It’s impressive how an entire world can change within just a few months. Economies fall, health systems collapse and people get locked down for weeks. And all that happens not because of some huge extraterrestrial invasion or Godzilla attack but because of a tiny yet forceful virus.
While people worldwide have already learnt to wash hands well, keep the social distance and not panic, most of them have faced a problem of self-organizing at home. It’s not that easy to give up all the usual activities at once and get isolated in a limited space for an unknown period of time that is still quite vague in predictions. In order to alleviate this consequence, a lot of companies and organizations re-arranged the way of providing their services. Some TV streaming or educational platforms, for example, offer a month-long subscription free of charge to all their customers stuck at home.
Now that most gigs and concerts are cancelled, big artists and concert halls try to transfer the performances into the digital format. Thus, noted pianist Denis Matsuev gave a live concert in Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow with zero viewers in person but thousands of viewers online. A lot of music bands and solo artists that also have to keep the quarantine do online streams of some songs or entire gigs. Common people in Italy and Spain get on the balconies to play music in unison with other musicians of the street block.
Fortunately, today if you have a PC and Internet connection, a lot of useful activities become available to you right in your room. Musicians are no exception to the rule of self-isolation but they have a little bonus with them – creative work. If you are a player, composer, arranger or music enthusiast of any kind, there’s quite a lot to do at home. Why not try to spend this time with profit?
Now that you’ve probably slept for as long as you hadn’t slept in a long time, time to start fighting procrastination and get down to doing things. We’ve made a short list of ideas you could use as guidelines to a rewarding quarantine time.
Practice/Compose. Your major activity, of course. When else will you have so much time for it? You could also do joint Skype rehearsals and even little concerts with your colleagues (we hope your neighbors won’t hate you too much for that). There’s a chance that by the time it all ends, you will emerge as a different-level player already! Composers can focus on long-time works and commissions and finish minor pieces they had been putting on a shelf.
Advanced pieces. Remember that nasty complicated movement you could never handle? Time has come to conquer it. What about learning a few challenging etudes you always liked but feared?
Update CV. Having your resume neat and ready is always a good thing. Check if it needs updating.
Personal website. Take care of the main sections – categorize sheet music, update texts at the main page or bio, share your thoughts in an article, add more pics to the gallery and of course, upload more scores and audio samples. If you don’t have a personal site yet, consider getting one, it can be easily done for free.
Old scores. Check your earlier music works to fix the scores that often seem to have some little issues to correct. You’ll have plenty of time for editing those.
Recordings. Now anyone can become a successful YouTube blogger. Why not make a recording of a piece? Even if it’s not about blogging, it’s great for performers to have a look at themselves from the side, and for composers – to find someone who would perform their work on video.
Grants and contests. Search the web for interesting music happenings in the world to consider. Now most competitions hold the eliminatory stage in absentia by video applications. Visit our Music Competitions section for some options too.
Online collaborations. Enjoy communication in various music theme forums to find support and maybe even creative collaboration from fellow-stuck colleagues.
Artwork. How about learning to draw or to play a new instrument? Maybe you always wanted to add ukulele or a recorder to your skills? Now that delivery services work at maximum to help you out, you can think of a new hobby to take up.
Read. People often complain about the complete lack of time for reading. Now it’s there.
Tidy up, after all. Remember all those tasks you were eternally busy to deal with at home? Clean environment is believed to make a positive influence on the work process, even if it’s a ‘creative mess’, it’d better be fresh.
Now that you look up on the list, the labour day already seems quite busy, doesn’t it. We hope our little pieces of advice will make your quarantine more fruitful and joyful as well. Share your ways of making home time productive in the comments.
Stay healthy and take care!
Video: British artist Stephen Ridley performs a re-worked version of John Lennon’s “Imagine” on a public piano at an empty metro station in London, dedicating the song to the world.