Let me confess. I’ve never wholly understood Einstein’s equation as he meant it, but I thoroughly understand my own version. Sometimes at the end of a long day teaching seven classes of kids or six hours teaching one group of adults, people say to me afterward, “You must be exhausted!” And my frank reply is, “Not at all! And why?”
Because E= MC 2. Energy= Music times Community Squared.
Music is the gift that keeps on giving. When you teach people music and you teach it well and they therefore play it well, the music comes back to you and does what music does— refreshes you, rejuvenates you, reawakens you. Malvina Reynolds could have also been writing about music when she sang, “Love is something if you give it away… you end up having more.”
And if you teach via the Orff approach and know how to make a group of strangers feel like friends within the first five minutes of the workshop— and more and more with each passing minute in the six hours per day— then another kind of energy sustains you. That rare feeling of being held up by a human community, there to amplify your joy, share your sorrow, deepen your sense of belonging, all by the simple acts of playing, singing, dancing, creating together. A glorious banquet filled with laughter, exuberance, tender silences and occasional tears, food for the soul all.
And so even with jet-lag and three non-stop days of being front and center teaching as a man in his 70’s, I’m here to testify that E= MC 2.
And I believe that Einstein would agree.