The pandemic that started last year and continues to rage on has affected many aspects of our lives. Perhaps one of the industries that has been hardest hit is the performing arts. All the restrictions that have been necessary this year have all but canceled live music worldwide for months at a time. Yet, music is so essential to our human experience that the cancellation of live music has meant anything but the cancellation of music itself. Music has continued to bring joy and comfort to all of us during tough times of isolation and uncertainty.
Just as an example, here are 5 examples of music bringing joy to people last year:
1. Balcony music in Italy and across the world
On March 9, 2020, the government of Italy imposed a national quarantine in response to the growing pandemic of COVID-19. As early in the pandemic as March, Italians were already finding ways to make, and share, music with each other despite restrictions.
Professional, as well as amateur, musicians started to share their music from their balconies.
Videos from these impromptu concerts went viral across the world as we saw that a lockdown did not have to be spent in isolation. Music had the potential to break down barriers of space while maintaining everybody safe.
Since then, balcony concerts across the world have emerged.
2. Dave Grohl and 10-year old Nandi Bushell
Being in lockdown has meant more time on our computers and phones. The pandemic, coupled with civil unrest, has also shown that often social media is far from beneficial for us.
Nevertheless, one story that brought joy to many was the unlikely musical relationship between rockstar Dave Grohl and 10-year old musician Nandi Bushell through social media. The New York Times reported on this story here. Nandi is an amazing musician who caught the attention of Dave Grohl and thousands of netizens through her covers of famous songs and the energy she puts into her performances.
I would say that the highlight from this story is the fact that across the digital and physical divide, music connected these two individuals and brought joy to many of us as we saw them interact with each other.
3. Online Global Concert
4. Livestreamed music
But big celebrities are by no means the only artists jumping to online platforms to stream their music. Amateurs, local musicians, bands, solo artists, medium celebrities, big celebrities, and everybody in between has tried to figure out live streaming as an alternative to live concerts.
I’m sure that if you look through the media of some of your favorite local musicians, you’ll find a few live streams on their feeds. Besides it being an opportunity to stay connected with fans, live streams have given folks at home a moment of joy and a moment away from worries. It is also a chance for fans to talk directly to their favorite artists and have a moment of connection.
5. Livestreamed Music Therapy sessions: Telehealth
Music therapists are professionals that work with individuals across a very wide range of ages and conditions. They usually work right next to the patients to help them on goals that are individualized to them. Sam’s Fans, for example, supports music therapy programs for seriously ill children. In this case, music therapists employed at pediatric hospitals work at the bedside with children who may have a hard time dealing with their serious illness.
The appearance of COVID-19 affected the work of music therapists. Many of them had to transition to telehealth, a way of working with patients with the aid of digital platforms. Telehealth looked different than regular music therapy sessions but it was still an opportunity for therapists to bring joy to the lives of seriously ill children. Sam’s Fans is proud to support this type of work!
Music cannot be canceled
Whether because of a pandemic, oppression, or illness, music has always faced forces that want to “cancel it.” Yet, canceling music would be like canceling the human spirit, it cannot happen. Music is within us and nothing can destroy the human spirit completely.
Yet, the music within individuals can dim if not nurtured. That is why we believe that music is essential for seriously ill children. If you believe so as well consider making a $1 donation to Sam’s Fans. Thank you for reading!
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