Embracing Our Differences through Hands

You might remember last year’s epic event in Copley Square of Boston, MA – where over fifty brave participants agreed to be videoed as they learned to play a part of an original song on the piano.


It was certainly special to watch these folks learn something new, and hopefully be inspired. But what was most special to see, was the participants coming together. Their hands of all different ages, skill levels, and walks of life creating one beautiful song and catalyzing one amazing movement.
You see, as the owner of Musicians’ Playground (hyperlink to www.musiciansplayground.com) in Boston, I’ve had ample experience helping individuals develop a love for music. And heck, up until “Hands Boston” I wanted to think I was some sort of Samurai teacher – that I could teach anyone the piano in any situation I was placed in. But truthfully, I had no better test before than “Hands”.
The special participants that I worked with on that very memorable day back in October of 2014 ranged from:
  • English speaking to non-english speaking
  • Local residents to visitors from other sides of the world
  • 2 years of age to 90 years of age
  • Homeless (frequenters of the local park) to folks who had multiple addresses
  • People I’ve met to people I’ve never met
  • Experienced musicians to complete beginners
  • Shy to outgoing
  • Skeptical to willing
  • And just about any difference you can find in humankind possible
Just the other day, I was watching the news and saw that nine innocent individuals were shot dead in a church in South Carolina. Following that, was another story of robbery in an upstanding neighborhood – then a murder – then some delinquent parent going to jail for selling drugs in the house their two year old child was living in. I probably could have kept watching and not even heard the worst of it – but I had to turn it off.
I couldn’t help but think about “Hands” in that moment. The participants setting aside their very large differences and perhaps inhibitions, to come together and create something good. To find and spread happiness instead of evil. To spark a fire that would hopefully shine on and serve as a gentle reminder of what mankind truly stands for. And finally, to serve as an incredibly powerful message that our world needs to be reminded of more often: and that is we are not as different as we think we are.
I choose to believe we as fellow human beings are better than the news I am terrified to watch every evening. And I’m sure you do too. And what’s refreshing is we are not alone – there is an entire movement happening right now of people who believe this too.
It’s time we step up and embrace our differences in love.
Hands 2015 will stand to do this in 8 cities this year – starting with Central Square in Cambridge, MA on July 18th then Utica, NY on July 25th. Shortly after, Hands will be in Denver, CO on August 9th. Then stops to follow will be: NYC, DC, Chicago & San Fran.
To suggest your city as a stop, please contact us and be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube for all the latest information on the movement!
Onward & Upward,
Alyssa & The Hands Team