"Music is a kind and truthful speech."
By ETM Marketing and Communications Associate Jennifer Williams
The last few months have presented unimaginable challenges: a pandemic that has forced people inside their homes, isolating us from each other face masks have become a part of our everyday outfits. Classrooms and offices are now indistinguishable from kitchens and living rooms.
Our lives look very different these days.
And our country has also faced tremendous losses. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost due to COVID-19. And as a country, we continue to mourn the tragic losses of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black lives who have been victims of systemic racism and violence.
But during these hard times, communities have united. We have witnessed peaceful protests taking place around the world, restaurants cooking meals for essential workers, young children leading fundraisers, and artists from all genres inspiring us through computer screens.
In that spirit, Education Through Music (ETM) Instructional Supervisor Grace Lazos is bringing together musicians and audiences through “Social Distance Sessions”, a Facebook page created by Zoe Sorrell, a friend of Grace’s and fellow Carnegie Mellon alumna that features bi-weekly performances by artists from around the country.
Together with her Sigma Alpha Iota sisters and the Trans Women of Color Collective (TWOCC), Grace gave a concert featuring her colleage and Instructional Supervisor Beth Buehlman.
On a personal level, giving back to ETM during this time is very important to Grace. “I applied to ETM because of the mission, working with ETM means making sure as many students as possible, no matter their skin color, sexuality, or gender identity, have equitable access to music education, she shared. “I believe music is a universal language that facilitates storytelling. Teaching music allows students to develop the tools to share their voices. Children who are a part of marginalized groups especially need access to these tools to share their stories.”
As for TWOCC, Grace added “TWOCC exists to create revolutionary change by uplifting the narratives, leadership, and lived experience of trans people of color. I chose this organization as they work on a national level, and directly benefit the BLM movement as well as the LGBTQ+ community.”
In the words of the Sigma Alpha Iota Chorale: “Music is a kind and truthful speech.” For Grace, “Music has lasting power. We still perform and listen to pieces hundreds of years after they were composed. Music resonates with us, and resonates messages for generations to come.”
On behalf of everyone at ETM, we would like to say thank you to Grace and everyone at “Social Distance Sessions.”