Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Power of Music and Finding your own Beat!

As I approached my heart quickened with the sound of drums, all sorts of drums keeping a steady 4 – 4 pattern. Not all the patterns were the same, some of them fast, others slow, the timbre was varied but the rhythm was sustained. I turned the corner to find children dancing with anticipation over the possibility of getting to hold stick in hand. The growing fervor of drum and beat was moving them beyond containment. Weaving my way through little ones, no taller than my thigh, I looked past the man at the door, ahead to see a circle, and an inner-circle where adults all focused on their task, the task to blend their independent pattern to greater meaning. Amidst the growing turbulence was a peace. Those sharing their beat were calm, peace shown on their faces. They were one with a greater power. "If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away. " H.D. Thoreau There was no fear of losing pace with companions. It was a safe zone, a place where individuality was brought together in a circle, a continuum, and so the music played on. I was asked at one point (we all were) did I experience any enlightenment? Yes, I did, for one brief moment my dream of being a drummer was fulfilled. For that one moment in my own continuum I was free, free to pound out “my” rhythm, my existence was real. I was free to be me and part of the band. My commitment to change the world one song at a time has allowed me to see first hand the power of music as a transformer. Music is universal and music heals. The undeniable power of music to bring people together, to transcend hatred, pain, cruelty, brokenness and to bring about unbridled joy is evident. Yesterday I was supposed to be an observer. I was just someone bringing back information and hopefully a degree of clarity to a man who seeks to promote wellness. I came away with far more. I was inspired again. Music is a common language. Music is a language that holds unifying power. The organization that sponsored the drum circle and day of music melding towards greater understanding is Music Crossroads through a Recreational Music Making Partnership, located in Indianapolis Indiana, the crossroads of the United States. It was pointed out to me that music recreation is that of being “re-created” through music. No matter whether a child hearing a familiar song, or a performer learning a new musical phrase, a guitarist focusing on attaining that difficult chord, a drummer with a new progression, you enter into the movement one way and exit re-created. My kudos go out to Matt Carter of Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, John Fitzgerald of Remo, Inc for leading the “marchers” and providing the percussion instruments, The Shepherd Community Center for sharing their space and the thigh high percussionist, The Indianapolis Foundation, inspiring philanthropy and Albert Schnazi of Integrated Solutions for facilitating an afternoon of enlightened dialogue. It is no mistake that yesterday morning as I was reading scripture and asking the Lord what He wanted me to know that day that he brought me to 2Chronicles 34:12 “All those (Levites) who were skillful with musical instruments were in charge of those who carried burdens, and they directed all the workers in every kind of labor…” yes, we are called. If the Lord calls musicians to lighten the load, make the burden less, then I guess that is the who in the vast puzzle of life, and I indeed was enlightened! Blessings! (this is a reprint from a post written in 2008. It was true then, and it is true today.)