Mission & values
Groupmuse brings us together to nourish and harmonize our inner lives and our social, “outer” lives. By deepening our interior worlds with timeless, contemplative music and enriching our social lives with inclusive, joyous community, Groupmuse seeks a greater wholeness in your neighborhood and around the world.
In support of this mission, Groupmuse is structured as a public-benefit corporation - we operate much like a traditional business, but we've enshrined our mission statement directly into our bylaws.
These are our guiding principles in work and life as members of the Groupmuse team. If you understand these values, you’ll probably understand the decisions we make.
We believe in the power of music to help us find the inexpressible, unknown, and nameless beauties of life, and to feel part of something larger than ourselves.
Music - especially music without words - is one of the great mysteries of the human experience. Why do these sounds elicit such strong emotional reactions? We at Groupmuse don’t know, and we embrace that not-knowing. We often forget just how mysterious each and every one of us is in this hyper-rational world of demography, commerce, and market research; it’s easy to think we’ve got it all figured out. Music is a powerful reminder that there are major aspects of the human experience that are beyond knowing. We believe this eternal art can reunite us all with the unknowable mysteries of life.
It’s for this reason that we insist our audiences attentively engage with the music performed at groupmuses - to be lost in the irrational feelings elicited by these abstract sounds is to remember what it is to be human. You might have noticed that sometimes at groupmuses (especially during slow movements) most folks in the crowd have their heads bowed and their eyes closed — it looks nearly like group prayer. These are exactly the experiences we’re trying to create.
We believe in creating spaces where people can gather regularly and share human experiences.
We believe that art provides an incredible opportunity to build deep connections with others. It’s why we insist on short programs to allow time for socializing. It’s why we avoid scheduling private events. It’s why we encourage audience members to engage with and get to know one another. It’s one thing to have a nice night with a group of strangers; it’s another (and better, we think) to have familiar faces you can reliably encounter at community gatherings week in and week out. That’s why we think it’s important for groupmuses to be common occurrences: the more groupmuses we have, the more opportunities we give our communities to expand and to deepen.
We want to spread Groupmuse all around the world, but never at the expense of our values or our community.
A lot of organizations begin because a group of people have an earnest desire to do good, but often that good is accomplished through questionable means. We have a specific and well-articulated vision in mind, but we have also drafted this set of values to guide our journey there. Moreover, we diligently solicit feedback from our users after every groupmuse to make sure that the events we so proudly present are in keeping with our mission and our moral priorities.
We believe in enabling others, entrusting them with our confidence and the power to make their own decisions.
We want anyone to be able to host a groupmuse. We want anyone, at any income level, to be able to experience this music live. We want classical musicians to have the power not only to create their own performance opportunities, but also to build communities around their art. This music is a glorious facet of our heritage as humans and it belongs to all of us — that’s why we’re excited to put this power into the community’s hands.
We believe that honesty, trust, and transparency are crucial building blocks for any community.
We want all members of the Groupmuse community to feel like they understand what goes on behind the scenes. That’s what a healthy community means to us, and that’s why we’ve published these values and will update our accountability figures each quarter.
We believe in making a deliberate effort to seek out, encourage, and respond to every voice.
We solicit feedback from our users on a regular basis, and when someone has a problem, we reach out and do our best to offer support. Though we have a very small team, we devote a huge amount of time to actively identifying struggles our stakeholders might be having and aiding them in any way we can.
We believe in a balanced, healthy, and good-humored approach to work and play.
This pertains largely to how we conduct ourselves as employees of Groupmuse - we all passionately believe in a social order wherein a balanced life is not merely a good idea, but a non-negotiable necessity. As humans, we are so, so many things - not just cogs in a work-machine. We are musicians and writers and readers and athletes and activists and lovers and feelers and we are deeply committed to a work environment that gives all team members the space, freedom, and support to become the multi-dimensional people we aspire to be.
Substance and Profundity
Groupmuse seeks to present art that is time-tested, provocative, and worthy of study.
Substance and profundity can be found in many different places and in many different ways - a good book, a long hike, a deep conversation - and we believe with Groupmuse, we’ve created a particularly flexible and reliable way to present these twin goods. That’s why at every groupmuse, at least half of the music performed needs to be traditional chamber musics of the planet: music that has endured epochal change.
Too often, people see chamber music as too arcane: they write off a generation’s ability to pay attention over long spans or think that the music needs to be overly explained or broken down. We disagree. We don’t think any piece of music is ‘too hard’ or ‘too profound’ for anyone, and our experience supports that. We trust our audiences to follow artists down the paths they choose without those paths being circumscribed by marketing.