Noticed this idea?
For those familiar with cantrips, you know they are minor acts of magic that have hardly any noticable effect on the world. For example a cantrip to make your food taste better won't heal you any more, or be any more nourishing, just won't make it so hard to get it down. A light cantrip certainly won't be able to blind or even distract anybody, but you might be able flash it to signal someone looking at the right spot. What if children's nusery ryhmes were a form of cantrip? Like the "Rain, Rain, go away, come again another day." One child singing it wouldn't do more than spare her house a couple raindrops, but what if the whole village got together and was chanting in unison? Each one doing just a bit might actually be able to divert a whole storm...
What I really like about it is the world-changing potential. You know, the standard, 'average' fantasy world has some pre-set rules on how the masses react on magic. You can mix them on your own, but a combination of Wonder, Fear, Respect and Distrust is always inside.Generally, wizards are not very trusted, etc, etc, etc...
But now, everyone can lay their hands on magic. It will be little effects, but a part of the things mentioned before will be lost. Well, we did cast a spell last year. We know, what it is about. So, you're a wizard, so what?
Of course, many people may still admire, or hate wizards, but wizards won't be that special anymore. And Fear? A powerful wizard is dangerous, like a powerful warrior is. Respect goes to any capable specialist of its job.
On the other hand, people may be more willing to be helped with magic. Hedge or village wizards will be more common, wizards that specialize into smaller magics useful for the average folk. Some may know only cantrips, and still earn a living. Magic will have now it's price, as a part of the market. People will ask now how can your art help them.
Very few people could cast a spell without a prior study of the arcane arts. Some people can cast cantrips on their own. But if a large group begins to chant, a well-motivated group in particular, magic happens! This also means that talented people are easier found, so the general number of wizards in the population will be higher. Often, children are taught the rhymes to assist their parents.
New ways of magic will be researched, especially the more practical ones. Knowledge of useful spells/cantrips will spread. Conversely, handy spells that bring cash will be kept secret as a good source of income. Wizards will loose a part af their mystical image, but wizardry is now a job as any other, and a well-paying one.
And the world can change even more...A few Cantrips for group-use
Protect from Rain - as mentioned above
Exterminate - kills small creatures like insects, maybe even rats. In jungles and other vermin-infested regions this may be a great way to clean your village, camp or even town. Regularly, people gather and walk around the village chanting to make their homes safe.
Sprout - many farmers would surely want their plants to grow as fast as possible. Makes a small seed sprout, and makes your neighbours jealous if your plants come faster to growth.
Spark - in a cruel winter or in cold lands, it can be a question of life or death to make fire. And if all else fails, you can try this trick.
Warm - another minor weather corrector. If it is cold, your trees and plants suffer (as do you). Now you can give them at least a little warmth.
Chill - hot weather is as dangerous to the harvest as cold one. Cooling down may help a bit.
Dampen - gathers natural vapours, and concentrates them in a location. This may worsen relations between neighbours, for all will argue about what belongs to which land, who is more in his right, etc, etc...
Dry - good for drying fruits and herbs. Useful after floods for cleaning up.
Freshen - in bad times, can renew the taste and quality of food that might otherwise be thrown away. Groups of beggars will beg for and collect this food.