Before I was a music teacher, I worked in Washington, DC, changing government policies. I loved singing, but it didn't seem very useful. Feeding people who are hungry, making sure we don't destroy the planet- that was useful. Music was fun- but I couldn't see how anyone other than the very wealthy could justify spending much time on it.
Then Sept. 11 happened. The whole country was on red alert- especially Washington, DC and especially Capitol Hill, the neighborhood where I worked. Going to work seemed awfully scary.
When I was too scared to get up and go to work, I turned to music and poetry. And they gave me enough of a grip to get up and head in.
That was when I first decided art might be useful.
Recently, my uncle died unexpectedly. The only time the whole week I was home that I felt even a little bit ok was during the funeral, when my cousin and I sang. (She sang the tune of Adonai Roi, The Lord is my shepherd, and I wrote a harmony part that morning to go with it. Video of a choral version of the song below.) I was reminded again how very useful music can be.
Why do you think music is useful?