Spiritual Exercise – Music

This month we have two options to go more deeply into the ways music connects and communicates.  For those who would also like to explore ways to integrate more music into your life, there are everyday practices at the bottom.

Option 1)  Community Practice
Music is often experienced most deeply in community.  When we sing together, the music has the power to fulfill some of our deepest needs: community, connection, belonging  and harmony. Research suggests that singing with others literally unifies people at the heart level. A study from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, found that singing in unison not only had a calming effect on the heart (it slows down), but that heart rates actually synchronized as a group; and beat as one.

This month, we have two opportunities for exploring the power of singing communally.

Plan to attend the Soulful Singing workshop after service with the Rev. Wendy Louella Perkins on January 8th.

Or come out to the Creative Connections session on chants with DLL Pamela Smith Loeters on Wednesday January 11th.

You can try one or both opportunities and come to the theme group to share your experience.

Option 2)  Soundtrack of our Lives
Some of our most moving experiences in life are accompanied by a soundtrack. The song which reminds us of a painful break-up, or brings sweet memories of an old friend.  The one that recalls that amazing trip.

Take some time this month to consider the songs that hold your memories. What music composes the soundtrack of your life?  What songs evoke strong connections to a certain time in your life?  Listen to the musical pieces and reflect on why they captured your experience. What meaning or emotion do they hold?

Create a playlist of the most evocative pieces.  Play it regularly over the month. You might also write a short text on each piece of music and its meaning.

Come to the group with some reflections on how music has accompanied you during your life.

Everyday Practices
Lift up your voice!  Be not afraid!  Try to sing out loud on a regular basis.  Sing in the shower. Turn up the volume and sing in the car. Create a family karaoke night. Find your voice and make a joyful noise.

Join Voices United.  The choir at UCM is always open to new voices. If you would like to make communal singing part of your life, contact our Music Director, Abigail Freeman.



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