Seeing the world through music means music appealing to the physical senses. When referring to music and the senses, a typical answer might be the sense of hearing. However, music impacts all five senses: seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling. Because humans use the senses as a means of interpreting, adapting and relating to their surroundings, the senses play a major role in how one views the world. And music is a significant contributor to that vision.

Wrapping the World with Music

How does music wrap around the world? How do we see music performing such an act? Scholars have determined that music existed in the 3rd century in some form. However, as a vocal music major in college, my historical view of music began around the 9th and 10th centuries with a plainsong known as the Gregorian chant. As a starry-eyed seventeen-year-old accustomed to Johnny Mathis and Hank Williams, the plainsong was challenging to view as music. But in doing so, this extended perspective allowed me to see how music influenced the world socially, culturally and politically.

Yesterday, as well as today, music sets the stage and directs clothing styles, hair styles, cultural norms or political views. The song “I’m black and I’m proud” was instrumental in lifting the stigma of the word “black,” placed in American culture and around the world. Today, African Americans see it as synonymous with “white,” and proudly label themselves “black.” Prior to that, words like blackball or black-market had given anything black a negative connotation. How does music change such a connotation? By touching the inner core of our being and transforming it with higher levels of thought.

Visualization and Understanding

Seeing the world through music also means mentally and morally understanding oneself in relation to others. It means recognizing that being different does not mean better or worse. Familiarizing oneself with music, languages, modes of dress and core values of world populations, enlarges one’s view of himself.

“Hello” is a form of greeting to someone. That definition does not change with guten tag or bonjour, the way a German or French may greet a friend or stranger. It is not the word used, it’s the personal connection felt within. What makes a person less than or more than another, are individual beliefs and prejudices ingrained in thought. Seeing is cognitive visualization–visualization that stems from mental reflections that materialize into actions. Children living in such environments tend to absorb those reflections and reproduce them with words and actions. The “seeds” parents and communities plant in the minds of children, determine how they understand the world.

Embracing Children with Music

Children learn early from their surroundings. Not only are words and actions internalized, but instincts, feelings, warmth and passions are also. Consequently, laying a foundation that embraces all people equally, is essential to world peace and unity. Music can be an effective tool in reaching the inner workings of a child’s mind. It teaches core values like discipline, responsibility, inclusion, kindness, self-esteem, determination, patience and empathy. Thus, it is essential to “cuddle” your child with music. Help him understand that race, ethnicity and nationality yield unique beliefs, customs and music that express who people are. All people are needed to complete the world. Each person gives humanity a “specialty” that only he can give. One specialty is just as important as the other.

Include Us in the World

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