Bring Back the Music

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up. ~Mark Twain, American writer

I think one of the worst things about this pandemic is its silence.

I’m not talking about its dearth of words. They’re everywhere, as people turn to writing and communicating their feelings and impressions like never before.

What I’m talking about is its quiet.

Concerts, theater, movies, dramas — all cancelled. Or at least postponed.

No singing in church. No little theater. No senior recitals. No summer band….

Wait, there’s a chance we might have that at least!

On an abbreviated scale, of course, and way different from usual.

These are unusual times, you know.

But the tourism department (under whose umbrella our community band plays) is working feverishly to salvage at least some of our season.

Because they know how much the public needs to hear our songs.

Especially now, when everybody could use a little cheering up.

What we’re looking at is a “sanitized” version of band, to protect us as musicians and the public as audience.

We’ll have to change venue, moving practices and concerts to outdoors.

We’ll have to wear masks to set up and take down music stands and chairs.

We’ll have to place one musician per stand and folder, and set up in such a way that there’ll be lots of distance among us.

And the audience will need to sit in (or beside) their cars — like those old drive-in movies that once were so popular.

I’ve seen clips of people across the world playing mini-concerts on their instrument-of-choice from their front porch or balcony for their neighbors.

I’ve seen online choirs perform concerts where each member recorded from home their part, and somebody talented put the clips together for everyone’s enjoyment.

I think it proves that music is important. That some of us have to sing, dance, play an instrument.

Not just for ourselves, but for others.

Music is a language all its own, and not even a pandemic can silence it!

16 thoughts on “Bring Back the Music

  1. Debbie, yes, I know what you mean about the silence. Do you know what I’m concerned about? Professional theater. It is so incredibly strange to me to see live theaters closed, such as Broadway in New York. I’ve watched several virtual interviews done online with Broadway actors, and they are so worried about how long it’s going to take before theaters can fill the houses with audience members and how they’re going to do it, when it comes to social distancing.

    I love how you said this…

    “I think it proves that music is important. That some of us have to sing, dance, play an instrument.

    Not just for ourselves, but for others.

    Music is a language all its own, and not even a pandemic can silence it!”

    So true!

    Perhaps as you said, now that it’s summer, concerts, and even plays, will be moved to outside venues.

    I’m such a music person that all through this pandemic, I’ve been streaming (via my computer and smartphone) so much of it. Music to me is like air. I need it to breathe.

    Hope you’re having a great Sunday, my friend. The weather here has been gorgeous! X

    • Ron, this pandemic is rough on all creatives, isn’t it? It must be so frightening to see Broadway closed. I’m glad you brought that up. I’m so far away from NYC that I tend to look on a smaller scale — where little theater productions are cancelled, as are choral and instrumental concerts. This virus is an equal opportunity downer, right?!

      Sunday was gorgeous here — cooler than average, with just a few puffy white clouds in the sky. We’ll be sending that your way this week, so do plan on enjoying it! xo

  2. You are so right, Debbie. Music is good for our hearts and souls, especially during this extended pause in our so called normal lives. I must admit, there are parts of this lockdown (NY is just beginning to slowly reopen) that I enjoy—mainly stepping back and learning to feel comfortable with the solitude and silence, However, music will always be a source of inspiration and joy. May we all continue to keep a song in our hearts. I hope you get to sing in your choir soon. The world needs you!

    • Kathy, the writer in me is quite adept at managing the solitude, but the musician in me screams out for song! In fact, I think I do my best work when I try to combine the two. Most of the folks who frequent our concerts are elderly, and I’m pretty sure they really hope we can manage to perform!

  3. Glad your band is finding a way to make it work. I always enjoy outdoor bands anyway – so long as the weather plays nice! Somehow we have to get back to some sembalnce of normal life. I feel this long isolation is partly what’s feeding all the riots and unrest going on all over the place – I don’t think it’s natural for young people especially to “socially distance” for such a long time. It’s finding a happy medium where we can all stay relatively safe that’s the problem. Hope you and the band have fun!

    • You know, FF, I think you’ve hit the nail on its head. Perhaps it is this forced distancing that’s got people on edge. Some of us, of course, handle the solitude better than others — and frankly, I’m pretty happy with the six-feet apart rule! I hate when strangers invade my space. Still, getting back to some of the things we did before (even if we have to have new regulations) is something to look forward to.

  4. I love playing outside concerts, though it sure would be different to rehearse outside. And the sound would be different if everyone is sitting 6 feet away. Heck if we were set up that way we wouldn’t fit on a stage anyway! I would definitely go to a concert and sit in front of my car if there were one around here. I hope your band is able to perform this summer!

    • Thanks, Dawn. We’ll be limited to 50 musicians only (probably have to rotate in certain sections), and I think we’ll be seated in the grandstand area where our county fair typically hosts special performances (the fair queen pageant, for example). The six-foot-apart thing concerns me, but I guess if we’re all playing in the same direction, it could work. I have no clue what they’ll do if it rains, though!

  5. One of the things that worries me about the regulations being forced upon us is their dehumanizing effect. Wearing masks, not touching, having to maintain distance — none of those things is natural to us as humans. Even worse, the inability to worship, to participate in rituals of every sort — and to enjoy live music — also diminishes us. In my book, any music is better than no music, and I’m sure hoping you’ll have the chance to make some beautiful music together with your group — even if it’s a little odd for a while!

    • Thank you, Linda. ‘Dehumanizing’ is a good word for these regulations. Not that I’m what I’d call a “touchy-feely” sort of person, but we all need human contact. How does one go into a business meeting without shaking hands with others? How can one worship without being seated in the church pews — praying and singing — together? How do students interact and learn from each other when they’re in solitary confinement? How does one make a purchase — of any clothing or shoe items — without trying them on and feeling the material? Ack!!

      • Ack! Indeed! I’m convinced that part of the energy fueling protests around the country is simply pent-up frustration from the lockdown. As soon as a “socially approved” outlet showed up, so did the people — not the legitimate protestors, necessarily, but the ones who just wanted to be out, running wild. And the arbitrary and inconsistent nature of the rules is a problem. It was fine for sixty thousand people to show up for George Floyd’s funeral (which I’m not opposed to, by the way) but the same mayor who allowed that cancelled the 4th of July celebration because of the possibility of the virus being passed in crowds. Uhh — ok.

        • Oh, inconsistency is definitely a problem. We’ve cancelled county fairs but plan on bringing back college football?? I guess some of that is based on which brings in more money??

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