Art and Music Therapy during the Coronavirus,April 20, 2020

When I was at Hollins University, in Virginia, I continued to take piano lessons because it was how I calmed myself. I was never really good at playing the piano in front of people, but later when my children were small, I taught piano. It was a way I could make money and stay home. My former husband and I were on a strict budget, so this was how I made a little extra spending money.

Now it is April 20, 2020, and the CoronaVirus has hit pandemic levels. For the first time in my life, I MUST stay at home. No church, no restaurants, no visiting my adult children and grand daughter. I am sad for the millions of people out of work, and affected by this virus. All of us are having to shelter in place. Everyone’s experience is different. I am trying not to judge. I can only tell you about my experience. I am all I know.

I got divorced 4 years ago, after a 31 year marriage. My former husband played the piano really, really well, so I quit playing in public because I just wasn’t a showwoman/man. After my divorce, the piano, his grand piano from his grandmother, went to him of course. I didn’t really plan to ever play again. Oh, I played a bit on my 18 month old grand daughter’s keyboard. I thought to myself, I wish I had a piano as I would play again. I would play just for me, as it was really therapeutic.

I have been shelter in place now for nearly a month. I had to go back to work full time after my divorce. I say full time, but I am a Realtor/Artist and work from home. I am trying to save money and make ends meet. For a while, I thought, I have no money for leisure or travel. Now travel seems a way of the past.

I am still painting to make greeting cards and for commissions on my Etsy.com/shop/JillyWillyArt site, but this week, I bought a Casio CGP-700, just for me. One of my Hollins friends had to cancel her wedding, and I was so disappointed that I needed something. Something besides painting to look forward to everyday. This grand piano sound (weighted keys) is really an investment in my mental health.

I just finished playing Moonlight Sonata. There were a few minutes, where I was totally back at the Hollins Campus in Presser Hall, the Music Building, practicing on one of their shiny black grand pianos. The muscle memory returned for a few minutes. For a few minutes, the clock ticked back and I was 17 again. It was a beautiful, therapeutic experience.

So I am wishing for you if you have childhood/teen hobbies, revisit. If you never started a hobby as a child or teen, then explore some hobbies you ALWAYS wanted to do, but just didn’t make the time or effort. Sooooo worth 30 mins of your time everyday.

I am soooo thankful my parents sacrificed for me to go to Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia (Hollins University now). I think it is probably the BEST decision I ever made besides getting married (31 years) and having two beautiful, smart children.

Life is daily and I am trying to make good decisions during this CoronaVirus. I still have bills to pay, so I am continuing my real estate (I love to sell homes) business, and I am planning to teach some Zoom watercolor/acrylic lessons online. But just for fun, I will go back in time and be 17 again playing the piano.

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