*And we’re all dummies
I know many of you will be inclined to pass over this post because classical music isn’t your thing. Please trust me and give it a shot. I promise you won’t regret it.
Beloved spent her early life believing she was tone deaf, but I have convinced her otherwise (a little). When she’s not paying attention, she can sing along with the radio in very good pitch. But if she catches someone listening, off she goes into the weeds. She now identifies as tone stupid, but that’s not quite right either. Maybe tone shy is a better term for what she is. According to conductor, classical pianist, and educator Benjamin Zander (in the best Ted Talk I’ve ever heard), no one is tone deaf. He believes we all have it in us to understand music, to really hear it, and to instinctively receive its message.
Zander talks about how when he is conducting an orchestra, he cannot use words to convey his ideas. Instead, conductors must find other ways to communicate what they want to the orchestra so they can then communicate those ideas to the audience.
“My job is to awaken possibility in other people. You know how you find out if you are doing that? You look at [the orchestra’s] eyes. If their eyes are shining, you know you’re doing it. If the eyes are not shining, you get to ask a question. Who am I being that my players’ eyes are not shining?”
Zander also talks about how classical music has the power to transform people, including those who aren’t really fans. He has even used this idea to help children in war-torn areas learn tools for conflict resolution! Zander believes music has something to say to absolutely everyone. If I had seen this passionate man speak when I was in high school, I might not have lost my nerve; I might have actually pursued music. I think this remarkable video should be required watching for every child and adult everywhere.
You can learn more about the amazing luminary, Benjamin Zander, on his website.