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The Power of Music

“This will be our reply to violence: To make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”-Leonard Bernstein

     From the beginning of time, music has had the power to move people emotionally. Whether it was church musicians praising God, or troubadors singing of love and life, music is used to express emotion becoming a divine and mysterious experience.

     Memories are rooted in emotion, and music has the power to recall memory as well as soothe and calm.  Many of us have had the experience of hearing a song and it brings back a fond memory. We’ve also turned to playing our instrument or singing to calm our nerves or to express ourselves.

     After the horrific terrorists’ attacks in Paris, a vision of hope appeared on our news outlets and social media, and that was of a man playing John Lennon’s “Imagine” on a piano on a street in Paris.  He was not a politician, actor, or celebrity, just a simple musician playing  music to express calm and hopefully bring hope to a broken city.  As he gathered crowds and attracted attention, he began to play more and displayed a message of strength.  This is the power of music.

     I feel as musicians and as teachers, we are called to share this divine gift of hope and inspiration.  It is our responsibility to teach, to nurture, and encourage creativity, musicality, and expression.  We are called to bring hope and inspiration through music.

     In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am thankful to be a musician. I am thankful to be able to turn to music in dark times, in happy times, in all times.  I thank God that I can share it with others and give them the tools to enjoy music for a lifetime.

Vanessa Chisler

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