Why we are here: we have a moral obligation to provide a voice for the children. We present our expression through our music as an example to them. And through our interactions, we establish relationships to show that community extends beyond racial, cultural, and geographic barriers.
We spent Tuesday traveling from place to place, meeting with potential collaborators. Through these meetings, I came to the realization that all the hours I invested in the practice room to hone my music-making did little to help me when I had to explain how my music can help people. I came to this place a naive do-gooder, coming under the banner of “trying to help people.” But when faced with the reality of the situation, with the challenge of how to implement a program that is effective and purposeful, I realized that “trying to help people” is not enough. We needed to know why we are here, what we can do, how we can do it, and what we want to achieve.
Once we came up with the answer to these questions, suddenly everything we did began to make more sense. Playing a game of catch with a child suddenly has more meaning, creating emotion in sound has more purpose. During our workshop on Wednesday, we put the children in small groups to compose their own rhythms with drumsticks, some of them were fascinated with making their own beats, but many of them collaborated together and from the chaos, they created beautiful music from their own souls. After the workshop, some of the girls went to show off their new creations to their friends in different groups and you could tell they had a sense of pride over their accomplishment. And I was in awe of the strong and creative spirit of these Palestinian children.
I am continually reaffirmed in the connective and healing power of music.