there are so many more. What is important to note is that if each person were to take a moment and think, research and seek out songs that were written specifically for peace and took the time to listen, sing and truly absorb the messages, people wouldn’t simply “tolerate” each other. There would be a conscious movement for humans to embrace and love one another for each unique difference and nuance. Look to your left and look to your right, these are your neighbors and like music, each is a work of art that was composed by our Maker to make a mark on the world. What will your song or symphony say about you?
What can you do, say or sing that can make a difference today?
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