I often sit and listen to the choir during practice. The beautiful music is a soothing and uplifting oasis in my week. But, if truth be told, I am captivated by how Jackie nurtures the choirs. I listen for what I call Jackie’s Wisdom Tidbits, such as her oft repeated “music is for sharing.” She teaches values of community, empathy, and leadership – sometimes directly, but more often indirectly through demonstration.
Over the five years that I have been sitting on those wooden pews, I have noticed Jackie’s unwavering emphasis on collaboration and co-operation. Music is for enjoyment and sharing with others, rather than to be used competitively. She builds a collaborative environment, where everyone feels valued and encouraged to be their best whatever their experience level.
The choristers also learn about leadership and mentorship, through activities such as the recent teacher workshop, Music Monday school visits, and being a student mentor. Both choirs learn from more experienced choirs, whether it is the training choir singing with “the big girl choir,” or Cantiamo’s recent adventure with the more experienced choir from University of Western Ontario. Often times, Jackie points out that she and Laura are also learning. Through it all, the choristers are learning valuable lessons about leadership and mentorship.
“Our world can do with more singing.”
– Julie Gourley
Finally, I think that each chorister knows that they are making a small difference in the world as they sing at senior homes, schools, or community events. The music, sometimes in other languages, is always beautiful with inspiring lyrics about goodness, peace, and beauty. Our world can do with more singing, and our choristers are on a journey with Jackie, to ensure that it does.
– Julie Gourley, Cantiamo Parent