Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. ― Plato
A father’s love
A wedding dance
New Year’s dreams
A toast with friends
A soldier coming home from war
The faith the hope of so much more
A brand new life, a mother’s prayer
Shooting stars, ocean air
A lover’s kiss, and hard goodbyes
Fireworks, Christmas lights
These are things that make us feel alive
These are the times that make us realize
Life is beautiful
– Life is Beautiful, The Afters
We’ve all been down that same road. We hear the same music. We feel the same things. When we are unable to express what we have been through, it’s our music that plays the scene. Music in its purest form is a way of life. It is the key to creativity. Life in itself is a piece of music, playing high and low notes, and if we could learn to dance and sing along with it then it’s an adventure of a lifetime. It can transform lives and heal souls.
This is what Leonard Brown, an associate professor of Music and African American Studies at Northeastern University, believes in. He says, “(Music) can be a force to make the world a better place.” He has awe for jazz, a musical style born out of a mix of the African and the European traditions. He also co-founded the John Coltrane Memorial Concert in 1977 to honor the musical and spiritual legacy of the pioneering jazz saxophonist.
Born on September 23, 1926, John Coltrane was an American saxophonist and composer. He worked with famed musicians/bandleaders like Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, and Miles Davis. The jazz world is forever indebted to him for this technically marvelous and thrillingly dense music. His most popular creations are Giant Steps, My Favorite Things, and A Love Supreme, among others. He died from liver cancer at the age of 40 on July 17, 1967, in Huntington, Long Island, New York.
“People keep coming back to the show because of the integrity and sincerity we bring to our interpretation of Coltrane,” he says. “We try to breathe life into his songs while staying true to his form.” “Most kids don’t hear music like this,” Brown says. “The listening experience can help them develop their intelligence and capacity for making the world a better place.”
The goal of this honorable outreach program is to expose students to qualities such as perseverance, focus, positive self-image, and the willingness to learn. With younger students, the goal is more straightforward: to bring music into their lives as it is the union of soul and feelings. It is the transition to a feeling of fleeting heaven in our ephemeral lives. There’s music in every moment. Find your own music, enjoy life.