Singing in Public

Can you believe the guts of president Obama?

I get jittery singing in front of my students – and I’m a musician. He stood and sang “Amazing Grace” in front of the world last week.


In her book The Anatomy of Melody, Alice Parker writes,

When our ears and voices connect in song, this makes possible a transcendental moment that releases us from our human limitations.

That’s what I hear in the President’s singing. I was watching the video with a small group, and someone near me said, “Don’t quit your day job” – but the quality of the voice isn’t the point (and I think it’s a lovely and soulful performance).

The point is, as a sign says in my home, “When words fail, music speaks.”

Thank you, Pres. Obama, for reminding us so eloquently of the power of song to express what can’t be said.