How does music feature in your life? Do you have a particular music genre that you like? Whatever type of music you like, now is the time to play or listen to music. We are living in unusual times dealing with a pandemic, bought about by the Coronavirus, COVID-19. We continue to hear reports through radio, television, social media, government websites, or businesses about how they are managing or how we should manage the spread of the virus. It is central in our lives and it is causing anxiety and fear for many.
At times like this, we must turn down the volume on the Coronavirus news and turn up the volume with our favourite type of music. Music matters and it matters more now, while we live through this pandamic.
Playing and listening to music has benefits for our physical and mental health. Music can reduce stress and improve our immune system. Given the current events in Australia and across the world, we need more music in our lives. Listening to music releases dopamine, a feel-good chemical. So rather than rush to the supermarket to stockpile more groceries, play or listen to music.
However, we all have to shop and when my One & Only (O&O) and I were at the supermarket the other day the background music, was ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams. It made me feel good. I was happy, even though at 9.30 a.m. in the morning there was no toilet paper and the mince was completly cleaned out. The music put a spring in my step and before I knew it I was at the butcher’s where I bought 1 kilo of beef mince. Even though it was a little more expensive, I felt good about supporting the butcher shop. It must have had something to do with the music. Williams song is very popular. One of his youtube videos has had over 54 Million views!
However, I am not relying on the supermarket for my feel-good moments. I am taking things into my own hands at home. That is, taking my ukulele into my hands. My U3A class has been cancelled until the end of Term 2, and maybe longer. For now it is up to me to keep practicing and learning new chords. I have no difficulty practicising, the problem I have is putting the ukulele down, after picking it up. It makes me happy! However, how much ukulele practice can my O&O cope with? I want to have a balanced and happy home life. To make sure all is well I checked in with my O&O and he is fine with me playing and practicising my ukulele.
Music matters and it matters to the Italians. What a wonderful sight as they sang and played instruments from their windows and balconies. They looked happy. Yes, the Italians are telling the world that music matters. They might be in ‘lock down’ due to the Coronovirus but they have not locked out the music. It is music that makes them feel better. If you have not seen the Italians taking comfort in music, watch the video below.
My ukulele playing is improving, but there is still much more I want to learn. My brother would like to see me playing like Faba Terada from the Brazilian duo ‘Overdriver Duo.’ Faba alongside her husband Evandro Carlos Tiburski are amazing musicians. However, one day if you see me playing the ukulele I will be the one in jeans, not in a skirt with a split. I just can’t compete with Faba. If you watch the video please keep your eyes on the ukulele.
If you come across people who are anxious and fearful because of the Coronovirus, tell them to listen to music. Back in the early 1800’s Ludwig van Beethoven said that ‘Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents.’ He also said, ‘Music can change the world.’ While the world is changing due to the Coronavirus, if we find solace in music, we will be better off. Maybe we can change the world by changing our attitude to one another through music. Is music the magic key to getting us through the Coronavirus?
Thanks to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) who live streamed a concert yesterday. The MSO performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. While there is a ban on public performances, due to the Coronavirus, the MSO will continue to offer similar performances, while practicing social distancing.
Music matters and there is so much music around us. We don’t have to go far to find music we enjoy. Yes, at times like this, we all need music. We can’t touch people and we can’t touch music, but music can touch us. I am a great believer in the benefits of music. And yes, music matters.