This article is based on a video that I recorded a while ago at the beginning of quarantine, for students. This was right when they found out that the school was gonna be online for the rest of the semester when things were shutting down. And they were super disappointed, frustrated, hurt and upset. I heard all about it and so I recorded this for them.
The reason why you are able to read this now is because there is a message in this that can still be applied today. And that is, sometimes things get cancelled, or things don’t go as planned in our life. We have to be flexible and we have to be adaptable.
In this article, you will read about that, and also how to use music as a therapy. Sometimes life can cause so much frustration and disappointment and hurt, and if we can use music as a way to get us through those emotions, then perfect! That’s what it’s all about: music CAN be a therapy.
If you’d rather listen instead of reading, check out the podcast version below! The video version that was originally sent to our students can also be found below.
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Or maybe you’re totally bummed, or upset about this or everything that might be being cancelled , especially if you had big plans you were looking forward to . It’s… It’s very upsetting. I totally understand that, and I totally get that.
So I just wanted to let you know that we’re all here for you. I’m here for you. All of our teachers are here for you, Mr. Paul is here for you… We’re not going anywhere. So even though school may be “cancelled”, per se, and there are all these other activities being cancelled, we are not cancelling on you.
We’re here for you, we’re going to stay here for you. And we totally get what you’re going through and we’re experiencing levels of it ourselves.
You Have to Have a Support System
It’s important that you have to look for that support system in times like these. The hustle of everyday is already hard enough, what more with something like Covid (or any other tragedy) happening.
It’s important that you reach out and don’t be afraid to ask for help from other people. We need each other’s support more than anything else. It could be family, a best friend, a classmate, a sibling… maybe even just a pet!
The idea is to have company. To have someone you can rely on and talk to about anything, from as simple as how your day went, or maybe something like thoughts that have been bothering you. Sometimes simply talking our feelings out to other people can give us new perspectives about things.
We humans are social beings, and even the most introverted person needs company every now and then. In a situation like quarantine, people who used to enjoy going out to do fun things are forced to stay at home, yes. But people who enjoy staying indoors can also struggle because think about it. Suddenly, everyone’s at home. Your personal space at home is suddenly invaded, and it can be frustrating. The point is, everyone is experiencing levels of stress in their own different ways because of the happenings these past few months.
On that note…
What if we could reframe the situation? Instead of an inconvenience, what if I told you this could be an opportunity?
Consciously Reframing Your Mind into Positive Thinking
This is an actual opportunity for you, because when you think about it: how many times would you not have to go to school, to have no extracurricular activities? And even if you’re doing things online, most of the time, for most of you, it’s not taking as much time as it would if you were doing it in person.
And so you have a lot of extra time, right? With that, there are so many opportunities now that you can take advantage of.
The beautiful thing about technology today is you don’t need to go outside to create things and produce music. Before, you would have to go to a dedicated music studio and talk to people and organize and coordinate everything.
Now? With just a laptop and a quiet area, as a musician, you can do everything!
- You can hold a virtual concert by going live on YouTube or social media like Facebook Live and Instagram Live
- You can make recordings and share your compositions with the world
- You can connect with other musicians and have a virtual jamming session
- There’s so many things you can do as long as you use your creativity!
Without the pressure of school and extracurricular activities and events, you have all the time to play for the joy of yourself.
And you can use music as a therapy.
How do you do that?
When you feel angry and upset, go practice! Go play the piano. Because there’s probably something when you can be playing forte really, really crazy.
This is a great time to really channel everything that you’re feeling into your music. And it’s going to make you feel better.
This applies with everything—when you feel sad, go do music. Go sing, go play, go play the guitar, do something, maybe even write more pieces!
This is the time when, if you’re bored, guess what?
Boredom sparks creativity.
And when you’re creative, this is when you’re writing music, you’re doing more yourself. And it’s an amazing place to be!
Going Against the Negativity without Feeling Guilty
It’s not that I’m trying to take the situation lightly at all, because there’s definitely a lot of turmoil. There’s a lot of anxiety, there’s a lot of fear going on.
But what I want you to do is this: I want you to focus on what you like. Focus on the positive, focus on the opportunity, this amazing opportunity that you may never have again in your life.
I mean, who knows? We may never every have a pandemic again.
And you’ll be like, “Oh man, remember when there was that Covid-19 back in 2020 and, you know, we were able to stay at home all day long? I wish I woulda’ take advantage of that more, ’cause I would have done blah blah…”
Don’t be that person, so do it now. Really just open up your heart to your creative mind and creative outlet, and really hone in on your lessons because this is time where you can make progress like you’ve never made before.
Open up your heart to your creative mind and creative outlet, and really hone in on your lessons because this is time where you can make progress like you’ve never made before.
Video lessons? So what? You can still make the same amount of progress. We’re still right there with you, hearing you, doing everything that we can to help you make that progress.
So do it. Really take advantage of your lessons. Don’t be like, “Oh, well this is cancelled, this is cancelled. My whole life is cancelled, so you know, what’s the point?”
No, no, no! This is the time. This is the time where everything else kind of levels down, and your music can go aaaaall the way up, your progress crazy up through the roof. So really get excited about things.
Accountability and Self-Motivation
But you have to make yourself deadlines or goals because it does rely on you to be self-motivated. This is hard, but you can do it.
And so all you do, you can make a list of things that you wanna do, make a list of your goals. Ask yourself:
What do I want to accomplish during this time with my music (or whatever it is you need motivation for)?
Do you want to learn all these new music and do you want to memorize like twelve songs in your lessons?
All of these things, you can do that much more, so really focus on these things.
It’s important that you put it down on paper, so you hold yourself accountable if you don’t push through with it. While it’s okay to drop off a few projects here and there, you’re more likely to power through and succeed once you make the commitment and have it written down for you to look back at. It’s way too easy to distort your goal once it becomes too hard, or you lose motivation IF you only have it in your mind.
Message for seniors (and anyone who had big plans cancelled)
Seniors, I’m sorry.
I know it must be totally bumming to be like,
“Oh, this is… This is cancelled, this is cancelled. I mean, what’s the point?”
And I totally get that.
But guess what? This is just the beginning for you. You have your whole life where you can just figure out, “Oh my gosh, what am I gonna do, what am I passionate about?”
And you know what you can do? You could think about starting your own business!
You can start your own business right now and you can think about things that you love to do. There are so many online businesses right now, and you can just use this time to train yourself, to think about what you wanna do, to just play around with things.
I mean, you are probably bored, and so you’re going to be a bit more creative right now, so think about those things. Plus, when you’re in college, you’re probably going to want to (whether you’re in college or right after college) have a job. Right? I mean we all have to pay our bills and everything and so…
This is a great time to kind of explore and dip your toes into different things. And so use this time for that.
Remember that with every door that closes, a new one opens. You may have lost an opportunity because of quarantine, but maybe you’ll find that you’ll have opportunities that you wouldn’t have had if this hadn’t happened.
Of course, you have every right to be sad, to be frustrated, to be disappointed, to be angry. Let yourself feel those feelings, have those moments. Do whatever it is you need to do, take care of your mental and physical health…
And then pick yourself back up.
Let me know, how have you been coping with everything these past few months? Are there any effective methods you’ve tried to protect your mental space? What worked and what didn’t? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!