By: Michaela Acuyado As I was surfing on the internet, I saw different news about our world today that it is now slowly recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed a vast number of lives. We can say that we are very much to the greatest extent being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot of business establishments stopped their operations; most of the people became jobless; frontliners were being separated from their families and thus created much longing; the pleasure to see the world outside of the house and socialize with other people are being prohibited at a very high level. It all sums up into “SUFFERING”. It is the reason why we became so fearful with the pandemic going on. Our lives have changed a lot in just a month. We become sick physically, emotionally and spiritually. The pandemic caused us a high degree of anxiety, stress and even depression. All this time, we are still in panic – panic that we might get infected with the virus and that we may die; panic that we might get hungry due to loss of jobs; panic that it is already the end of the world.. Today as we are nearing the end of this pandemic – the healing of the world, people are encouraged to follow and observe the so-called “new normal” way of life. But the question is: “How should we continue living when we are this sick of worries and anxieties?” “ What can help us heal to continue our life to slowly be back to normal or embrace the new norm of life despite the suffering we are in?” There are plenty of things that we can do in order for us to heal and cope up with the new normal way of life. One of these is music and I would like to emphasize because it can be said that music is life and it is everything. According to Alex Doman, entrepreneur & music producer, that one great tool to help people heal from within is music. He said: “Music brings us pleasure and releases our suffering. It can calm us down and pump us up. It helps us manage pain, run faster, sleep better and be more productive.” Music has a connection to our mind and body. When you hear very loud music, the usual reaction, especially when you’re not in the mood , well of course, you’ll get irritated. When you hear a very nice love song that you can relate to, then usually you’ll feel romantic or nostalgic. When you’re lonely, you’d like to hear soft music or classical music or sad to fit with your emotion – and here you go bursting into tears. When you’re in the mood, you’d like to hear upbeat and loud music that would make you not only sing along but also dance with gladness. When you’re stressed, you’d like to listen to gentle and calming music that would soothe your stress, anxiety and depression. See? Music has a power. Who won’t believe that? With all the connections and reactions music made to us, it’s definitely true that it has power within us. It can understand us, help us to understand ourselves and help others to understand us. “Music has extraordinary power to stimulate our emotions and evoke memories.” -Alan Harvey(Neuroscientist and Musician) Whenever I am feeling sad and lonely and when I hear a sad song, I can’t help but cry and remember those things that made me that way and even remember all my failures and misfortunes in life and those sad memories in the past. Music is just really “Wow”. We don’t have to drink any medicine but still we can recall every single moment in our lives with the help of music. So in this time of pandemic and its nearing end, music is a great tool for us to cope up with the changing situations. We could make it a friend to live with. It does a lot of good things to us. According to various research , it was found out that music does something in our brain. It does development and healing. Some studies said that music can help with memory and cognitive functions. They said that by engaging in music , our memory and cognitive functions improve more and even heal for those who have impaired memories. Another research says that music can help in the healing of various diseases like brain, motor functions, heart, lungs and almost all kinds of diseases. It was given much attention now on the study of music as a medicine or therapy for various diseases. Experiments have been made to prove it and the results are very positive. So various health organizations and centers are now engaging music into the healing and recovery of their patients. Hopefully, in the near future, this very available almost everywhere music could be part of the list of medicines not only in the body but also in the soul. There are plenty of ways in which we can engage music into our lives as part of our everyday coping up after the pandemic. We can opt music lessons for us to learn how to sing, compose music and even play musical instruments. We can also play music in our everyday lives in our houses, offices or anywhere we want. We can use it to do exercise, to do yoga or relaxation or meditation or even as a sleeping pill. “Research shows that at-least some musical education has a positive impact on social and cognitive development of children. And these effects are long lasting – better hearing, better motor skills, improved memory, better verbal and literacy skills.” -Alan Harvey(Neuroscientist and Musician) We could engage in musical education by studying music lessons. This is much beneficial mostly to children or the young ones because their way of coping up in difficult situations is lower compared to adults. So I would recommend that aside from us adults , we should also enroll our kids in musical education for them to learn musical lessons. They could either learn how to sing, to compose a song, or to play musical instruments and even more than that, something that goes deep into the heart. In this way, not only will their attention be shifted away from pandemic issues but also they will be able to find a new friend to be with and this way they can enjoy and can eventually be helped to live in the new normal way of life. They will not just learn musical lessons but will also be developed in terms of brain and body functions. “Your brain is rewarded and changed by music. Sing songs, go to concerts, play an instrument and listen to music daily. It will enhance your life and lives of people you care about.” – – Alex Doman Whatever worries you in this new way of life after pandemic, you always have music. You can do everything with music. Make your life without fear of what will happen. Music can connect you to the world but it can also disconnect you to it – to all the dramas and anxieties in this world. It can bring you to another world – a world where your imagination lies. And through music, you can also inspire others and help them ease their burdens and anxieties. “Life seems to go on without an effort when I am filled with music.” – George Eliot In whatever way you want to put music in your life, one thing is for sure : “You’ll enjoy and you’ll be healed from anything that burdens your heart. Many people would say that they are afraid to continue living in this world because it is coming to an end already. Various disasters, wars, natural phenomenon, calamities, and pandemic have been coming already to kill us all. I also feel the same way but as they say life is worth living. Even those not granted with complete physical attributes still want to make their lives worth living. So why would we be afraid of the unknown? We live and we die – nothing can change that except the One above. So while enjoying the breath of this world, we need to make our life the best we could. And through music, nothing can fear us. We’ll never be afraid because music is life itself. The sound of mother nature is the very tangible evidence that music goes with life. It flows in every single small veins in our body. It connects us to where we came from and it unites us all living things in this world. Music could be our power. “When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.” – Henry David Thoreau The world may constantly change but the season of music will always and forever remain. That is why music can be considered a medicine, a therapy and eventually a healer. It’ll never change. With all its benefits to us – what else can we ask for? Music lives in history – yesterday, today and tomorrow – a powerful tool indeed not only to heal ourselves but also to heal the world. “Music is one of the longest standing self prescribed therapy in history.” – Erin Seibert, Music therapist

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