Listen for Life

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Travels with Music


Donna Stoering

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Take Action!


Give all music a voice in mainstream media: Listen for Life!

What can you do?

Help us make people aware of the problem. Some years ago now, a group of distraught mothers founded MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) in the USA. Their entire reason for being was to simply raise an awareness, first nationally and then around the globe, of a particular problem in the world. They have since become a highly effective lobbying group!
As people worldwide become aware of any  problematic human situation, just the awareness itself leads them to find ways, as individuals, to create change in their own communities and beyond.  It's that awareness that we want to build.

So -  Talk about what you have read here, when you meet up with friends or family. Encourage others to start paying attention to the difference between the music that is currently prevalent in the commercial media  and the background rhythms of their own lives, countries or culture. ( For more detail and ideas on this type of action, go to " spread the word").

Be a part of the solution.Image Then make a choice to listen  - really listen - to the native music and musicians of your own culture and country.  Appreciate the talent, discipline, hard work and artistic inspiration that has gone into the crafting of your traditional music and instruments. Try to imagine what your cultural heritage and emotional expression would be like today if that music  - those performers, those instruments -  did not exist.

Adopt a musician  -  Think about a relatively unknown (but wonderful!) musician amongst those you have just been listening to, who is probably still struggling to share his/her music with a wider audience and is  probably needing your help  - and most of all, your appreciation and encouragement. Give them that encouragement!  We all need to know that what we do makes a difference.  Musicians often have to work for little monetary gain,  but they can maintain their motivation to create a lot longer if they at least know that people are listening, and that the message of their music  is heard in the others' hearts.  ( For more detailed suggestions on how this can help, go to the "adopt a musician" page.)

Music listeners, as well as musicians, have a voice in the world's soundtrack. Wake up your own music imagination! Think about present "pop" music heard on the airwaves today. Imagine what it might sound like if  you could "fuse" the contrasting music styles in your own life and culture -- for example,  if you could play the same current song but with ancient/traditional instruments, or if you could use the current pop-music instruments to perform a native/traditional melody.

This activity will increase your awareness and appreciation for the level of talent required to produce that greater variety of sounds, timbres, and rhythms.  Then, gather your friends, family, colleagues- and listen to music of other genres and styles; music from other cultures, other countries and again, really listen!  Try to hear the messages and traditions being conveyed through the music. What interesting facts might help you to understand or appreciate the music more? What questions would you want answered in a program about this music?

Then, try to visualize how it might look when those unusual instruments are being played. What would you like to see in a television program about that music?

ImageGet involved! And finally, contact our production headquarters and suggest these ideas to us, which we might be able to incorporate into future programs!

Encourage those who campaign for initiatives that would restore music education in the schools of your country, state or region. If everyone were made aware of the significance of this present crisis for music cultures and musicians around the world (and how it in turn affects the lives of all people -- musicians or not), then people would probably become much more reluctant to give up music activities or education, whether individually or in schools.

For our part in this process, we are working on a wonderful, innovative distance education course for music appreciation/education, involving world music instruments, which will be delivered through Internet/Broadband throughout the globe.