“Tough times don’t last, tough people
do, remember?” Gregory Peck
This week we begin a series for the month of October called “When Times are Tough.” I like doing series because I am able to expand on our theme and need not get everything I think is important together in one post. As always, I thought about doing this series during the summer, but the actual theme and thrust didn’t come to me until the beginning of September. Often during Choral Ethics series, you contact me with ideas or make a comment which enhances that theme. Please add your comments today; we need all the help we can get!
Today we will deal in generalities and later in the series; we will get to specific situations having to do with us in our own profession. But today, it’s about our choirs and students. Things are tough in our country right now. It doesn’t matter what you believe or who you believe, all of us, even choral directors, are having a tough time.
Many of you direct choirs of young people or direct choirs in places of worship. You worry the news is affecting your students or the latest investigation about clergy misbehavior is causing a crisis of faith among your choir members. Many of you teach on the college and university level and are just as worried about your students. You wonder how you can help and often, you are just as upset as your singers. Do you plow on with what you have to do? Do you take time to address and comfort? Do you pretend everything is normal? Do you have group heart-to-hearts? Do you continue to sing?
The answer to all of these questions is yes. Yes, you plow through. Yes, you take time to comfort. Yes, you pretend everything is normal if you have to for a bit. Yes, you have group heart-to-hearts. Yes, you show your human-side. Yes, you believe. Yes, you are kind and patient. And yes, you sing. Singing together heals, as we all know, and can help heal our hearts. We all need to be healed right now, so SING!
Trust your instincts for what is best for your choir at the time and place where you are. If your district or academic institution has guidelines in place for these tough times, follow them. If your worship community has addressed these issues, speak with your clergy about the ways your congregation chooses to implement them.
As I searched for my epigraph for today’s Blog post, I found a quote attributed to Gregory Peck. I think it’s perfect for today’s piece and for the whole series. Remember, when all is said and done, we will get through this because tough times don’t last. We will overcome because we are tough, deep down inside, and tougher than the adversities thrown at us. We only need to believe we are.
Next week we will discuss a tough time no one looks forward to; Knowing When To Call It Quits.