Playing through a Pandemic

Among the novel coronavirus, the switch to a virtual lifestyle has altered many people’s lives, from their jobs to their living conditions. Musicians of all genres, especially classical musicians, are a group of society that has been affected severly.

For classical musicians, many professionals are teachers to their young proteges as well as playing in a full-time orchestra. For the teachers, like most of the world, they have switched to online platforms, such as Zoom and Facetime, in efforts of maintaining the efficiency of one-to-one lessons. Teachers have reported that, at least for the current situation, it is the most optimal solution with all things considered. Despite few internet issues and a lack of the essential physical interaction, teachers have been able to successfully continue with their education.

However, many students and teachers agree that the lack of interaction dilutes the true beauty and purpose of music, an abstract idea of music created over a humane bond of emotions. Thus, playing through a screen, eliminates a major part of music from the purpose.

Another issue professional classical musicians face is the drop of income they are burdened with as the orchestras, symphonies, and operas they are hired for, have stopped productions since early 2020. With daily rehearsals and a fully seated concert hall, social distancing is not maintainable. With most professionals with a full time orchestral job and extra bookings, the pause on music making leads to the absence of salary. Reports show that musicians may have to find other sources of income since many orchestras are confirmed to be closed until 2021.

On the brighter side, the long months of quarantine has shown an increase of interests from the general population to classical music. As regulations become more lenient, encouraged students have come up with creative ways to continue their music making. For example, students have utilized online tools to stitch an ensemble piece such as a quartet.

While some find music as a source of aural therapy and some cherish it as a remnant of normalcy, music has proven that it cannot be stopped by a pandemic.

Photo by Gabriel Santos Fotografia on

Categories: Society