Musicians during COVID-19
Updated: Dec 8, 2020
It's no secret that the music industry has been hit hard during COVID-19. My friend Josh Johnson, who has played in the pits of Broadway and off-Broadway orchestras (including, most recently, the Yiddish version of "Fiddler on the Roof," affectionately called "Yiddler" by the cast, orchestra, and crew), now focuses exclusively on his Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube performances. Broadway itself has completely shut down, with shows cancelled through at least May 30, 2021, and the Metropolitan Opera announced in September that they won't open for at least another year.
(Above: Yiddler celebrating life during pre-COVID times)
Yet, somehow, musicians and amateurs are still finding ways to make music - to hone their crafts, to mobilize music's healing powers, and to entertain and engage us even during the worst pandemic to reach the US since 1918. On December 1st, the 24-Hour Plays (a very cool nonprofit that supports arts education and sponsors performances of one-act plays that are written, directed, and rehearsed in only 24 hours!!!) streamed online for the first time in the nonprofit's 25-year history, and live musical performances by Andra Day, Jesse Eisenberg, Adam Gwon, Lolo, M. Ward, Mike Doughty, and the Impromptu Beats.
(This is the song Andra Day performed at this year's 24-hour plays.
I have no idea why she is not Adele-famous yet!)
During the election season, artists came together to support their favorite candidates and entertain donors by live-streaming classics such as The Princess Bride and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
(Josh Gad joined the cast as Fezzik and brought a zest for the role
that would have made Andre the Giant proud!)
And, of course, we still have something for the kids. This year, Disney Junior partnered with Kindermusik to offer the Mira, Royal Detective music class experience, and Kindermusik itself (including our little program here in the East Bay) found ways to bring our classes online. I can honestly say that our online classes are now the highlight of my week. Singing not only produces endorphins, helping us to feel more positive during trying times; it's also a form of exercise! With Kindermusik, we get the added benefit of getting to spend time making music together, connecting with others while we engage in the kinds of activities (singing, dancing, reading, and general merry-making) that make us happy and grateful to be alive.
For more information about online Kindermusik classes for you and your baby, toddler, preschooler, or big kid, check out www.EastBayKindermusik.com.