Music Connects Us All: A Gift from Wheeler

March 16, 2020

A Message from the Head of School —

Music Connects Us All

On Thursday, at our annual Cum Laude Society induction, Kristin Sprague, Music and Choral Teacher extraordinaire, gave remarks, titled “Raised on Music,” set over a range of songs. Music, she said “is a language. It is a platform for focusing on issues and raising awareness. It brings us together as a community large and small.”  You can find the full, spectacular, video of her remarks here.

Just two days later, these videos surfaced (and I’m sure many more will after this writing) of Italians, quarantined, singing national songs from their balconies and through their windows. For me and so many of us, music has always been a profound way to experience connection, and to define both joyful and challenging times. As Ms. Sprague said “Through music, we can build relationships and form collaborations. We can take risks as we share our most personal selves. We can celebrate with music and allow it to give us strength during difficult times.“

Here we are. This weekend, we all woke up with a slow realization of what we are facing. While the sun shines and the buds emerge, we all realize that we need to stay away from one another in a manner that contradicts our most basic urges. For some, new family routines will be started possibly including math games, DIY projects, poetry readings, or online karaoke competitions. No matter how we try to fill our days, the lack of connections that define our time together at School, and that make our lives full will be hard. Speaking with my own children this weekend about the situation — managing the balance between information, calm and vigilance — was a parenting challenge that we had not prepared for.

If we believe in our mission, we will stay mostly home, and mostly with our families only during these weeks. When we work to learn our powers and be answerable for their use, we take our role in the global community seriously, we realize how interconnected we are, and that we have to protect one another, the health care workers, and the vulnerable as best we can. I hope and believe that we will also bring out the best – our human drive for creativity and altruism – for one another. We are already starting to see this emerge (e.g. check out this poem, and this “Good News Movement Instagram feed).

So, I come back to music. Together with (many!!) recommendations from the Wheeler Faculty and Staff this weekend, we have created the Wheeler School Spirit Giveth Life Playlist. It’s a gift for all of us. This list is upbeat, N-12 friendly, and, I think, a mood booster. We hope you like it!

Take good care, and we’ll continue to be in touch.

Allison Gaines Pell
Head of School