Thursday, November 4, 2010

The power of change

Do you believe in the power of change? This is such an important question and yet a lot of us don't really understand what it means. Answering it inevitably carries implications that we may not yet be ready to handle. Some of these implications can take shape as assumptions, some may be inferred, but we cannot deny the connection that links them to the ultimate answer which is deeply rooted in personal truth, trust, and ultimate conviction. After all, what is belief if not something we regard to be true. When we talk about things that are true we talk about validity, accuracy and facts. But how do we make the connection from fact, to truth, to change. How can we validate something that has not yet happened? To believe in the power of change is to accept that we are talking in the abstract based on a knowledge of experience of change that may or may not apply to the current change we are after.

Here is a simpler and more practical way of looking at this. How do I put into writing in a grant document that the change that I so passionately believe in has not yet occurred in measurable verifiable action?

Let us center this argument even more by defining exactly the change on which we base our belief. For us, social change translates to community empowerment. Community empowerment is achieved by enriching the lives of people through commitment and contribution. What are we contributing? Access to a valuable resource: Music!

To allow is to empower. We need to allow kids the chance not only to experience music, but also to learn and participate in music making. I do not mean in run-out concerts and educational outreach programs. Going to a community and performing once or twice and then expecting for people from that community to come to your performances is not realistic. 

The power of change only works if you we stick to our convictions and never jump ship. The data we need to prove the long term life changing impact music education has on young people can only be compiled if we commit to granting access to it to the communities that need it most.

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