Music Changes the World!


We’ve been talking on our social media channels this week about how music changes the world and how music has changed our worlds, individually, as well.

Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai graduated from high school last week, and even as a young student Malala had the right idea. “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” Sometimes that child is a young musician, that teacher is a band director, that book is a score, and that pen writes something that lives forever.

Music changed my world in 4th grade when my new-step-extended family let me borrow their daughter’s long unused flute. (I wanted to play the French Horn, but this is what was available to me.) That flute has circuitously led to what I do now–managing Bertrand’s Music in Burbank. In between? I played flute and piccolo through high school, went to college and graduate school in Voice and Opera, worked as a singer-actor in New York and regional theaters and opera companies, made recordings of art songs and jazz, found a church job in Burbank where I still perform regularly, became an avid high school choir volunteer and landed here at Pedersen’s. If I hadn’t learned to read music in 4th grade, maybe none of that would have happened!

A customer who came in this morning has another kind of story about how music changed his world. A lover of Dixieland jazz, after his career as a police officer, he has gone back to college as a Clarinet Performance Major and is in his Senior Year. That sounds like something off a bucket list, doesn’t it? Music has changed his life completely. Maybe the Cornet he brought in for us to look at today will change it again!

How has music changed your world? None of us would say not at all, I don’t think. Even as audience members, we are changed by the beauty, the challenge, the insights, the passion of the music we listen to–and more so by the music we participate in.

Malala was talking about ideas and we add musical ideas to that concept. Music has been called the “universal language.” Nothing brings people together without talking like making and listening to music in a group. I will never let go of the amazing experience of being in a 400-voice choir, all thinking the same thoughts, striving for the same goals, achieving the same heights of expression at the same moment. That changes my world every time it happens.

Now–go make some music and change the world!