On Friday mornings, we have a faculty and staff hymn sing for fifteen minutes before the school day begins. It’s usually about fifteen of us–all four parts represented. Someone suggests a song, the pages rustle, the pitch pipe hums, and we’re off into a river of harmonies, notes and words tumbling together.
During the past couple weeks, I have been struck by how the harmonies pull against each other and support each other, forming a thing that is greater than the sum of the parts, how we make a landscape of sound, a basket, a tapestry, a bridge. Singing together with attentiveness makes use of a subliminal sense that goes beyond hearing and sight and touch. We share breath and heartbeat.
Perhaps the sixth sense is the sense of connection to others, the awareness of the web of human interbeing. Singing together acknowledges this web in powerful ways, as we rest and flow and build the song with each other. What a gift it is to sing with the gathered community of these people who are all focused on the one task of teaching and supporting our students. It strengthens and supports our work, builds us together. The bridge of music that we build between us is at once the symbol of the support we create for our students, and the support itself.