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Why music will get us through

The importance of music in our world now cannot be overstated, I don’t think.

You’ve probably seen a lot (or at least bits and pieces) of these things from around the world during this recent Covid19 period. Italians and Spaniards singing and performing on their balconies, virtual choirs on YouTube, video parodies of songs to lift people’s spirits… the list goes on and on.

Perhaps it is a way of breaking the tedium of staying confined at home. But evermore apparent is the understanding that many people just want to connect with others, support each other and feel together in one of the only ways they had left available to them: through music.

Think about how people create atmosphere in their homes when they invite friends over…

Think about how people deal with loneliness…

The normal social support from friends and family, as well as our freedom to control our day-to-day lives, seems to have dissipated with the restrictions in place. Music, however, has a way of piercing through that.

Why do we sing during times of crisis? One of the common understandings is that music creates a sense of belonging and participation. It’s an antidote to alienation, an anti-inflammatory to the isolation imposed by social distancing and wearing masks.

It is music that acts as a social balm in soothing anxiety, enhancing community connections and defying the threat to community spirit.

I’ve seen it first-hand in schools in the eyes of children as they hear the sound. I’ve seen it in parking lots performing outside restaurants. I’ve seen it in the day-to-day dregs of supermarket grocery shopping… a good tune can turn someone’s day around. Maybe even their world.

Music has not yet lost its importance for humanity.

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