Peace on Earth. What if 2016 was the year that choruses and choirs all over the world made peace break out?
Don’t know about you – but I’m ready for a bigger game.
Just as our sound is carried by the vowels – and the cleaner and clearer the vowels, the more powerful the sound, Peace is carried by intention. It’s created by the intention to create peace in each moment. Each small, intentionally peace filled moment.
When a rehearsal has gone really well – ringing chords, a few really beautiful phrases, some great moments of laughter, and several attacks of full body goosebumps – we leave rehearsal as more expansive versions of ourselves.
What if we were then to add intention to that.
The intention to carry that joy out into the world with us – and have it infuse all our interactions.
When a group of people is clear about their intention – miraculous things happen.
In 1993 the Transcendental Meditation organization decided to prove this. About 4,000 TM practitioners were flown in to Washington DC to practise there for 8 weeks. Not all took part initially, in order to see if there was a correlation between the size of the group of practitioners and the drop in crime rate. Here are the findings.
“Analysis of 1993 data, controlling for temperature, revealed that there was a highly significant decrease in HRA (homicide, rape and assault) crimes associated with increases in the size of the group during the Demonstration Project.”*
TM is a technique for allowing ourselves to be fully present, moment by moment – without mental chatter.
Which is exactly what happens when we are making music – when we are fully “occupied, not preoccupied.” (Thank you David McEachern for that one) Peace can spread one chord and one phrase at a time – one perfect intention at a time. One fully flat out human moment at a time.
When rehearsals are completely about making wonderful music (not power struggles, not impressing anyone, not denigrating anyone, not about standing out from the crowd), powerful peace breaks out. And peace brought on by harmony, cooperation and striving for a huge goal is an overwhelmingly brilliant and wonderful thing – light years beyond just the absence of conflict. It feels like superhero power.
Peace on Earth is something worth turning yourself into a superhero for.
Here are some concrete suggestions (learned the hard way)
Directors – Work on your leadership and directing skills harder than you expect your chorus members to work on their singing skills. What are your strengths? Get even better at those first.
Music team leaders – Lead, teach, follow up and be compassionate (and be compassionate)
Chorus members – take care of each other, volunteer for as much chorus work as your life will allow, hone your singing and presentation skills.
Make rehearsals fun with excellence and love and laughter – then get out and recruit, recruit, recruit. The more people with bold intentions, the greater the superhero power.
Become aware that every single one of us is responsible for creating powerful peace and powerful love – Peace on Earth – during every phrase, at every rehearsal.
Go out there and sing for everyone who will listen!