Of Note

[March 2020 | By Deb Barr, Music Editor]

Deb BarrMusic is good medicine! Listening to music soothes the soul, helps to sidetrack worry, and relieves boredom from cabin fever that comes from social distancing. Actively listening, can keep you moving—get up and dance! The sounds, tempos, and beat of the music you feel as well as hear is also good for your body, and, in particular, your immune system.

Choose calming music if your anxieties have got the best of you and to bring your heart rate down. In this case, sometimes instrumental music works best, but your choice is really based on what make you most comfortable and puts you at ease.

Pick upbeat music to get you motivated to do the things that need to be done. Rock, country, dance music also has the advantage of getting you moving, and physical exercise keeps the body functional. Need to clean house, wash the car, even do the dishes? Dance around while you do it.

There’s also a benefit in listening to songs that have been your favorites songs forever. These special songs from our past remind us of who and what we are, which provides hope and meaning. Something we all need right now.

Please also extend hope to the musicians who make that music. Right now, everyone in the music industry is hurting. Gigs are gone and no one knows when they will return. Do what you can to support them. Go to the websites of your favorite musicians and buy a t-shirt or download an album. If you can’t afford to do a whole album, download a song for less than dollar. It all counts.

Many musicians are starting to stream concerts online and you can participate for free or, sometimes, for a donation.  It’s another creative way to cure boredom and the stay-at-home blues, and keep some income coming in for the performers. Don’t get stopped when you see the word “Cancelled.” It may lead to a link for another way of listening. Sign on for live-streaming if it’s available, or click on the Podcast or Facebook link for a performance.

Ready for a ‘live’ concert at home? Pour an adult beverage, fix up a plate of snacks, tune in and settle back to listen to your favorite performers – or maybe somebody new that’ you’ve always wanted to hear. It’s a big word of music out there. Here’s your chance to explore it.

Now, more than ever, It’s critical to stand in support your local arts organizations. They are struggling to accommodate the changes. If that upcoming concert you were planning to attend is cancelled, send the price of a ticket as a donation or become a regular benefactor.

Music Lessons. And yet another note: If your kids can’t take their music lessons right now (or any private lesson, for that matter), ask their instructors if Facetime is an option. The student stays in touch with the teacher, and learning continues, which it must, and the teacher retains the income.

All of us are affected by the pandemic, but some more than others, and those that work in the entertainment industry have been very hard hit. It’s time for some payback for all the joy that music has brought through the years and the relief it provides daily. It’s also time to pay it forward, to keep the music and those that make it, alive. Please, do what you can to help.

Many musicians are heading online and doing solo gigs as CoVid-19 puts live shows on pause. [The Guardian]

How Organizations Are Offering Relief To Struggling Musicians During The COVID-19 Pandemic .[Live for Live Music]  “Hundreds of tours and festivals have now been canceled as the industry-wide shutdown pushes further into the year. Thousands of musicians, venues, promoters, tour staff, and event industry workers are now facing an indefinite loss of work as we take care of our prioritized health and safety. Most of these workers depend on the live events to sustain their work, which is often gig-based and doesn’t offer a salary, paid sick time, or health insurance.” [Live for Live Music]

Side Note: Singing for Your Health

COVID 19 is focused on the lungs, so anything we can do today to strengthen our lungs will be helpful in our future. That means fresh air and exercise and fresh vegies and fruits (when you get them), plus supplements like Vitamins D3 and C.  But there’s an even easier way to strengthen those amazing breathing apparatuses we can’t live without that doesn’t require money in your pocket or a trip to the grocery store. Singing. Out loud.

With social distancing, it doesn’t really matter what your singing voice is like, but if it makes it even easier to accept the sound of your own voice, sing along with a recording or the radio. Anywhere that’s comfortable for you.  Every day.

Singing helps strengthen the muscles the human body uses to breathe and increases lung capacity. It’s also been shown to boost the body’s response to infection. Plus, singing is a joy that’s available to each of us. So, what’s your pleasure? Country and western? Jazz? Broadway? Down and out blues? Just pick a song you like. Truly, the rest is easy and even better, it’s good for you.

Deb Barr