Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Power of Song

I think I've written before about how much I love the singing times at my children's school. Shared music has the power to create connection and solidarity among the singers, to bring joy, to express injustice, and to get us all a little sillier and more creative.

There are several extraordinary musical happenings in Maine... The first is a production of Elijah by the Choral Arts Society on March 31st at Merrill Auditorium. Read more about the production here.

The second is the incredible opportunity to study music with a leader from Sweet Honey in the Rock.

Graduate Courses in Music
Teaching and Learning

The Power of Song
MUS 599

June 29 - July 3, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Instructor: Ysaye M. Barnwell
Location: Gorham

There is an awesome power in the human voice and when uncommon voices are blended for the common good, they become a 'vocal community' at its best. Masterfully led by Dr. Ysaye M. Barnwell, singers and non-singers alike will share the common experience of learning in the oral tradition and singing rhythms, chants, traditional songs from Africa and the Diaspora, and a variety of songs from African American culture including spirituals, ring shouts, hymns, gospels, and songs from the civil rights movement. The historical, social and political context will provided as an introduction to the songs. Through out this experience, the group will explore from an African American world view, the values imbedded in the music, the role of cultural and spiritual traditions and rituals, ways in which leadership emerges and can be shared by and among community members, the nature of cultural responses to and influences on political and social struggle, and finally the significance of a shared communal experience in ones' personal life. A willingness to sing is all that is required.
3 credits.

If all that passes you by, check out the Power of Song film about Pete Seeger's life, or Shut Up and Sing about the Dixie Chicks... both reveal the impact that music can have on the music-makers and the audience writ large.

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