With social distancing and the lack of performances, people have still found ways to engage in the arts.
Rick Good, director of bands at Auburn University, said the pandemic has turned most people’s lives upside down, and that we still need music to help ground us.
“Music allows us to feel nearly, or possibly, all emotions that we experience in our lives, that incredible power to lift your soul when you need it the most,” Good said.
He said lately he has noticed himself listening to more music to cheer himself up and it’s likely others have been doing that as well.
“Music can help others escape from the pain of life and what is happening around them,” Good said. “It is a known fact that music can reduce stress, and we are in one of the most stressful times of all.”
Good said COVID-19 has taken away live concerts, Broadway performances and art museums, but the arts are slowly coming back.
But the economic impact of the pandemic has made him concerned about art, theatre and music programs making a comeback in public schools.
However, Good said the pandemic has brought music back into people’s individual lives.
“Families are singing and playing instruments together more due to increased family time and trying to find ways of coping,” he said.
Even though public viewing of the arts has become more difficult, he said he doesn’t fear the arts will disappear.
“As we watch sports on TV and other talk shows, you hear and see music being played; it will never go away,” Good said. “One last thought, you can take fans away from sporting events, but you will always hear music being played no matter what. It is good for the soul no matter what age you are.”
Maddie Maradik, sophomore in theater, said the arts have always been an important part of her life and the pandemic hasn’t deterred her from pursuing it.
“I grew up doing musical theater and choir, and for me, it was always being a part of something larger than myself, and building and creating something from scratch,” she said.
Maradik said the arts are more than a performance or viewing people may come to see, it’s about providing an outlet for self-expression.
“I’ve loved seeing the creativity in people in the midst of COVID-19, as people are putting their heads together to create art in any way they can,” she said. “People who are in professional shows like on Broadway are collaborating with one another over Zoom calls to continue working as all shows are closed.”
Maradik said she and other theater students are working on a short film as an outlet to keep in-tune with their artistic expression.
“It’s definitely not ideal but I think it’ll bring people together more,” she said.
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Becca Benner, junior in public relations with a double minor in Spanish and marketing, is a culture writer at The Auburn Plainsman.