It has been two weeks since the NBA announced they would suspend the season until further notice due to Coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19. Since then, most every major sport and a large segment of the society around the world has been impacted in ways most of us have never experienced before.
I have reflected in the past few days and have attempted to figure out how to process and adjust to the avalanche of current events as they unfold. While I don’t attempt to forecast what is in store for the future, I have learned a few things that will perhaps serve others in a positive and meaningful way.
For example, I’m reminded that we each have the capacity to either RESPOND or REACT to the realities of the world that surround us. The difference is that when we respond, we take a proactive and positive approach to our reality rather than reacting in a non-productive way.
Recently, there have been several friends and colleagues that have posted examples on social media that have demonstrated awesome ideas that have brought smiles and encouragement to many followers. They all understand that, even now, it’s important to be positive and demonstrate gratitude in many different ways.
One way to express gratitude is by making a list of all the things we are grateful for. One of the countless things that I’m grateful for is…TIME. The one thing that many us of didn’t have two weeks ago was not enough…TIME. And now, we seem to have too much TIME!
So, I invite everyone to think of all the ways we can respond by using our time to consider creative and productive ways that allow us to move forward with our lives.
Starting today, I want to offer my two cents and share ways that we can use our time to grow and feel better about ourselves. While this post is generally intended for my friends in the music profession, many of the suggestions apply to EVERYONE. Some ideas that I’ll expand on with future postings are previewed below:
- Listen to new or unfamiliar music. The other day, I started my listening quest with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1. I read an analysis of the work and then listened to the entire work while taking my daily walk. I plan on going through all the symphonies and move on to another composer and fill my mind and soul with aesthetic and healthy experiences.
- Share gratitude with others. Take time to think about all of the people you are grateful for and make a list. I’m pretty sure that our lists will be quite long! Next, reach out and share why you’re grateful for that person and what they did that we appreciate to this day. Chances are, each of us will feel better because the more we give, the more positive we feel in return.
- Practice! Now is a good time to find a safe place to play our instruments and make music. Or, perhaps we can practice instruments that are not our primary instrument. Discover again how it feels and sounds to produce a characteristic sound. Think about how much better we will be as teachers when helping our students in the future! For those non-musicians out there, what better time to learn how to play an instrument than now?
- Organize! It’s a great time to take care of those projects that have been on our to-do list since the dawn of civilization! This can apply to both our professional and personal lives. For example, let’s organize our computer files or our bedroom closets.
- Exercise regularly. Even though most gyms are currently closed, we can still stay actively involved in numerous ways. We can find an app on our phones or computers, or we can do exercise in a safe environment, if allowed. If you’re like me, you’re either burning calories at home or consuming them! Let’s make wise choices!
- Read stuff. Now is a great time to read and learn whatever piques your interest, both professionally as well as personally. I like to mix up my reading material with a combination of inspiration, research, pedagogy, and wellness. However, in the near future, I will start adding to my rotation some of the greatest literary works of all time, like the works of William Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, and Charles Dickens. Please let me know if you have any favorites that I should consider.
- Create! Perhaps now is a time to create our own music either through improvisation or by taking a stab at composing. Who knows, we may find within ourselves a new calling. Or, we can create outside of the profession. Find a new hobby like cooking, landscaping, or wood crafting. Hey, I have a friend who has combined both his profession and personal hobby by making his own batons. He now has a business that reaches all the way into Europe!
These are just a few of many ideas that have surfaced recently. Please let me know if any of these suggestions resonate and I’d be happy to share more suggestions that may be of interest. Or, if you have a great idea, I’d love to hear from you!
Friends take care of you and your loved ones. Be safe and let’s support each other – TOGETHER!