Friday, October 28, 2011


I was talking to a couple of my college students this afternoon.  I am a college professor at George Washington University.  Sounds hoity toity, but I teach jazz voice.  But in talking to them seriously about the future, they basically painted a very bleak picture for themselves. One of limited employment, lack of imagination of their peers, and a government that is bureaucratic and not willing to really look at the long term issues and tackle them head on.  The future looks pretty grim, they said.  I asked them what gets them up in the morning, then?  Now understand, these are not music majors.  One was a biology student, and the other was an international poli-sci major studying russian.  What gets them up each morning is music.  Listening to it.  Singing it.  Participating in it.  It was the thing that allowed them to have social interaction and connection with their peers.  It opened them up to things beyond themselves. "Music kind of defines who we are as people…" 

I thought this was a fascinating statement because I've made it myself many times.  Right after we secure food, shelter and clothing, we want to tell a story about how we did those things through song, dance, or just tell the story through words or writing.  These things define us as human beings and we ignore them at our peril.  During these separation inducing, depression creating, times of great stress as we change our system into…something else that we don't know…our music can sustain us in ways that nothing but spirituality and belief in a higher power can match. Fascinating...

1 comment:

  1. miss diva blue,

    how poignant yet simply human was this revelation from your astute and earthly-grounded students. there's never been a more profoundly influential unifying social fabric as music throughout the ages, yet no one has ever been able to truly grasp, capture, measure, weigh, describe or accurately quantity such powerful force!

    my own music chakra/mantra fits in 4 easy words: "music keeps me sane!"

    your brother in music's employment;

    CJ Burken