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Songs 4 Ukraine - Song Flight I
Building Music Bridges 4 Ukraine
“If I cannot fly, let me sing.” ― S. Sondheim
I’ve been thinking about how to build a music bridge in virtual reality. On the one hand, working in a virtual space simplifies things immensely. I don’t have to worry about building costs or engineering challenges such as aeroelastic flutter, flow separation, or the development of a Kármán vortex street, all of which contributed to the dramatic collapse of the newly built Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940. But when push came to shove, I wasn’t sure I wanted our music bridge to look like a “regular” bridge at all.
What, I wondered, might a bridge composed of music notes, staves, bass and treble clefs, accents, and time and key signatures look like? Even more important, how would all those musical components accomplish the goals we’ve set:
Learn from one another
Make emotional as well as intellectual connections
Allow folks to travel safely back and forth between different, sometimes emotionally-charged points of view
Provide a place and space where people can enjoy, share, and collaborate on music together.
Serve as a reminder that the things we have in common far outweigh our differences
Recall each person who visits, listens to, or contributes to the Music Bridge to their best self - their kindness, curiosity, and creativity
Provide practical tools and information about how to support Ukraine
Accomplishing these goals will require emotional intelligence (EQ), creative chutzpah, and a willingness to fail forward. Also, a goofy sense of humor.
As I thought about these qualities and how best to find and build a team that embodies them, I could think of no better teammates than children. After all, I reasoned, kids were the ones who prompted me to write the first book in the CritterKin book series (about a miniature dachshund who is bullied for being different). Kids were the ones who loved me for - not in spite of - being willing to fling myself headlong into stories - trying on voices and silly hats, singing and dancing to tunes we’d just made up, and pretending to be wolves howling at the moon.
Kids were also the ones who taught me that stories are the foundation of learning. Human beings are storytellers, and it is through them we learn about ourselves and our world - how to listen, how to empathize, and how to be generous with our energy and time. A good story can open hearts and teach tolerance, kindness, and respect for differences.
And so I’ve decided to write a children’s story about how to build a Music Bridge 4 Ukraine. It will be an evolving story written with the help of as many kids as I can get to give me feedback and suggestions. I’m calling the story, “Song Flight.”
If we do this right, we will not only accomplish all the goals outlined above but add an eighth and final goal as well. We will engage our children in discussions about real-world events with the goal of using stories and creative activities to make sense of those events. We will help them develop both the social-emotional and intellectual skills required to grow into kind, creative, and collaborative adults who understand the value of differences.
Our kids will learn that bridges can and should be built, and that they can have a hand in building them.
If you would like to be part of this project, please visit my Patreon page (https://www.patreon.com/Songs4Ukraine?fan_landing=true) where I have outlined the steps and broken down the “Tiers” (financial contributions) that will be necessary to accomplish the goals I just outlined.
P.S. Please feel free to email me with thoughts and suggestions.
Copyright 2022 by Jena Ball. All Rights Reserved.