Saturday, February 19, 2022

Flying to Jericho

We have given over the power and eloquence of the hand to the click of buttons on calculators, cuisenarts, drum machines, our calculating intelligence to computers, our imagination to constant entertainment and now our capacity to remember to Facebook Memories. Yet sometimes it’s interesting to see what I posted from one or six years ago. 


Here’s the little piece I posted on Facebook on this day in 2019, still relevant, always relevant and a reminder to myself as to why I’m flying to Florida today to present a music workshop at the American Montessori Conference. I won’t take my bagpipe, but hoping to make a crack in the walls that keep us apart, that divide our once whole inner self, that create large rooms for the privileged and shove the rest of us into small closets. 


Walked through the streets of Singapore on Sunday hearing Hindu chants, Muslim calls to prayer, Christian church choirs, Buddhist intonations. Inside the synagogue, the Jewish cantors were singing, in another building, a Balinese gamelan was rehearsing and the next day, my class of teachers were joyfully playing Step Back Baby on their way to the blues. All the many facets of our common Divine Spirit were alive and vibrant and not a single vibration was claiming itself as the only true and worthy one. Amidst all the shameful shouting and posturing and toddler-tantrum demanding of taxpayers money to fuel yet more division with the Wall, we need to realize that the wall has already been built, in the sense that Duke Ellington said long ago:


"Of all the walls, the tallest, most invisible, and most insidious… is the wall of prejudice."


The mandate of our times is to fight the battle of Jericho, play the trumpets—and sitars and djembes and Bulgarian bagpipes—that will make those walls come tumblin’ down. Let that be the mandate of the music education of the future!



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