Why is sharing stories a peace activity?
These people sharing stories are all focused on the same ideas. The children and adults in this group are all thinking about the meaning of the spoken words and visual images. This particular story also evokes powerful emotional responses. And to add another dimension, the story is also being sung, so the storyteller’s voice is modulated by melody. We can include yet more layers because the backing track provides timbral variety and harmonies as well as rhythmic and expressive enticements.
So when we add up all those compelling stimuli and see the looks on the faces, we can tell that these brains are all tuning in to the same experience on many levels. This produces a strong bond within the group. Can you imagine one of these people suddenly standing up and leaving? This is what a peaceful group looks like and it happens every day all around the world when children and adults join in sharing stories.
The content of the story is quite exciting and not at all peaceful. The child in the story is throwing much loved toys out of his bed onto the floor. It is quite cathartic as the child in his pyjamas is not quite ready to fall asleep so engages in mayhem. But once he realises he is alone, and cold, and lonely, he knows that he prefers the comfort of companions and goes to collect all his rejected friends. The resolution is satisfying and all the listeners breathe a sigh of relief. That is a good end to a bad beginning and now these children can now break the bond and leave the group happy, ready to return another day. That is why sharing stories is a peace activity.
For other songs that bind groups together, visit www.musicalchild.com.au and look in the activities category for story songs.