Music is built on contradictions — and so are communities. Let singing build a bridge.

Emotions have been running high over the past weeks — and understandably so. This year has seemed like one thing after another, and then another, and another, and it’s left a lot of people feeling shaken, scattered and isolated.

That’s one reason I talk a lot about how music and singing are one of the most unifying, community building things we can do. Which might lead you to think that when it comes down to it, these things are about uniformity, or sameness. But the truth is, music is built on contradictions.

It’s not about all singing the same note. But it is about all singing together.

When we sing together, we forget about all the things we have different ideas about, because we’re focused on harmonizing. Now, this doesn’t mean that everyone is singing the same note. While that would be unifying in a way, it would be so at the expense of individuality, which is not what we’re about.

The differences in the notes highlight their gifts. Just like our differences give us the chance to highlight each others’ strengths.

Even in the smoothest, lightest songs, not every interval is harmonious. It’s actually the breathing in between the harmonies and dissonances that make the music beautiful. They truly highlight each other’s gifts and beauty.

I’m sure you know from experience how, after hearing sections in one style, key, or tempo for a while, you start to crave the other.  After hearing sections in major you start craving minor and vice versa. The dance between loud and soft, fast and slow.

Music is the ultimate in non-bipartisanship.

And thank goodness for that. Because when all you hear about lately is how those people did that bad thing, or how these people look down on everyone else, or how that group is out to hurt us, or how such and such said that really scary thing, coming together can seem impossible. Which of course, means that it’s more important than ever.

So now, in the midst of all of the fear, anger, division, and misunderstandings surrounding us, I want to invite you to sing. Not because it will make everything all better instantly. Not because it will undo what has been done. And not because we can’t do anything else. But because it’s one brick in a bridge. And we’re desperately in need of bridges just now.

If you’d like to join us, we’d love to have you. Click here to find out how and when you can sing with us.

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