Why do we help others?

By Rebecca Jackson
 
As a little girl, I remember how much I enjoyed performing for others.  From age five, visits with mom to play for residents at convalescent homes made me begin to realize its transformative power.  Seeing tears roll down someone’s cheek was a vivid demonstration of that power.  Music can ignite dance, calm an upset child, or transfix a crowd.  In the 90s, the acknowledgement of music’s healing capabilities led some universities to start offering a “music therapy” degree.  On multiple occasions I’ve gone to rehearsal with a headache or stomachache and after playing it went away!  
 
Besides being taught it’s something we should do because it’s good, why do people help others? Personally, what got me hooked was how great it makes me feel.  I’ll never forget the first benefit concert my sister and I organized (with mom’s help of course!).  The money raised went towards an upright piano and one year of lessons for a blind girl whose parents couldn’t afford them because of medical costs. Reaching beyond your own life into others also gives perspective and elicits compassion.  
 
After all such aforementioned musings, can you blame me for wanting to leap for joy when I met Danielle and Tiffany – women who shared a similar drive to help the world through music?  It’s the best of many worlds – starting with becoming good friends, we are beginning a journey, banding together to change our communities, one performance at a time.  
 
I’m currently reading Pablo Casals biography “Joys and Sorrows” and I want to share words by this famed cellist that resound for me.
 
“Music must serve a purpose; it must be part of something larger than itself; a part of humanity; and that indeed, is at the core of my argument with music today – its lack of humanity.  A musician is also a human, and more important than his music is his attitude toward life.  Nor can the two be separated.”
 
We strive to carry on Casal’s credo of “the indivisible affinity between art and human values.”
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