I wanted to share this email, which was sent to me by one of the volunteers who attends SONG rehearsals each week.  She is a teacher and musician herself, and had a unique experience she was compelled to share with me.

I’m sure Shannon will write you about this, but I just had to share it with you, myself, as well. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen, and clear proof of exactly why the SONG program exists.

Today, in both groups, Shannon used the time for listening and experiencing recordings of children’s choirs. Excellent role model stuff! She used CDs of both La Jeunesse and the Hamilton Children’s Choir. I don’t remember which selection it was that she played, but it was something quite long, rhythmic, rather exotic-sounding, with drums and possibly other instruments. Joseph* was sitting in a chair with his feet up on another chair. When Shannon played this particular selection, Joseph leaned back in the chair, closed his eyes and just gave himself to the music. He waved his arms fluidly in the air, a look of pure ecstasy on his face, and he was lost! Completely gone!

I have never – not as a student, as a professional performer or as a teacher – witnessed such utter surrender to music. (Well, maybe Yo-yo Ma.) There was this child, and every cell in his body was singing for joy in response to the music. Not a shred of self-consciousness.

I was so thrilled, I just had to tell you about it. In Shannon’s words, “It was amazing!”

I completely agree.

– posted by Marie

*name changed to protect the student’s privacy