In my studies as a Teaching Artist in CT, I took a workshop on ‘Zen Buddhist Music in Schools’. My goodness. That sounds very cool. Today, it happened for me in Trenton.
Back them there were seven other TA’s in attendance with our Korean leader, a woman who takes these workshops into after-school situations in urban New Haven. That alone impressed me.
As we sat on the floor in a circle, we saw a variety of curious instruments in front of us, mostly with tones that featured sustain: bowls, chimes, etc. As we experimented with the tones, always mindful of letting the notes sustain and be allowed to fade (!!!), we had a delightful session of creating calming and peaceful music together. I could see how this could effect urban students in powerful ways.
The Crypt experience today was just such an event. Thanks to the physicality of this space, the energy and culture of the people, guided by my music and teaching skills, we all celebrated a deep and recognizable “Aah Hah!” moment. And it affected how we dealt with each other for the remainder of our time together.
Isn’t that what music is supposed to do?