All art aspires to the condition of music. — Walter Pater
Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. — Plato
Have you ever noticed that every time our country faces a major disaster or event — from hurricaines to 9/11 to the current pandemic — musicians gather to host benefit concerts and telethons. We turn to music in a crisis because music heals something in our soul. The sounds, the melody, the interweaving of notes and rests, stir something deep within us.
Music is a language that needs no translation. It’s a way to communicate without words, a bridge of generations and races and classes.
The study of music is not just the study of notes and chords, it is a lesson in life skills of determination, persistence, practice, poise under pressure, and creativity.
No matter who you are and where you are in life or in geography, we all have the capacity to speak music.
In these times, music is more important to us than ever. It can offer a lifeline, a source of inspiration, and a sense of purpose.
Today’s Feel Good Friday inspiration comes from a story in the New York Times about Cornelia Vertenstein, a 92-year old Holocaust survivor in Denver who has been teaching piano lessons in her home for over 50 years..
When the coronavirus quarantine started, she was determined to continue the lessons, switching over to FaceTime as her teaching portal.
When it became clear that quarantine and social distancing restrictions would impact the planned recitals, a parent of a few of her students introduced her to Zoom, and the recital was reconfigured.
In her opening remarks to the recite, Dr. Vertenstein said:
With great pride, I introduce my students who prepared themselves with discipline and determination in difficult circumstances. When I was a little girl, I could not go to public schools because of my religion. And they created a little school in the basement of an old building, which sometimes had heat and sometimes didn’t. Great minds and achievements came out of that school, which taught me that in any situation you can strive, learn, look ahead and have dreams.
What a beautiful lesson, for her students and for all of us.