Monthly musing from Rebecca Crichton

A colleague of mine from my Organization Development Days offered a new perspective when I talked about how hard it was to keep things balanced. I don’t remember if I used the metaphor of juggling too many balls or not being able to achieve equilibrium, but it was something of that sort.

“I don’t try to keep things in balance anymore,” she said. “I try to achieve Harmony.” She liked the meaning better than balance since it acknowledged the many voices in our lives that are singing at the same time. Different ones are dominant at different times. True harmony happens when all the voices sing their part well and contribute to the unity of the whole.

I see how that idea applies to my work with Northwest Center for Creating Aging. During my 7-year tenure as ED, we have championed the value of thinking creatively and the importance of being engaged in ongoing learning, connection and self-discovery. It seems time to explore how creativity, in a more traditional sense, can show up in our lives as we age. Perhaps we studied literature, art or music, learned pottery or explored other art forms as younger people. We might have developed talents or skills we used professionally but no longer pursue.

We’ve decided to start with a focus on singing. I’ve been in a variety of choruses over the years. I have the kind of voice that is not meant to sing solo but is good at leaning into the other voices and providing stability. People new to the chorus like to stand next to me since I can be counted on to know the melody enough to follow.

One member of one of the choruses I belonged to referred to singing as “Open Heart Therapy.” I know I always feel better after singing with my chorus, more in tune with myself and others, more a part of the harmony we make together. Mary Pat Graham, longtime chorus director and the leader of the Singing with Friends chorus I belong to, is the perfect person to start us off with her reflections for our Featured Resource this month, which also includes some of the many groups in the area you can join without worrying about auditions.

We look forward to offering more reflections and resources related to some of the arts in our region that are available to interested amateurs (remember that the word comes from the Latin meaning "to love.") Maybe now is a good time revisit an area of creative expression that can reignite that spark of personal discovery in you!

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The Surprising Benefits of Singing

This month's Featured Resource is an article by Mary Pat Graham, longtime chorus director and the leader of Seattle's Singing with Friends chorus.

Mary Pat talks about how singing can help us age gracefully and happily. Also included are some of the many groups in the area you can join without worrying about auditions!

West Side Story: Something Good Still Coming!

Misha Berson, freelance arts critic and author of Something’s Coming, Something Good: West Side Story and the American Imagination, speaks to the enduring and evolving value of this iconic American musical. 

Monday, April 20, 7:30 PM
Horizon House, 900 University Street

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