Making music is a spiritual and transformative experience for me, and sharing the experience of music with others is a precious gift. It’s beautiful and amazing to see the transformation of people of any age and from any culture when they engage in music together, especially when the focus is a spiritual one.
I recently returned from a 5-day camp with a fantastic group of junior youth (ages 11-14) and youth who participated in several activities together (study, sports, service, drama, visual arts, and music), all focused on empowerment. I was honored and thrilled to coordinate the music portion of the camp and was moved by the empowering, musical and spiritual journey we experienced. Some of the participants were musicians, and others weren’t musicians per se, but they all found music within themselves and were able to bring it out and share it. So, I just wanted to send out a big thank you to all that participated and supported their efforts, and share a few brief thoughts.
Music has the power to lift our spirits, imbue our bodies with energy, move our emotions, transform our thoughts, strengthen our relationships, and of course so much more. This is true for all of us, whether or not we are musicians. For some of us, music is inseparable from who we are and the music state of being is one that is our most natural state.
I’ve had the great fortune of making music, teaching, and performing in all kinds of venues and contexts in wonderfully diverse cultures and places–from massive stadiums, to prestigious concert halls, to intimate performance and art spaces, to private and public gatherings, places of worship, clinics and hospitals, at births, marriages, funerals, at sea, in the mountains, valleys, deserts, plains, and jungles–and countless other places where the spirit moves me and others.
In all these instances, the experience and state of music is a deeply empowered one, where everything can change or transform in a split second and the spiritual journey that follows is limitless. More on such musical soul-journeying in later posts; for now, I’ll just share two quotes that I love:
“We, verily, have made music as a ladder for your souls, a means whereby they may be lifted up unto the realm on high; make it not, therefore, as wings to self and passion.” Baha’u’llah
“The talents of an artist, small or great, are God-given. They’ve nothing to do with the private person; they’re nothing to be proud of. They’re just a sacred trust… Having been given, I must give. Man shall not live by bread alone, and what the farmer does I must do. I must feed the people – with my songs.” – Paul Robeson