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world peace through music?

world peace through music?

Recently, I met a vibrant, talented concert pianist named Tina. Her laughter fills the room, her long flowing hair almost covers her petite frame and sides of her face. Just enough to see her delicate features. And her dainty yet tactful fingers fly through the keys of that bold and resounding piano in the concert hall.

When I met her, it was to participate in a concert - one of many that she would organize at the Concert Hall of a Steinway & Sons piano retailer. Their goal was simple: spread the joy and beauty of concert music to everyone - especially those who would not typically attend the symphony.

I was in awe at the people that donated their time and talent - what was their career - for these concerts. The inspiration overwhelmed me. Does it sound a bit crazy that it gave me hope for humanity? As I witnessed the young talent dedicate their time and effort to create something beautiful on their instruments?

It reminded me of my first love affair with music as a young 10 year old, when I noticed I had a knack for composing and a good ear...

But truly, my musical journey started even before I was born. Because, as is often the case, this is about a family's journey and love affair with music, and how it has been passed on generation by generation...

The beauty of music goes beyond what you see or hear on the stage:

A young 8 year old girl wanted to learn how to play guitar. In her small town outside the capital city, her father, a traveling businessman, was often away and busy, while much of her extended family worked in farming - the main staple of the town. 

Her mother, busy raising 5 children, 5 years apart, cooking and managing everything from scratch, with hardly a musical bone in her body, couldn't teach her...

And so one day, her father shows up with a guitar. Why? Because he too longs for and loves music. He might as well have been the star at the cinema singing on those black and white screens, songs of love, with that incredible voice he had. So it is from him that she had the gift. Along with her sisters...

And without YouTube, this girl taught herself the guitar.

Who knew this girl would dedicate her gift to God and give it for free - without expectation of reward or compliment. 

Her three daughters all turned out musically inclined. But one of them found a deep love for making music and became immersed in the world of music during her youth. However, as "life" took over, as is often the case, music was left behind... for a while...

But, beautifully, music did re-enter her life, and it was just in time. Just in time to re-capture everything she ever loved about that world...

and so now I play for all who want to hear and join - even if just the birds and angels...

If you ever had a musical bone in your body, and then "grew up" and "gave it up", you have to know what I mean... Yes, you are busy now, but ... could you? Could you go back again? And be part of that purely magical place?

Yes, I suppose it is technically an imaginary world... I mean, everyone else just sees people with tools for music, playing them. And yet - on occasion - when you get it just right, and with the right audience - everything aligns... and even your audience is transported to that world. They can feel and sense everything you do, because you have transmitted it into the very music you have created.

I know, a lot of things are electronic now. And many will attribute "emotion" to "dynamics" in the music. 

While dynamics can certainly evoke some emotion and help with transmitting what you feel, I think it is when the emotion precedes and causes the dynamics, that it transforms a musical performance into a shared experience, rather than a passive auditory observation.

There is something so very human and raw about music. And yet at the same time: something so elevated, enlightening. As if you're about to touch Heaven itself...

Musicians, there is a necessary beauty in music that we must continue to make. You don't have to become a leading band member or symphony musician to bring the inspirational effect of music to others. 

Won't you join me? Start a movement? A movement of beauty and with an aim towards elevating the human experience? If even for just a few minutes - pick up that instrument again. Play it again - teach others - and share your gift.

Who knows, it might be while listening to your music, that the next Nobel Peace Prize winners and leaders for peace have that light-bulb moment. Or inspire others to seek what is beautiful, good and true...

Music can change the world. It has certainly changed mine.

Like a child

Like a child

feeling loved

feeling loved