Music: A Bridge Over Cultural Divides

Frustration, anger, division, sorrow, shock, anguish. These are the things we are seeing in the news, in our social media, in our neighborhoods, in our families. To varying degrees we are all affected by current events and the social climate. A global pandemic has put stresses upon us in a way nothing else quite has, and when we are fractured and vulnerable, new shock waves are echoing through our communities. Long simmering suffering is erupting into protests and action in frightening ways.

During this time of pain we can turn to our Song of the Hearties community for a splash of joy. We can turn to music as a balm for a troubled soul and as a rallying cry to inspire us to action.

Music is the universal language. Music is a universal art form. No matter what cultures divide us, music can unite us. As part of being an inclusive community, it is important that we elevate minority voices. Music is an excellent tool to teach our children about diversity.

Take this time to hold your little ones close and sing them a spiritual; black spirituals such as “Sing Low, Sweet Chariot”, “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” and “Go Down, Moses” are religious folk songs that developed amongst the slaves on Southern plantations as their African musical traditions were permeated over time with Christian worship. Many common folk songs are thought to have black roots, songs such as “All the Pretty Little Ponies”. Jazz music, the blues, Mo-Town – these are just some examples of the rich musical heritage of Black Americans.

Not sure about how to talk about race with your littles? Start with music. Take some time to enjoy the music of Black artists and appreciate their contribution to our collective culture.

And if you need 4 minutes of comfort and hope, listen to the united voices of Shades of Yale, a singing group of black and minority students at Yale that are dedicated to singing Black music. Here is their signature piece, performed pandemic-style, recorded and posted just a couple of weeks before recent events. Let these beautiful voices of color seep into your heart.


Sharing the Love with Heart & Soul

We all know first-hand the joy and inspiration that comes from sharing musical experiences with others. It’s why you choose to be part of our Kindermusik family. It’s why we buy tickets to live concerts. It’s why the biggest touring Broadway shows always make a stop in our fine city.

That energy, the wordless power of music to bind us together and to fill our hearts, is what keeps us coming back to it again and again. We choose to invest our time and our resources into musical experiences for ourselves and our families because those experiences feed our souls.

Earlier this month your Song of the Heart Kindermusik team had the joyful opportunity to participate in the Heart & Soul Music Stroll for the fourth year in a row. Heart & Soul brings joy and healing through live music to people who live among us and yet are often isolated from our community, including those in convalescent homes, senior centers, psychiatric facilities, domestic abuse shelters, centers for children with disabilities, and prisons.

Heart & Soul’s mission perfectly aligns with our studio values of Joy, Connection, Family, Growth, and Heart, as they work to use music as a tool to connect generations and help heal the human spirit. That is why we have chosen to joyfully give back to our studio’s neighborhood by getting involved with their organization, sharing their mission, and being a part of this incredible annual event.

Our own Ms Katie said of the event, “It was my third year attending the Heart & Soul music stroll and I enjoyed all of it! Great music, great food trucks, and great company! I loved seeing the joy in all the kids’ and grown-ups’ faces as they sang and danced with Kindermusik! Such a blast!”

Our experience at the Heart & Soul Music Stroll echoes our own efforts at community outreach as we share music with our grand-friends at BeeHive Homes assisted living center each month. Many of you volunteer your time and join us in sharing the joy of music with residents and to make beautiful connections across the generations. 

Haven’t heard of our Kindermusik Playdates at BeeHive Homes? More to come.