Social Convergence in Times of Spatial Distancing: The Role of Music During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Exploring Global Use of Music and Psychological Functions to Fight the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the music sector, with musicians, music teachers, and music therapists all having to adapt to the new normal. Music has been used as a coping mechanism, with people using it to regulate their moods, reduce stress, and foster social cohesion. Studies have found that music listening habits have changed, with people listening more and using it to fulfill emotional wellbeing-related goals. Additionally, virtual concerts, online music-making, and collaborative playlists have provided new opportunities for arts and cultural engagement.

The pandemic has also had an effect on music education, with instrumental music tuition in secondary schools being challenged. Music educators have had to adapt to the new normal, with pedagogical practices that foster connection, empathy and receptiveness to relationship-building leading to significant student learning and value in the learning music. Dementia singing groups and choirs have also had to transition to online music-making, providing activity, cognitive stimulation, and social support for people with dementia.

Overall, the research has highlighted the value of music as a coping tool during stressful situations, and how it can be used to improve mental health and well-being. It has also shown the importance of choice in activities and therapies that support well-being, and the need for specialized technology-focused training to support the practice of music therapy in the future.

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