Dar Williams ’89

Last year I was asked to teach a course at Wesleyan, Music Movements in a Capitalist Democracy—so, what is the position of music in our capitalist democracy, which is a very fast-moving economy. 

I came in thinking, you know, music—you just use it for fundraisers. That's how it helps democracy. 

And then, as we were going along in the course, what I realized is that people were singing before they were protesting the Vietnam War, they were singing before they went into the streets for the Civil Rights Movement. I think intuitively we all know that, but there was this sense that there was already the bond of music before people went out and used it as a tool for social change.

So I ended up trying to get the students to sing more, and they were really into it—then they wanted to sing more. It was very powerful.

(From a video interview; more http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVglmwBtmd4)