I recently led a group drumming experience with about 30 adults, most struggling with issues of depression or anxiety. It was amazing to see the mood shift of the group from when we started to where we ended. The music directives required the group members to focus their attention on each other, to actively participate in the group, to be involved. Without everyone, our musical “machine” would clunk rather than flow. By the end of our time together, the challenges I had presented to the group were accomplished. We were making music together, many were smiling and encouraging others, and becoming known to each other in a new way.
There are so many times in life that I have been able to pull metaphors of being in an ensemble, ripe with leadership opportunities and supportive relationships, to the success of a group or team. I am always amazed when I am reminded of this time and time again. Although we can’t all be soloists or conductors in this life, we have a place, an important part, that which adds to the whole. Without those extra voices the beauty would be muted. Even the smallest voice, even the one who may say nothing at all, is a part of the ensemble to both participate, but also to bear witness to our experience, to hear our song.
I love music. It makes us matter.