Saturday, May 13, 2017


My Friday night.

The exhilaration of high school students immersed in music they love was contagious. It was like being at the best party ever, where everyone feels included. 

This is not meant to be a music review. I could talk how challenging the arrangements were, and how the students rose to the challenge. I could talk about tuning, ensemble, vocal quality, blend, the merits of the assorted soloists. But that's not the point I want to make.

What we were watching last night was sheer joy. It reminded me of the motto of a school where I once taught: cum gaudio discimus. With joy we learn.

The recent trend in our schools to value skill and drill and test scores over human experiences has led many parents and students to think that anything that doesn't give you quantifiable points must be sacrificed to the "College and Career Ready" gods. But the capacity for enjoyment must be cultivated every bit as much as intellectual output. Without the ability to experience joy nothing else matters.

To prove a point, I recommend watching this video about Edward.


Joy is an investment we must all make. Last night, as I was bathed in the gorgeous sounds of close-harmony music, I was blown away by how much energy joy can produce. It is truly a force for good.

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