Music For the Soul
“As you all know the First Year prescribed to a very general syllabus that just introduced you to all the genres of music since the dawn of creation. This year however the curriculum will become more specific to the common ailments experienced by those who are particularly susceptible to the sin your House opposes. Then in your final year you will connect with your human ward and put all you have learnt into practice.” Elder Evangeline spoke confidently, hinting at the fact that she had given this introductory speech many times before.
“Your ward will be at same level of maturity as you” She continued whilst the angels chuckled. The Elder was being polite it was rarely the case that the human 19 year olds were as worldly as their guardians but it was the most accurate description that could be provided. For angels were definitely not the same age as their wards even though they were both starting their first year after reaching adulthood. Before attending the Celestial College for every human year an angel experienced 1000 years. It was something to do with the fact that their biology and body chemistry was so complex, it had to be to hold the light energy that gave their eyes their unique colours and fuelled their powers. Their wings also reached their full length during the Changing, which is why angels such as Isiah were so eager to test them out before starting Second Year.
“In Year 3 you will only observe your charge. As it is important you get a feel for the fibre of their being, which will shape how they live the rest of their adult life. Music has a great influence on the soul and consequently it is important you are able to quickly adapt to their music tastes. Many humans really do believe that hearing a certain song saved their life and it is up to you to make sure it can do so…..” Evangeline was then interrupted by a raised hand urgently waving in the hopes of capturing her attention.
“You can’t shy away from any type of music. Trust me I have heard all before. What if my human likes a music genre I hate? What if they are tone deaf and the sound of their voice makes my ears bleed? Yada Yada Yada. Your job is to suggest songs that will provide them with the appropriate emotion to further and better the lives. Music is the fuel of the soul and your petty opinions about their music choices are irrelevant and so is their singing voice.” She retorted, answering the questions before they could even be asked. She had heard so many third years complaining about the bond. Music was one way that an angel and their charge connected on a deeper level so the songs in the humans head travelled to the angels, as if along an imaginary telephone wire that worked both ways. However, the angels had the short end of the stick and could also hear the human singing along and the emotions evoked by the song. Whether the human was singing it in their head or out loud. There was a way to tune it out but Evangeline let her students find that out after their move to Eden. She felt it helped them understand how important music was in humans lives and just how influential it could be.
The student who had planned to ask the question pulled it down as quickly as they had raised it. There was no way they could think of a question she hadn’t just answered.
“So as you can see each House will be taught Music For The Soul separately, in the hopes of you developing your particular skills without distraction” Evangeline’s words were then confirmed by the hundreds of pink-eyed angels that nodded back at her.
Her first class of the year would include all the students from the House of Patience. Their focus lay in combatting the wrath in humanity so that is where the conversation would start.
“Can anyone define wrath for me?” Elder Evangeline asked making a point to add a sprinkle of impatience to her line of questioning. As much as she loved the tolerance displayed by her pink-eyed charges, if the person answering the question took several minutes to answer it when she called on them. She would be the only one getting annoyed since their brethren would give them all the time in the world.
“Extreme anger” The first student she called on replied, luckily it seemed the students all understand that she wanted quick replies.
“Exactly, shout out some things that makes humans extremely angry” Elder Evangeline happily continued.
As the students started to warm-up a flurry of replies followed one by one as each student was called upon.
“Injustice, for example being treated unfairly and being powerless to do anything about it” said one student.
“Feeling threatened or attacked” said another.
“Other people not respecting your authority, feelings or property” another student concluded.
“What music do you then think can help people calm their rage” Elder Evangeline probed after seeing that she was in fact getting the ball rolling.
Other students piped up and suggested calming music and their peers nodded in agreement which seemed the obvious answer. However, there were two students who thought that answer was far too simple. Bella and Michael had sat next to each other in the first Understanding Humanity 201 class and had got on like a house on fire. Though she was far more extroverted with a flair for the dramatics, Michael thought that only made her more endearing. Besides she was as brilliant angel who moved and thought at lightening speed but it was her patience for those who were slower to understand concepts that Michael truly admired. After all it was that patience that connected him to everyone in this room.
“I agree with everything my peers have already suggested but I also feel like there is more to it” Bella kindly suggested.
“Go on” Elder Evangeline stated in response.
“I think anger can stem from ill-managed grief as well. Which means that almost any type of music can be used to keep it at bay. Humans and beings in general never want to seem weak because they assume that will cause others to prey on them.” Bella stated, she then looked over to Michael to continue for she knew that he had been thinking the same thing and didn’t want to take all the credit for the idea.
“Bella is absolutely correct. Each being grieves in a different way and if they don’t go through all its stages it can lead to unresolved issues which fester and bare relentless anger. Music may be required to help a person identify their anger or its source. Or even in order to allow someone to properly grieve releasing all blame and guilt. Music that is considered angry such as punk or rock may actually help them to do so. Before the suggestion of a calmer alternative can then be provided, so perhaps musical combinations can be the most effective.” Michael added.
“Colour me impressed” Evangeline retorted .
“Now let us consider the small issue of whether or not to influence humans towards faith. The world is becoming more and more secular. Therefore, try your best to just encourage only positive developments in your ward. Faith will naturally soon follow.” Evangeline suggested .
After a further half hour of discussion she encouraged them to work in pairs in order to do some role playing. Each angel would take turns acting as the human with a certain issue whilst their partner tried to get to the root of the given problem and suggest music that would help, to start to lead them in a positive direction.
“I just don’t know why life is so unfair. I try and try and nothing seems to work out they way I want it to. Often it seems like God has just forgotten about me or just doesn’t care about me at all.” Bella said with such feeling that if Michael didn’t know her personally, he would have sworn that she was talking from experience.
“It seems you feel like you are being unfairly punished. Whenever you feel like this you have to remember all the blessings you have received in your life. They don’t always come in the form you expect or at the time you expect them but God does not forget anyone” Michael said with equal conviction.
“The perfect song for how you are feeling is must encompass the idea ofquestioning the ability of God to test you so often especially when you feel so ill equipped to step up to the challenge. It must take you through a certain thought processes and eventually allow you to conclude that God doesn’t forget and he most definitely doesn’t mess up when it comes to our hopes and dreams. Every opportunity that is taken from you suggests that he has a bigger one in store. If you keep the faith and live an honest life” He concluded.
Oh that was really good, now you have to sing that song for me” Bella quickly demanded
“I don’t remember Elder Evangeline saying that, perhaps next time” Michael countered just as quickly. Even though all the angels naturally had more than decent voices he wasn’t in a hurry to start a cypher. It was a rule that since angels were the musical vessels of creation, whenever one of them sang music the others had to join. For God gave the voices so they could sing his praise. Michael wasn’t sure that the rest of the class was exactly in a singing mood.
“I feel my wrath bubbling up inside me and I require musical intervention immediately” Bella said staying both in character and standing her ground. She definitely was in the singing mood and she thought a little music would wrap the class up perfectly.
“Here I go again three glasses in, counting my sins again” A third voice started. Elder Evangeline had been listening in and she like Bella believed that a bit of singing would be a perfect end to the class. However, she didn’t want to put Michael on the spot since he had already provided such an amazing contribution earlier on in her lesson.
Naturally Michael and Bella joined in followed by the others and soon music ebbed and flowed around the room bouncing off it’s high ceilings and walls. The Cathedral favoured many of the grander churches on Earth and it was where angels could come to have a private moment with their father. The stain glassed windows boasted iridescence and the grandeur of the marble noted it a place of significance. After one song ended another angel started another one until the class came to an end.