We all whistle an ear worm and sing in the shower from time to time. And some of us have sang along to our favourite band playing live. And these musical acts are just as valid as the performance by the band themselves, or someone shredding a Bach violin solo at Carnegie Hall.
Participatory music-making is about celebrating the process of music rather than the product.
It’s about musicking; the verb ‘to music’, and thinking about music not as a thing, but a thing we do.
In our society we give people who make music labels: musicians, DJs, producers, composers. But when you think about how and when these people get these labels, you realise that these titles are often self-given, and describe only a very particular thing that the person wants to be known for.
Usually, we use titles that represent the thing we are paid to do. But there are so many other things we do, so many other verbs that define us beyond the title attached to our job and source of income.
Our education system breaks the world up into subjects, and teaches us that things you might like doing aren’t valid until you get a title for it.
making -> engineer
cooking -> chef
musicking -> musician
doodling -> graphic designer
cleaning -> cleaner.
The work of the professional is valued more than the amateur.
Because of this we grow up thinking that there are musicians and non-musicians. Which is nonsense. Everyone has the capacity ‘to music’. And there are people who music everyday who will claim, when asked, that they are not a musician.
head here to read the manifesto for participatory music-making: