We have to listen with more of ourselves, says Evelyn Glennie

I wrote a sentence the other day that has been amplifying in conversations with colleagues.

“An artist’s job is to educate the economist on the amenities that disappear when measured.”

In this 2003 talk from the TED archives, Evelyn Glennie helps to expand on the idea. Glennie is deaf and a world-class percussionist, so she’s qualified to show us how to listen.  Using a snare drum and a marimba, she explains the difference between the technical work of reading music versus the deeper work of interpretation and understanding done by an artist.  It involves not just the analytical work of her mind, but her hands, cheekbones, in fact her whole body.  She argues that all of us have that ability to hear more deeply when you expand listening into an involving experience full of analysis, technique, practice, and no short measure of curiosity, reflection, and wonder.  That kind of listening change the act from simple exchange into meaningful communication where something new and unexpected is possible.

Now if I could find some economists who would do the same…

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About Anne L'Ecuyer

Anne is a strategist, facilitator and consultant who stays closely connected to an international network of city leaders, cultural professionals, and individual artists. She is an expert in the creative industries and cultural tourism in the United States, as well as the contributions of the arts toward educational, social, and environmental goals.
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