I woke up this morning around 6:00, poured myself a cup of coffee, put a big fluffy sweater on and walked out on our front patio. Today is the first day of spring. Why not drink my coffee out on the patio and enjoy the first morning of spring? It was a little chilly but that didn’t bother me too much. It was nice.
The first thing that pops in my mind when I pray in the morning is my students. (normally I pray that they will have good behavior that day but other things as well). “Are they ready to sing today? Are they enjoying our music? Did they practice last night? Did they have to work late last night? Did they eat last night? I hope they’re okay. Today they will be okay… because we get to sing.”
I don’t remember a time in my life without music. We all love music because it makes us feel good. It just does. Since I teach choir, I get to sing and make music all day long! I get to pass that contagious music bug along to hundreds of kids every day. There is just something about singing that makes your soul feel good. But sharing feeling with a group of students- no words can express that sense of joy.
When I was in college, I lived for one specific hour of each day- choir. Stress and worry were gone the moment I stepped onto the risers. I mean, you can’t help but love it. Any time you hear a group of people singing with meaning and with passion, you just have to go check it out. It’s contagious. You might be on your way to an important class or meeting but then you hear those voices and those harmonies. Next thing you know you’re wandering down the halls of the music department and find yourself peaking through the doors of the choir room. “Yessss! I don’t know what this is but this is right!” Well that’s what happened to me anyways.
It was through singing with a group of people that lead me to experience some of my most spiritual moments in life. Singing a sacred Latin text in 4 part harmony with 73 other people… wow. We could all feel it- that transcendental moment of unity. There was nothing else like it.
This week was a good week. We had some really great rehearsals at school and got a lot accomplished. We are preparing for our spring concert and the music is starting to come to life! It’s really amazing to see growth in individual students. Growth and progression as a choir- yes, that’s great but growth in an individual is even more powerful. Months ago I had a handful of students that wouldn’t dare sing too loud in fear that someone else might hear their voice. Singing is very vulnerable. Everyone has a unique voice and putting that voice out there in front of all of your peers- that’s scary. But this week…. we all sang and we sang with passion. Maybe everyone was excited that spring break was right around the corner. Maybe the warmer weather brought out some extra joy. I don’t know what it was but it just the right combination “awesomeness!” That student that would turn red with embarrassment when they would have to sing silly warm ups was all of a sudden dancing and singing in the risers.
I’ve noticed recently how much music affects each of us in the same way. Yes, there are different ways that music moves each individual but ultimately it brings us all to the same place. That place of unity. Sometimes, that’s all someone may need in their life- a sense of unity- like they belong in this place at this time and are part of something magical.
I may be over analyzing these moments or all of this may sound silly, but that’s okay- it’s moments like these that we live for. Our worries are gone when we step on the risers and sing.
“I love to hear a choir. I love the humanity to see the faces of real people devoting themselves to a piece of music. I like the teamwork. It makes me feel optimistic about the human race when I see them cooperating like that.” –Paul McCartney