"Sing? ME? Oh, no
— I have a terrible voice."
I'm amazed at how often I hear comments like this from
parents when they first bring their children to Prelude Music Classes. Many of
them share with me that they haven't sung — really sung — since they were children themselves, and most of them can't
I believe it's because when we sing (and dance and play), we let ourselves be vulnerable. We let
our guard down and risk showing who we really are in the moment. Children have
little problem with this. But as we grow into adults, many of us take on the
idea that vulnerability is dangerous, that we need to keep that invisible suit
of armor on to avoid "looking stupid" or facing possible criticism —
even with our own families.
Recently I read Brené Brown's excellent book Daring Greatly, and every page reminded
me so much of our experiences here at Prelude. Brené talks about how, during
vulnerable times, we often grow the most and therefore are capable of loving
all the more. I especially love this passage:
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of
love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of
hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in
our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the
Isn't that a beautiful thought? It reminded me of so many
stories from Prelude Music Classes.
One story in particular stands out in my mind. One day, one
of our students came to class accompanied by Dad instead of Mom (who had just
had a baby), and I could tell immediately that the father was uncomfortable. A
successful businessman, he had clearly never done these kinds of activities
with his son — singing, dancing, wiggling, waving scarves, banging on drums —
at home by themselves, let alone in front of 11 other grownups and their
After we said goodbye that day, I thought we might never see
him again … but he kept coming back, week after week. Slowly I began to see him
open up — singing along, moving his feet to the rhythm, clapping to the beat of
Then one day after class, he told me something that moved me
to tears. "Miss Ana," he said, "I just want to thank you for all
you do. This class has taught me how to
play with my son."
What a beautiful thing to share! By allowing himself to
become vulnerable, this dad was now able to share the joy of music with his son
and connect with him on a whole new level.
That's exactly what Brené Brown is talking about when she
"Because true belonging only
happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense
of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance."
So if you are new to Prelude Music Classes and feel a little
awkward taking part, please know that your feelings are perfectly normal. I
also want you to know that this is a safe place, and that we only ask four
things of you:
Don't try to be perfect
Be patient with yourself, and before you know it, those
inhibitions will start melting away, allowing you to discover the true joy of
As parents, allowing our children to see us being vulnerable
is one of the most precious gifts we can give them. Through our actions, we
send the message that it's okay to be yourself, to embrace the moment and let
the spirit of music take you wherever it will.
I want to take this opportunity to extend a huge THANK YOU
to all our Prelude parents for taking the time to sing and dance with your
children — inside and outside of class — and to let yourselves be vulnerable in
front of them! On behalf of the children, thank you, thank you, thank you!
Has your experience at Prelude allowed you to create a deeper bond with
your child by embracing vulnerability? If you're comfortable sharing your
story, we would love to hear it!
Music is a universal language. It transcends boundaries and reaches beyond culture to touch the depths of our souls, express our common emotions, and inspire us all. Now serving 2,500 communities in over 40 countries, Music Together® connects families and communities across the globe as they express and explore our basic human instinct for making music.
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