SINGING DURING COVID CHRISTMAS
We face many challenges during the Covid pandemic. Confinement to our homes and constraints on our movements have given us a feeling of a loss of control we have not experienced since World War II. As a result, some people around the world have turned to music for comfort and control.
During quarantine a pianist in Spain set up a keyboard on his apartment balcony and played for his neighbors. Soon a sax player next door joined the song “My Heart Will Go On.” Citizens in Italy have been playing musical instruments and singing from their balconies.
Music creates a sense of community and belonging when we participate in the song. The Couch Choir project, established in March 2020, encouraged people from around the world to submit a video singing a song in hopes to have one couch choir a month. In two days over one thousand people from 18 countries had submitted a performance of "Close to You" by Burt Bacharach.
“My lips will sing with joy when I make music to praise you. My soul, which you have rescued, also will sing joyfully.” Ps 71:23
Singing together during isolation has sprung up around the world. Making music with others has become an antidote of sorts to the alienation and Isolation we all feel.
Coordinated demonstrations of affection and appreciation have occurred with social distanced groups spontaneously gather to sing, clap or shout for health workers on the front lines caring for the sick. Singing can become a form of not only coping but showing appreciation when you can’t get close to give a hug or handshake.
Music provides natural healing; mental health benefits and community harmony. Blood flow and body temperature increase when classical, or healing, music is played causing the body to relax. Anxiety eases and emotions improve when a person hears certain kinds of music. Music is called a universal language and a great healer.
Matthew Henry said of David’s joyful praise in a difficult situation in Psalm 71; “In the singing of it, we too should have our faith in God encouraged and our hearts raised in blessing his holy name.” There is spiritual and emotional healing in singing praise in difficult times.
Don’t let this be a sad Christmas because of anxiety, isolation or even loss. Purposely make it a happy Christmas by increasing the music in your home and heart. Here are several suggestions.
Start a couch choir by sending a song to family members and ask them video themselves singing to the song and send it to you so you can make a movie of everyone.
Consider having a FaceBook live or Zoom Christmas singalong. The joy of hearing your loved ones sing together will heal hearts.
If you are a musician start a worship session online. There’s no reason why sheltering-in-place should stop you from singing and playing with peers. Video platforms include Facebook's Live, Zoom, Apple's FaceTime, Microsoft's Skype, are great ways to begin, If you are a serious musician try jammr.net
I like what Bob Marley said, “One good thing about music when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
If you are depressed or feeling blue, turn music on. Fill your heart and home with the joyful and peaceful music of Christ’s birthday. Don’t avoid getting with people online and singing together. Let’s not let all the activities of the season and isolation keep us from joining with others in song.
What ways are you going to use music this Christmas? How will you join others in singing joyfully this season?