Today’s Why We make Music, a reminder from a (music) college friend who is actively making a difference in the world: Unity through Diversity.

I have a secret for all you, with special interest to my choral music educators:

I TRY (emphasis on TRY) to never tell my choir members to sound like someone else. I don’t want their vocal characteristics to be altered to sound like the person next to them. Instead,

1.) I try to improve the person’s technique so that they may take ownership of their vocal instrument, and use it effectively on any style of music.
2.) I make the effort to try to arrange them in a way where they have an understanding and appreciation for their instrument, while being aware of the other voices and harmonies around them.
3.) I provide slight modifications to the sounds and colors of vowels as rule for everyone involved, regardless of their voice part. But, usually(with the exception of vocal jazz and some early music) i allow them to use their ears to determine how they should adjust to each other.
4.) I never want my voice parts to “sound the same”. I like my altos to be altos, sopranos to be sopranos, and for everyone to value the characteristics of each part.
5.) I make sure everyone is aware of their responsibilities in the harmonic chord, and they are all important.
6.) I ask them to love what they do, and the reason they do it. Passion and purpose
….Self-awareness, pride for oneself and its culture, respect, discipline, love. You can create harmonious UNITY, without making everyone sound or BE the same….

Do you see where I’m going with this? Unity through Diversity. Aaah! I’m probably preaching to the choir…