Most of us have felt it before. It’s either when we are making music with others or we’re listening to someone else playing when suddenly… We’re feeling the magic of it. The magic of people connecting through creating sounds, sometimes rehearsed and sometimes spontaneous.
I have stood many times with an open mouth listening to a band playing their tunes together.
So what is it about creating music together, that is so special?
The first concept we’ll need to discuss here is ensemble cohesion.
When musicians play together, a synchronization of their movements, timing, and sometimes even breathing is happening. This brings on a feeling of being one with each other.
Also, the aspect of creating something new together, makes people feel connected. A shared thought that then unfolds in the manifestation of something tangible. In addition to that, herding or belonging to a group is an actual primal need of each human being.
At Peace Drums Project, we use music as a tool to connect. A way of Non-Verbal Communication, where music becomes the language itself.
We can express emotions and ideas in a way that sometimes is not even possible with the vocabulary we have in our own mother tongue.
Therefore playing music can feel like we are exposing a vulnerable part of ourselves too. But whenever we’re doing that within a safe environment, shared vulnerability can create immense connection. Vulnerability opens the door to having more meaningful relationships with each other.
|When it comes to our physical response to music, research has shown that listening to and playing music increases the hormone oxytocin in our bodies. This hormone makes us feel bonded and brings feelings of trust.|
Harvey Price – Executive Director of Peace Drums Project- believes music can bring about connection when it has a similar emotional trigger to all involved. When a musical piece is too ingrained in a certain culture (think about traditional music or the anthem of a country) and not everyone shares that same culture, it may create more dispersion instead.
At Peace Drums Project we play music with steel drums. Steel drums originate from Trinidad and Tobago, a dual-island nation in the Caribbean. Within the area Peace Drums Project operates, the instrument is culturally neutral. In this way, the exploration of this new instrument creates a connection between the children who join our steel drum bands.
In conclusion, making music together has many different advantages. The sense of belonging, feeling connected and synchronized with another, and being able to express ourselves uniquely. Overall we can say that music truly is a wonderful tool to bring people together.
Greenberg, D. M., Decety, J., & Gordon, I. (2021). The social neuroscience of music: Understanding the social brain through human song.American Psychologist, 76(7), 1172–1185.