Monday, March 9, 2009

The Transforming Power of Music

Jose Antonio Abreu is the charismatic founder of a youth orchestra system in Venezuela. This short video on TED Talks clearly shows the power of music to transform the lives of individuals, communities, and an entire country.

I am disheartened anytime I hear of federal, state, or local governments in the U.S. cutting back on "extra" school programs such as music as if they are any less important than other classes. When students study world history, geography, or civics they are introduced to other cultures that are defined by their language, dress, art, music, and writing. In fact, the greatest testaments to some ancient cultures are the writings and art that survived the demise of their civilization.

There is a reason why these modes of expression are called "the humanities." They are intrinsic to the nature of what it is to be human.