Ways music can boost community spiritBy sharing my vision, I highlighted music being a way to connect ages and abilities. What I was eluding to was using music to develop and to support community spirit. This thread of community spirit will be woven around the post throughout the month.

What is community spirit?

Community spirit is a group of people working together to help improve the community they live in. A phrase used to describe local people working together for a mutually positive and sometimes pleasurable result. – Winkipedia

5 ways music can boost community spirit

1. A common goal/process

When we create music together we are in the music making process. Members work together to bring out melodies, to match tone color, or what ever goal they have set – which might be to get to the end at the same time.

To do this requires listening, responding, adjusting to bring out a mutual, pleasurable result. With practice these skills can be carried into our lives and into our community.

2. A shared experience

Those present whether they are actively creating the music or listening to the music are sharing the experience. Sharing an experience gives us something in common. We can build community around our shared experiences.

3. A way to reach past walls and stereotypes/preconceived ideas

First, let me share that stereotypes DO exist amongst and about musicians. We can be just as snooty as anyone else. (Check jokes about violist, oboist, guitarist, etc.)

Our music tastes are not age dictated. Our abilities are not totally age based either. I’m blown away by the youth on NPR’s From the Top.  Those youth are amazing!

Performing artist Yo-Yo Ma performs with orchestras, folk musicians, and Lil’Buck (to name a few).

Many of us have seen the commercial of the little boy playing piano on a concert stage with the performer. There is a lot of joy to be had in the relaxed sharing of music making across generations. Our living conditions do not have to limit our ability to make beautiful music.

Rather than expound on the subject, I encourage you to see a “Using Music to Address Social Issues“. Let’s just sum it up by saying music can provide us opportunities to see abilities within other.

4. It can allow opportunities for all ages and abilities to participate

It is not that uncommon to see 70 year olds (or older) playing/singing along side 20 somethings. As one who leads intergenerational groups, I have shared multiple posts about them, the music we create and the experiences of the participants.

5.It can be connective tissue

Running throughout the other four ways music builds community is the concept of connection. A starting point for the explanation can be found in this Daniel A Carp quote:

Music is one way for young people to connect with themselves, but it is also a bridge for connecting with others. Through music, we can introduce children to the richness and the diversity of the human family and to the myriad rhythms of life.

Personal, I believe this applies to all of us at any age. Creating music can connect us both inward and outward. When we are open to the diversity of music, we can learn SO much. We can also experience our community in amazing ways.

How do you think music can boost community spirit?


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