Notes to Self: Music Hath Power …

I spent a thoroughly enjoyable evening last night. On our Bravo channel was 2 hours of song and dance by the Soweto Gospel Choir. I loved it! The performance celebrated the 10th anniversary of democracy, the downfall of apartheid, in South Africa.

The harmonies and dissonances sound different to our western ears and yet it was not jarring in any way.

The choir’s costumes were as rich in colour and shape and BEADS as the music was. The dancers left me feeling breathless, yet they were able to sing without breathlessness. Now, that’s what I call conditionning. These ladies and gentlemen were physically fit.

The audience, made up of all races, ages and, I assume, of many religions, sitting all together, was appreciative of the performers from South Africa.

At the end of the performance the entire hall rose and sang, hand on heart, the South African national anthem.

‘Music hath power to soothe the savage beast.’  In China, I believe, the word for ‘music’ and ‘friend’  rise from the same root.  In music, it is very hard to stay angry with others.

It’s important for you to know about a charity, Playing for Change, that is building schools in many poor nations to teach children their ABC’s and their Do Re Mi’s. The school is fully equipped with instruments and recording equipment and teachers and enthusiastic students.

As with all charities, it seems never to have enough: not enough labourers to build the schools, not enough teachers, not enough money, not enough of everything to spread the word.

I offer some items of wearable art artisan jewellery for sale; the funds are sent to Playing for Change. And I can lift up my voice ~ not in song, I wouldn’t inflict anybody with my ‘song.’ But in writing posts on my blogs to get the word out is a way to spread the work.

Go to  Support them in any way you can. As you give, so will it be given unto you. There is always somebody worse off.

Well, that’s my opinion

Helene, Glass0Beads ~Glass #0 Beads~


Great News – About Playing for Change

I promised myself I would write something in each of my blogs before I opened any of my e-mails. As always, I opened my emails first. But this time I’m glad I followed my usual pattern of morning coffee and emails. This time I found an email from ‘Playing for Change.’

That’s one of the charities I subscribe to: building peace through music. They are almost ready to open their first music school/recording studio: the Ntonga Music School in the township of Gugulethu, South Africa. 

Why have I chosen to follow this foundation instead of so many other worthy causes? Because I am a failed music student: I studied piano for about 15 years and came away hating the piano. Even today, I choose classical music that is distinctly non-piano. But the experience did give me a love of good music. That’s what is so wonderful: there are all kinds of good music. And these music schools teach good music.

There is music in all of us ~ we just need a way to express it. I have chosen to express my music through needlework and artisan jewellery. Playing for Change does it through music. It offers a safe environment and the tools (education, instruments, recording equipment) to produce the music. While developing the distinct style of each area, it is offering an alternative to bloody war, sectarianism and hatred. Indeed, this group, Playing for Change, is making a difference in the world. It is making this world a better place in which to live.

At least, that’s what I think.