May the Music be with you

Happy May! This month, along with some performance recommendations, I’m particularly thinking about music.

May is National Chamber Music Month. What an opportunity to explore some great chamber music happening around the city and reflect upon music as a part of our lives.


Chamber music has a rich history and gets its name simply from musicians playing in the home or “chambers.” Small groups of musicians were more affordable for events or parties and allowed guests to hear one another in order to mingle and dance. And its origins can be traced back to the mid-15th century! Before recorded music, chamber music was key bringing music into daily life.

Why music? Why does it have such a powerful hold over us?

It’s amazing that we still are captivated by music today although its forms have shifted. You can’t turn on a tv without hearing music, walk into a store, walk down the street, even elevators have their own genre of music for goodness sakes! This art form is such a part of our daily lives, whether we actively participate in it or not.

I read a great interview with Yo-Yo Ma about engaging youth in music. And this response really stood out to me.

“I was asking how many people have music going through their heads during the day? And a large proportion of people do. That’s a measure of what’s going on in your subconscious. To have that ability to locate memory or emotion or time or events is something that music does.”


by Dennis Eriksson

I’m sure we all have a had a song stuck in our head, whether we want it to be there or not. Songs take us back to our childhood. Songs that get our feet tapping or hands clapping seemingly against our control. Or goosebumps. Music can conjure all of these types of responses in us. That’s a powerful thing!

So I haven’t quite cracked the mystery of music’s captivation over us. But its staying power in society and the emotions it conjures are certainly special.

With that, explore these performances of chamber music and performances that explore our draw to music.

May Must-Sees

May 9, May 16, and May 23- Chamber Mondays at the Chicago Cultural Center- FREE!

May 8, May 14, and May 22-Civic Chamber Music Series across the city- FREE!

May 5-15-RockCitizen by The Seldoms at the Storefront Theater

May 12-Inside/Out with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre at the Old Town School of Folk Music

Music is the word of the day with The Daily Post, so I couldn’t resist adding my voice on this conversation. Check it out for more musicspiration!

June is African American Music Appreciation Month, so there’s time to get excited for that too!


4 thoughts on “May the Music be with you

  1. I love the Yo-Yo Ma quote! Thank you for sharing. I think many of us live our life to music, and thinking on the why is worthwhile.

    I don’t think it’s Chamber Music Month where I am (Canada) – unless I missed it. But it sounds like a lot of great stuff going on.


    • Music is so powerful! And the monthly holiday stuff is bizarre country to country. I also found while researching that May is Music month in New Zealand, so that’s interesting. Maybe Canada has something similar in a different month?


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