Howdy! It's my pleasure to share my essay contest GRAND PRIZE winning essay!
The first place winner, Grace Sayward, is from Peru, New York. She was first introduced to bluegrass at the age of thirteen and has been playing ever since! She plays the fiddle, guitar, mandolin and banjo! Wow! Grace plans to study Piano Performance in college, and something tells me she'll accomplish great things!
Hope you enjoy reading Grace's fantastic essay!
Why Live Music Is Vital by Grace Sayward
Live music is vital for a flourishing community. A flourishing community is one that engages all people in all aspects of life; allows people to explore and participate in business, politics, commerce, religion, service, and the arts; and provides an opportunity for people to freely express oneself in art, theater, and music. Throughout the ages, music has brought people together. It unifies rather than divides. It has the power to break down barriers. It has the ability to connect people in ways that nothing else can. It speaks a language that transcends words and culture. Music speaks directly to the heart.
While music can be experienced both live and recorded, in a flourishing community, music is performed live. When a musician records music, they perform for an unknown face. There is not the same connection between the musicians and the audience. All the energy is trapped in a room. While there are benefits to recorded music, it is missing the depth that is present in live music. It lacks a moving energy. Live music creates an experience that recorded music cannot. The importance of live music is that it invites people to join in. Live music wants an audience. It brings people together into a shared experience so that they are united. Live music produces an energy that is not bounded by walls. The energy goes outward and enlivens people and moves an audience. It is the positive energy from live music that impacts a community and causes it to flourish.
In light of recent events, through a quarantine and racial tension and upheaval, live music is a driving force of unity within a community. The quarantine isolated people and restricted their movement and participation in the life of a community. Live concerts were placed on hold. Without live music drawing people together and the physical restrictions implemented to address the pandemic, communities lost a lifeblood. Many musicians began to combine live and recorded music by livestreaming music on social media. But, because it was not live with an audience, the music lacked the energy that empowers a group of people within a community. When a person attends a live concert, the energy that is produced electrifies the audience and they take that energy with them into their communities. When many of the audience live in the same community, that energy all transforms that specific community. Some communities figured out how to truly do live music through the quarantine. In places in Italy, people performed music together from their balconies. Although they were separated, they found a way to come together through music. The live music generated hope that spread throughout the community. Hope is a key part in a flourishing community.
Besides producing hope, the energy generated by live music brings unity. Racial tensions have led to protests and unrest in cities across the United States. Americans are protesting the inequalities brought about by racism. In some of the protest marches, people joined together in song. Protestors in the nation’s capital united with one another as they sang Amazing Grace. The singing joined people together and generated a positive energy. When people are singing and performing music together, their whole way of interacting changes. They come together to embrace positive change. Live music allows communities to express themselves in a way that lifts each other up. When communities are lifting each other up, they flourish.
Live music generates energy that produces change. Communities will exist without the energy but with it, they will flourish. Without live music, there is no life in a community.