Katie Rose
from: Katie Rose
Category: General Discussion

Singing Makes Peace

Singing Makes Peace


 


I just took part in Sing for Water this weekend, an event which brings together a mass choir of 800 people at the Thames Festival to raise funds for WaterAid’s life saving projects in Ghana.  Founder Helen Chadwick told us that she was initially motivated to create the project partly by her frustration at the start of the war in Afghanistan which went ahead despite massive protests at the time -  
‘What you are creating’ she said ‘is peace.’


This is true on many, many levels: -
singing makes peace  


As we approach Peace Day this Equinox, here’s my thoughts on how:


 


Personally, singing enables us to make peace with ourselves.  


Singing brings us into a connected space where all levels of awareness - mental, physical, emotional and spiritual - become integrated and focussed intentionally.  


When singing, we begin to breathe more deeply and rhythmically which regulates our heart-beat and brain waves - our whole body gets a melodic work out.  As we concentrate on lyrics and melody, our mind becomes calm and centred.  Connecting with the meanings and feelings of a song brings us into emotional connection, enabling us to express ourselves deeply.   We become more present to our own presence and gain perspective. We enter a meditative state of creative connection.


Its a great boost of confidence for singers to learn a wide range of songs and perform in a huge choir to an enthusiastic and participative audience at the Thames Festival.   This year I was so proud of the members of Forest Hill Singing Group and also my Dad (John Burden) who all sang and fundraised admirably.  There was water in our eyes as well as the skies,as we were all immensely moved by the profound power of being immersed in such a huge sound with such a big-hearted intention.


Socially, singing helps us make peace with one another


Singing together creates a sense of unity.  When we sing together in a group, we move and breathe together and our heart beats become regulated.  I often find myself standing in front of groups of seeming-strangers who within a few moments of singing together become a community.  This is why singing can be such an amazing tool for conflict resolution, mediation and dialogue.  


At Sing for Water, choirs come together not just at the big day but also beforehand, as choir leaders collaborate on leading shared rehearsals.  Many choir leaders have been inspired to create Sing for Water events across the UK and beyond, (including Sing for Water North, Sing for Water West and Sing for Water Leicester) which as Helen points out makes it a collectively owned project.   It’s a massively creative process which enables singers to meet, co-create and share a unifying experience together.


 


Globally, singing helps us make peace across the planet.


With our current technology, we now have an amazing platform for global connection.  Eric Whitacre speaks of how seeing the first finished video of the Virtual Choir  - a project whose most recent project Fly to Paradise featured 5,905 singers from 101 countries - brought him to tears: “The intimacy of all the faces, the sound of the singing, the obvious poetic symbolism about our shared humanity and our need to connect; all of it completely overwhelmed me.”


There is something truly amazing about participating in an event like Sing for Water which transforms people’s lives across the globe. Easily preventable diseases claim the lives of one child every second because they lack access to clean water.  The shocking and inspiring fact is that it is so easy to solve and costs so little - only £15 to give one person access to clean water for life.  So the funds raised make a big difference, demonstrating that when we all share resources creatively, everyone benefits.  


If you feel moved, please do make a donation at my Just Giving Page.


 


Ecologically, singing helps us make peace with the planet


Becoming aware of our own innate rhythms attunes us to nature.  As we breathe out, plants breathe in.  The tidal rhythms of our own inner waters are affected by every sound we encounter and emit.  We become aware that we are actually composed of waves of vibrations that interact with the vibrations of everything around us.   So as we listen for our own song, we become more attuned to our environment - the big symphony of nature around us.  When waves of thick oil poured into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 I felt a shock wave passing through my body that prompted me to sing, a song that grew into an album (Shiva’s Rain 2011) which grew into a connection with Sing for Water


 


Sing for Water is just one project of so many across the planet where singing is being used to make peace and change lives. It’s message is simple - we can sing and we can change our world, one beautiful peaceful note at a time.  


 


I am including a Special Equinox Gift Download - “We Belong”- a Song for Peace  


and invite you to join us at the special Heaven on Earth Equinox Gathering where we will be harvesting and celebrating together.


 


Wishing you a peaceful Equinox


Shalom, Shanti, Salam, Peace


 


 

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