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Magic Choral Trick #359 Opening Hearts

I came across a quotation attributed to Gus Speth, a US advisor or climate change.

“I used to think that the top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.”

So while the problems facing our societies and communities all over the world seem huge, complex and unfixable, perhaps we can agree with Gus Speth, that the beginning of transformation will take place when our hearts open.

Hearts open quickly and completely when we sing in large groups – especially when everyone is caught up in the moment. And being caught up in the moment has several avenues of approach. Singing for a cause, focus on excellence, and spontaneous outbursts of singing. Or simply because we just can’t believe how many of us are doing this all together. (As in the Choir Choir Choir link below – at the Toronto Eaton Centre) The physical sensation is like nothing else – and feels wonderful.

The several groups of singers that I have the privilege to work with are the kindest social groups I know.

Singing in groups makes us better human beings. We become more than we thought we were. Perhaps it’s because a singing group is always more than the sum of its parts, and because we’ve now had a taste of something we knew would never have been possible by ourselves.

And being in the presence of the sound changes us.

So when there’s a chord that really rings, sometimes I ask my singers to sustain it a little longer than normal, just so that we can lose ourselves in its glory – and allow it to transform us.

Gus Speth says that scientists don’t know how to open hearts – but we do.

This is just the first verse of the famous poem by Aurthur O’Shaughnessy

Ode – by Arthur O’Shaughnessy

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams;
World losers and world forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

And here’s the Choir Choir Choir link!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvErzxtKnHI

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