Friday, 28 September 2012

" Music can change the world because it can change people."

...said Bono, from behind his dark glasses, inside, on a dull day.

Can music change people? I know it can change moods. This is what livened me up this morning.

 First movement of the English Folk Song Suite. I'm always fascinated to know if what makes ME feel cheerful and raring to get on with the day has the same effect on other people. Is it something inherent in the music it something inherent in me?

I have a hero in the world of music and I think his use of music as a tool for change is phenomenal.  He's called Gareth Malone.

(No, he's not 12 years old, but 36)

His new TV series, "The Choir: Sing While You Work," sees him go into four different work places – an airport, a hospital, a postal depot and a water processing plant – to form new choirs from a cross-section of staff.  It is, in my opinion, the second best thing on TV at the moment. And Gareth Malone is the best people-person, motivator, self-esteem builder, talent-nurturer I have ever had the privilege to witness.

YES, cynical people amongst my readers, it IS reality TV and yes, OF COURSE, the producers edit, and could be accused of manipulating scenes carefully to put across the desired message and tug at our heart strings...

...but honestly, last night it was magical to see the joy on Royal Mail employees faces when they'd performed and a delight to see the difference the choir had made (maybe temporarily, cynics, but what's wrong with a bit of optimism?) to staff morale right across the organisation.

Perhaps music itself can't change people but it is, for sure, a powerful catalyst for changing communities.