There are many studies out there saying that listening to music, in general, can help improve your health. The benefits are endless! You can turn on beautiful music to soothe heartache, or lively music to get your blood pumping and get your exercise going stronger, calm or classical music with a slow pulse to work or study to is another one people talk about frequently. You can listen to music to remember good times, to relieve pain, thus Music Therapy is a real endeavor helping so many people. This is an entirely different topic for another time right there. However, listening to live music has a lot of benefits and I would encourage live listening in addition to just regular at-home listening.
Since it is currently 2021 as I write this, I started thinking when was the last time you’ve been to hear any music live? The Pandemic has really put a lid on a lot of life for all of us. So many things have not been what we would consider normal. And there are so many things that are being missed including live music.
Honestly, since I’m a musician, it also is, when is the last time I’ve played a concert? While there are many fortunate musicians that have been and have begun playing during the pandemic, I had to say, I had not been able to have some of those same fortunes until recently. I am a French Horn or Horn player. It has been a lot easier for String players, percussionists, guitarists, and so on to perform while wearing a mask. And although many places have different restrictions, here where I live, it’s been a long time coming for the classical music world to get underway during this crazy time of our pandemic life. And things have begun but it’s not quite back to normal yet.
However, back to the point of discussion here… if you get an opportunity to go hear live music again, get your running shoes on and run to the nearest concert, (maybe along with your mask, and safe social distancing or in an outdoor space, or whatever feels right at the time this happens. Sound familiar?) Listen but be safe since we all want this to be over with sooner rather than later. I say this because live music delivers a unique joy of listening and sharing the experience with others, (as well as for us performers, to play for others) which is the key here. It has a positive and unique experience that will lift your soul and make you feel alive again. To share together in something that is enjoyable that really gets the positive emotions and the endorphins working is what we are talking about with live performances. Live concerts bring enjoyment and joy and community together. Some might even be able to stand and dance during concerts and live music, especially concerts outdoors. It brings captivating energy even as you get ready to attend the concert, or ready to perform one, the energy you feel that is releasing a source of dopamine to the brain, the chemical making you feel happy. In addition to this, you might also consider the other benefits live music can bring:
- Ease some physical pain (with the distraction)
- improve mental performance (memory and recall)
- Enhance Sleep Quality
- Assist in regulating Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
- Reduces stress and Anxiety (Stress reduced cortisol)
- Improve Immune Functions
- Create community togetherness
- Create family and friend connections
- A feeling of inspiration for yourself
One of my classical Chamber Music Groups, a Woodwind Quintet, the New Winds Quintet, has done 3 neighborhood concerts in driveways in recent days. We all waited until we were all vaccinated to rehearse together. Our first neighborhood show however was a rehearsal/concert in one. We were playing live at the same time. It had been over 18 months, if not longer, that we had been together to rehearse or perform.
We are giving back to the community and presenting things in an outdoor space open to anyone able to come by. We recently played at my own house, in my own neighborhood. We had drivers waving and honking as they drove by, neighbors who came and went as able, and many who stayed for the whole show, and many who wanted to attend who did not make it out. But those that were there left with smiles as wide as could be. There were all ages there. 2 years old & up! We were outdoors, and some were still masked, but the tone of their voice and their eyes said it all. They were elated and inspired and one neighbor said to me that her husband was singing quietly to one of the movie show tunes we played. One friend posted on Social media, “Loved hearing the great music from Cindy Henderson DEANE’s quintet performance today!!!” and “You five are very talented!”, and another, “Thank you for this lovely music!” It makes me feel so much joy to finally be able to share this again, even if it is on a small level. To reach people in this way is the reason we do what we do as musicians.
We are looking into doing another one in a couple of months if not before. We are considering October & December here in my driveway in Burbank again. We will likely do a FaceBook Live stream as well. If you are so inclined to support this endeavor we do not turn away donations. As it occurs, we have bought new music to play and read for these very things and many of us are not working that much these days.
Feel free to donate to @Cindy-Deane on Venmo or @CindyDeane at Paypal (6659 verification) and if you’re in the San Fernando Valley area and you’d like us to do a neighborhood concert in your driveway or some other outdoor area, drop me a line and we can talk. Cindy@CindyDeane.com