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How can Music act as an Instrument for Empathy? - Louise Raven-Tiémélé


“If one can focus one’s heart on music, it is just like warming something that was frozen. The heart returns to its natural condition.” - Sufi master Hazrat Inayat Khan


Music, Empathy and Conflict Resolution • Music to help heal trauma or harm - e.g.) with individuals and groups in therapeutic settings • Peace-keeping - to avert conflict, e.g.) in school corridors, Probation office waiting rooms • Peace-building - e.g.) with groups of individuals post-conflict


This brief session will focus on: • Music to help heal trauma or harm - e.g.) with individuals and groups in therapeutic settings (and) • Peace-building - e.g.) with groups of individuals post-conflict Interested in the potential of music to unite & help reconnect people with their own humanity and the humanity of others


Music as a universal language (?) We can sing before we can talk. Singing, gives expression to the wants, needs and emotions of infants, where language and vocabulary has not yet developed. Even before birth, Lullabies can calm babies and sent them into a blissful sleep. When lullabies are sung by mother or parent, this serves also to develop bonds between parent and baby.


Music as a universal language (?) We can talk about music as being a universal language to a point.... • It is important to be able to resonate with the histories, values, conventions, institutions, and technologies in which the music is situated. (Cross, 2003) • Limitations - Receptiveness depends on socialisation and education • Cultural Sensitivity


Music as a universal language (?) • Ambiguous nature of links between music and peace: “The “Ode to Joy” of the Ninth Symphony has served as a rallying call at communist conventions and insurance sales meetings; it is the unifying anthem of the European Union and, to diehard nationalists, the emblem of German musical supremacism. Beethoven represents peace in a French novel (titled “Jean Christophe”) by Romain Rolland and street violence in “A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess.” (Lebrecht, 2005)


Music as a universal language (?) “Music may be universal in the sense that people widely separated by language and culture can learn to love the same music. It is not universal in the sense that the response is automatic or without effort. The expressive content of Japanese or Indian music is utterly baffling, at first, to Western ears; so too is that of a Mahler symphony to someone who has never heard any other symphony.� (Nussbaum, 2003)


Music and Empathy • Empathy is a vital element for peace. • What is empathy? “Empathy is not a character trait, or skill, which we simply either “have” or “lack”. (Laurence) “a process involving an initial cognitive act of intellectual comprehension of another’s feeling and inner state, with ensuing reflection leading to one’s own feeling in response to the other’s experienced feeling.” (Stein)


Emotional Contagion A feeling of “oneness” where a number of people experiencing the same event respond in the same way. However it results from a cognitive awareness of the likeness of each other’s responses, but doesn’t dissolve interpersonal boundaries. (Laurence). ... this can be valuable, but is distinct from the “fellow feeling” which constitutes sympathy


Emotional Contagion Where feelings, ideas an beliefs are taken on without reason or reflection and although they may appear to be a shared understanding, understanding is not the goal and is hardly possible in the context of abrogation of self. E.g. Hitler’s rallies – dissolving self, overwhelming participants who experienced an “ecstatic bonding, which led to the supreme sense of likeness which facilitated the subsequent murderous alienation of those “others”, now constructed as foreign to the point of being subhuman.” (Laurence)


Music as a tool for building connection I strongly believe music can help: • Increase self-esteem – through self-expression • Re-connect us with ourselves – through exploration of music, our voice etc. • Unite us with others – through a shared purpose or activity • Build cultural awareness – through different musical styles, genres and learning about different cultures. (Music as storytelling) • Build trust – of self and others


Positive and negative uses of music to unite Positive: Has at its heart - respect for all human life. Our shared humanity. Negative: Unites people ‘against’ others and does not have at its heart, equal respect for all human life. Emphasises the ‘otherness’, dehumanising individuals and groups of individuals.


Examples of positive uses of music to unite

Music connecting us to ourselves and others – our shared humanity


Examples of positive uses of music to unite Freedom Songs – e.g.) “We shall overcome” Peter Yarrow (of Pete, Paul & Mary) made the following observation during the march in Washington in 1964, where Dr Martin Luther King delivered his famous ‘I have a dream speech’ “I had the feeling, in those first marches that we were part of, that the songs were a different kind of rhetoric. There were a lot of people in America that were fence-sitters, that were dead against it. When they heard the music, something human was touched and it was undeniable.”


Examples of positive uses of music to unite

We shall overcome, we shall overcome, We shall overcome some day. Oh deep in my heart, I do believe. We shall overcome some day!�


Examples of positive uses of music to unite • In 1999, the Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim (2002) and the Palestinian literary critic Edward Said organised a concert in Weimer, Germany. Half the musicians were Palestinians, the other half Israelis. • Christmas Truce of 1914 during World War II in France.


Examples of negative uses of music to destroy Music disconnecting us from ourselves and others


Examples of negative uses of music to destroy • During World War 2, Hitler played Wagner in the concentration camps to march millions of people to their death. • U.S. Soldiers in Iraq – played hard rock to scare people during the battle of Fallujah in 2005 • After enthusiastically dancing for hours to the beat of traditional Hutu performers, a representative of the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR, learned with horror that the lyrics were about the need to eliminate all Tutsis (Karsenty, 2003)


How music can help resolve conflict Processes of coexistence and reconciliation almost always involve: • • • • • • •

Appreciating each other’s humanity and respecting each other’s culture Telling our own and listening to each other’s stories, and developing more complex narratives and nuanced understandings of identity Acknowledging harm, telling truths, and mourning losses Empathizing with each other’s suffering Acknowledging and redressing injustices Expressing remorse, repenting, apologizing, letting go of bitterness, forgiving Imaging and substantiating a new future, including agreements about how future conflicts will be engaged constructively. – Cohen (2005)


How music can help resolve conflict Music’s role in developing empathy and helping to build peace must be sincere, longlasting and not superficial.


Music in specific cultural contexts Many e.g.’s of music charities working in different cultural contexts & breaking down barriers: • • • •

Northern Ireland Rwanda Bosnia – Herzegovina Kosovo


Aims of using music in Restorative Justice? Aims in using music in Restorative Justice contexts are to : • • • • • • •

Build self-esteem Develop respect for others Promote self expression Help perpetrators take responsibility for their actions Increasing cultural awareness Help recognise our shared humanity Help re-connect with the wider community


How can Music be used in Restorative Justice? Example of Brian Wong & 9 other inmates at the Kulani Correctional Facility in Hawaai “Within the framework of giving offenders the opportunity to acknowledge their offences and make amends, music could have a definite role to play in awakening empathy for victims.� (Skyllstad)


How can Music be used in Restorative Justice? • Music playing in the office as people come to meet with each other • Using music to unlock & help people express feelings, including feelings of shame & remorse (perpetrator’s side) and extending empathy • An outcome agreement between a perpetrator and victims incorporating a musical component


How can Music be used in Restorative Justice? • Music to facilitate story-telling, expressing emotions, paving the way for reconciliation, facilitating remorse and preparing people for face-to-face RJ meetings. • Opportunity for perpetrators and victims to re-assess their view of themselves. • Music-making with offenders / prisoners contributing to a shift in thinking & stubborn attitudes of some.


“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.� - Plato


My Dog Loves Your Dog - Civil Rights Movement Song (By The Nashville Quartet)

Dog dog d-dog, a dig a dog dog (Dig a) dog dog d-dog, a dig a dog dog x2 My dog loves your dog and your dog loves my dog (and) my dog loves your dog and your dog loves my dog So why can't we sit under the apple tree


Kudekukuru

- Rainforest chant By John Bowker

“Whilst not actually a baka/mbuti piece, this is my attempt to honour the artform/culture/spirit tradition. Meli e is one of the names given to the spirit of the forest. This chant is a blessing song for the Meli e. It has been sung many times in ritual retreats to send apologies to the forests and all the creatures wounded by human kind’s desecration of that magical environment.” – John Bowker, Tribal Spirit Drumming


Kudekukuru - Rainforest chant By John Bowker Each simple part enters in this order: Part 1: Ku-de ku-ku-ru Part 2: Mali-ay-o, Mali-o

melody low

Part 3: Mali-ay-i-yay-i-yay—iyo, Mali-ay-i-yay-iyo high Part 4: Mali-ay, Mali-ayo

descending


Zi ba

- Simple song from South Africa

Each simple part enters in this order: Part 1: Zi ba ba ba zi-ba zi ba ba ba zi-ba Part 2: Ba nu ah ba nu ah ba nu ai ay Part 3: Ba nu ah ba nu ah ba nu ai ay Part 4: La nu ai ay ya la nu Part 5: Me n ni na na (-) no no no! (highest)

low middle/low middle/high high descant


Te Aroha - A waiata (song) from New Zealand that may be sung in all Marae (sacred places) and powhiri (welcoming ceremony) settings. The words mean ‘Love, faith and peace be amongst us all.’

Te aroha Te whakapono Te rangi-marie Tatou tatou e


Da Parcem Terre Strem -Gregorian Chant, meaning ‘Peace on Earth’. Sung as a 3-part round

Da Parchem terre strem Da Parchem terre strem Da Par- aaa- aaa - chem Da Pa -aaa-aaa-aaa- chem


Swan Sings As the swan sings Loo loo loo loo Loo loo loo loo Loo loo loo loo


I wanna Sing - A simple three part song by Dee Jarlett.

Soprano

Alto

Tenor & Bass

High above I sing for love, high above I sing. High above I sing for love, high above I sing.

I wanna sing, in the middle of the morning. I wanna sing, in the middle of the night.

I wanna sing low, sing low, I wanna sing low, sing low, I wanna sing low, sing low, I wanna sing low, sing low,


Asikhatali You can jail us but our spirits are free and we live in hope. We walk a hard road but victory will be ours. We are the children of Africa and we live in hope.


Asikhatali - South African Anti-Apartheid Movement Song (Zulu)

(A-si-kha-ta-li no-ma-si-bosh-wa Si-zi-mi-sel’ in-ku-lu-le-ko x2) (Un-zi-ma lom-thwa-lo U-fu-na-ma-do-da x2) (Thi-na ban-twa-na ba-ze Af-ri-ka Si-zi-mi-sel’ in-ku-lu-le-ko x2) (Un-zi-ma lom-thwa-lo U-fu-na-ma-do-da x2)

Louise presentation music as an instrument for developing empathy