Got into a fairly serious discussion with my friend Babalu this morning, sparked by the P.S. 22 Choir and how singing in a group changes your outlook for your whole life. She went to hospitals and nursing homes singing at the holidays. I was in a HS choir that sang at a nursing home every week except when there was no school. In grammar school everyone sang, talent or no, with fellow same-graders and we sang seasonal songs at the Lincoln Savings Bank and for School Assembly every week. These experiences not only teach teamwork and support for each other; the connection to and reaction from those you make musical contact with is heavy and impressive. I can still see the eyes light up and the visible engagement of those who seemed so close to lifeless. It's not something you forget. It's life-outlook-changing. Makes you realize how we're all so much the same, no matter how different we seem. How we all do want the same things, at heart. We all want love, freedom, peace, happiness. Sharing music teaches you commonality, not differences. Those are good values to know from a young age. Without those realizations you end up like an orange-faced egomaniac who wants to take everything away from those less fortunate. By giving arts to children, we teach sharing, understanding and compassion. Those things are beyond price tags: everything that truly matters is. Music teaches love. Nothing else matters.