A longish post today about something important to me.
Allison, (I don’t remember her last name right now) a wonderful choral director at Naramata Centre several summers ago shared this with us about the different modes of leadership in a choir. As with everything about a choir it can be applied to so much other stuff in our lives.
The mode of Judgmentalism exists where a prior standard is set by observation of another group, and the expectation is made to try to attain these goals. This mindset is based in the belief that the group is inadequate at present and must improve to be acceptable. It is an attitude which is fundamentally rooted in fear, and exists at every level of the arts. No matter how good you are, it is never enough. Your self worth becomes dependent on external approval or disapproval, and fear eventually destroys creativity.
The mode of Acceptance exists where fundamentally there is pleasure and delight in the skills, the discipline, and the creativity of the group. It may be the physical act of singing, of the welling of feeling of a song, but the pleasure is in the here and now of the moment. With this delight comes an endless flow of new ideas and ways of expanding the art form. It is rooted in the joy of now, and the excitement of trying new ideas. It is endlessly creative, and affirming to both individuals and groups’ self worth, and it is the essence of amateur singing. It may be worth pointing out that the word “amateur” means “to love”. I propose that we consciously embrace this mode of being.
Thanks to Allison for this learning that I keep coming back to. BTW if any of you know Allison (she directs a women’s choir on one of the gulf islands) I would love to be reminded of her last name and have a chance to reconnect.
Have a wonderful musical day!