Music Is Life
Two of our grandsons in high school are musicians, one a vocalist and the other an instrumentalist. In the past two weeks I have been to several of their pre-Christmas concerts. Scores of young people wearing tuxedos and evening gowns filled the auditoriums with joyous notes emanating from woodwinds, brass, and vocal cords. Music. Soul-stirring, enlivening music.
It is near-to-impossible to imagine life without music. In the 1984 movie Iceman, a Neanderthal man is found frozen in the arctic. After being thawed and confined in a climate-controlled environment, one of the first things they observe him doing is singing . . . making music. Differing melodic preferences are legion, but music is intrinsic to human existence.
Music is used to sooth babies, sometimes when they are yet in the womb. Music therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. (The American Music Therapy Association) Music is used in churches, at political rallies, in sporting events, and the like to fan emotional fires. Put simply, life without music is . . . well, lifeless.
If the above reflections are anywhere near the mark, societies need to promote the arts. As someone once replied when questioned about not cutting the arts from a country’s wartime budget: “Then what are we fighting for?” To be alive is to make music and/or to relish its invigorating effects.
Corollary: The high schoolers presenting their music engender mighty hope for our society. They rehearsed countless hours, some attending 6:45 a.m. practices daily, and exhibited enthusiasm and joy in their concerts. Kudos to them . . . and to the hard-working directors and supporting staff. Bravo!