NPR: Brian Eno, “This I Believe”


4 of 5 stars
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In general I’m not a fan of the ongoing public radio series “This I Believe,” finding it too precious. And the transcript for this installment from Brian Eno, which extolls the virtues of singing as a socially valuable activity, reads a little more stuffy than suits my taste. But the spoken version of the essay, not to mention the idea, is disarmingly profound:

“When you sing with a group of people, you learn how to subsume yourself into a group consciousness because a capella singing is all about the immersion of the self into the community. That’s one of the great feelings — to stop being me for a little while and to become us. That way lies empathy, the great social virtue…

“So I believe in singing to such an extent that if I were asked to redesign the British educational system, I would start by insisting that group singing become a central part of the daily routine. I believe it builds character and, more than anything else, encourages a taste for co-operation with others. This seems to be about the most important thing a school could do for you.”