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Want to Break Social Distancing? Feel the power of music
Social distancing is the order of the day. Distance yourself from your friends and family, from your school teachers and school friends, from your colleagues, business partners, and even from your customers! Human beings are social animals. It is not natural for us to be isolated, but this is what our governments are prescribing.
Want to break social distancing? Feel the power of music. Social distancing and lockdown are being re-introduced in several countries as we speak. Maintaining our health requires us to social distance, but being isolated from our friends and family can trigger additional health issues. How one can reconcile those two conflicting agendas? If you are one of those who want to break the social distancing barriers in a safe manner, I suggest that you put some music on and feel the power of music.
Difficult times often bring the best in people. The world we are living in right now has become a strange place. We have all become strangers (to each other) in a strange land. Not long ago, people used to congregate, socialize, party with friends and family. Going to school and interacting with your teachers and your friends was part of our children’s daily routine; now our human interactions are kept to a minimum, from a safe distance and preferably via a screen.
Travelling was part of those things that we used to do with ease using whichever transportation that fitted the journey be it cars, buses, trains, or planes. Planes are still flying but border controls are much stricter; so, better to stay at home rather than taking the risk of being stuck in some quarantine quarters in a foreign land.
Want to break social distancing and feel more connected? Feel the power of music
Music has a unique ability to bring people together. From a national anthem to a church hymn, or your favorite rock or hip hop song, music has the amazing ability to unite us, to pull us together as we listen, sing, dance and rejoice in the pure beauty of the notes and melody suspended in the air.
One of the many inspiring stories that went viral during the March COVID lockdown was the Balcony singing started by musicians and artists in Naples (Italy); these artists put together a spontaneous flash mob from their balconies and invited their neighbors to join in. This flash-mob did more for people’s spirit and mental health than any empty re-assuring words from any authorities. This musical interlude made everyone in that apartment building feel connected to each other, less isolated, and less alone. Music broke the invisible chains that the government restrictions imposed on everyone and makes everyone feel united and free. Those flab mobs will be remembered as one of those lights that shone bright and clear during a dark and uncertain period of time.
Want to break social distancing and speak a universal language? Feel the power of music
Music is a universal language that can unite, heal, and set people free from their fear, their worries, their loneliness. Regardless of which language you speak and where in the world you call home, music, and dance can unite and break down barriers in a magical way. Dance is a universal language and so is music. So, dance your own dance and sing your own song. Work your magic and sprinkle seeds of love everywhere you go.
Music is a universal language, but don’t just take my word for it, listen to the scientists who confirm this unequivocally. One Harvard University study showed that music carries a set of unique codes and patterns which are, in fact, universally understood. The aim of the study was to explore whether or not music from different cultures could be understood universally and transcend language barriers and geography. To carry out the research, the team examined ethnographic data gathered over a century’s worth of music from across 315 different cultures. The findings show that by analyzing a song’s acoustic features, such as tonality and tempo, it is possible for people to understand its meaning, regardless of its cultural background. So, the science is settled: music is in fact a universal language that can be understood by everyone notwithstanding language and cultural differences.
But more than a universal language, music has the power to heal. Music therapy is an established health profession. Music therapists are accomplished musicians who have deep knowledge of how music can evoke emotional responses to relax or stimulate people and help them heal. Music therapy is an effective stress reliever, it reduces pain and anxiety, it can help patients recover from brain injury and treat seizures in patients who suffered from a stroke. So, the science is settled, music heals.
Music has an amazing ability to speak to our hearts, minds and soul. It is like a prayer that stretches out into the Universe; It is quite telling that the word Universe literally means one (Uni) song (Verse). Where words fail, music speaks, there are times where words will not be enough to appease, heal and convince, so in those moments, it’s best not to say a thing; switch on the radio, listen to your best tunes and dance like nobody’s watching. Dance has been part of this world since time immemorial. Our ancestors communicated with each other through body language before they developed linguistic skills, they expressed their anger, hope and love with movement.
“I don’t know if music can change the world overnight, but I know that music can help someone make it through a difficult night” – Michael Franti
The Universal language of music and dance
The Universal Language of Music and Dance
To all my sisters and brothers around the world
Dance your own dance
Sing your own song
Sparkle seeds of love everywhere you go
Love is spring eternal
It is the healer of all wounds
Do not drown in anger and hurt
When you can swim in a sea of love
by Joanne Reed