In a society that constantly enables people to deaden or ignore their emotions, one of the most important lessons a choir can offer is emotional honesty.
The other day I saw a choir member leave rehearsal in tears in the middle of singing a charged piece. Singing the powerful text and stirring melody required her to address her emotions.
This is not unusual in choir, of course. Teenagers have complex emotional lives, and they are required to be emotionally present in choir.
But it’s more unusual in any other class.
One of the biggest gifts we offer our students in choir is emotional access. We are empowering them to be emotionally present, teaching them positive outlets for big emotions, and talking about the big emotional questions we all struggle with.
Emotional education is a critical part of what we get from singing in the choir.