Teenager had his first choir concert last night. I was pleased to discover that his high school has as rich and beautiful a vocal arts program as the one I went to some nearly thirty years ago. Choir music is part of who I am today and why I do what I do today, and I have high hopes it will do the same for him.
(Music videos below are representative of the songs only, and are not my local high school choir)
They performed this:
And especially this: (and it was truly amazing)
Among many other songs.
I’ve noticed a trend among the children and teenagers I have in therapy. Those who have a creative outlet that is supported and encouraged do much better in therapy than those who do not. The artists, the poets, the singers, the instrumentalists, the writers, the actors, and those in physical activities such as skateboarding, dance, gymnastics, etc. are significantly more likely to be able to apply the lessons of therapy to their lives.
And when I see the people sniffing at how ‘unnecessary’ occupations such as music are for children, it makes my blood boil. And when I watch my son, absolutely rapt, gaze at the stage as choirs he doesn’t participate in are singing, I want to cry out, “Look, look! See how important it is!”
We have a few world class singers in the group, but more importantly, we have a whole bunch of kids who find meaning and joy and a reason to succeed because of music. A lifeline.
We have kids who study harder, who say ‘no’ to drugs and unprotected sex and dumbassery because it would jeopardize the group.
We have adults who are wondering how on earth they’re going to afford gas for their job hunts who are gazing at that stage in awestruck wonder as they witness their children doing something truly amazing.
We have a community that despite poverty and long standing issues has schools it can truly be proud of.
All this because despite the trend in the rest of the country our city continues to vote to support its schools and parks and arts programs and public works and music programs.
Call your local government. Call your state government. Call your US representatives and senators, and demand that we take our childrens’ futures seriously again, that we commit to paying for the services that will build the middle class and healthy families and communities, rather than tearing them down.
And when you get a chance, slip down to your local high school to watch a play or a concert or a ball game. It’s the best free or cheap entertainment in town.