Reading another piece the other day about how learning/making music is good for kids, helping them individually in areas such as mathematics, spatial awareness, etc.
Which is great, and I’m totally supportive, but I always get a little antsy about this focus
[which is so very, very individualistic in nature]
because it misses the major benefit that music offers.
Improvisational music is the art of trust, vulnerability and love.
This seldom gets mentioned.
So I’ll mention it now.
If you are a parent who encourages their child to make music, and particularly to make music in an improvisational group setting, you are literally improving their human capability.
[and, of course, it doesn’t just apply to kids, but that was the context of the piece]
You are encouraging them to:
- Respect another’s voice and right to speak
- Listen to another’s opinion
- Attune their own energy and opinion
- Recognize where it’s necessary to disagree and/or lead
- Know how and when to make a stand for their own belief and bring others with them
- Rapidly establish connection with strangers
- Ask meaningful questions, accepting and responding to the answers
- Move the collective further than any individual could alone
Anyone who has stuck with music through the technical strife of learning the instrument, the emotional strife of early collaboration, and the spiritual strife of establishing musical identity, emerges to what I consider to be a fundamental truth.
Music is connection.
In this disenfranchised world, who wouldn’t want to help people connect, who wouldn’t want to grow their capacity for trust, vulnerability and love?
[those who are selling based on their absence, maybe?]
We grow when we continuously:
Listen => Offer/Respond => Learn
This is the heart of improvisational music. This is its soul.
Those who have raised their voices in a choir, joined their might to the bombast of an orchestra, got down and dirty with a detuned riff on a distorted guitar… They know.
Go be human.
Go make music.
The world needs it now more than ever.