When you’re feeling alone and cut off from the rest of the world, having just one thing that connects you to others can be life-saving. This can be as simple as having a friendly chat with a neighbor or contributing to a community project. The more you can put into those connective engagements, the more rewarding they’ll with how much you can get out of them.
Music, in particular, is a way that people all over the world have found a connection in the most difficult of times. The COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the human resilience comes out when people are forced into those isolating conditions. Awe-inspiring videos of people on balconies in Italy and other parts of the world collaborating in impromptu, socially distant, highly public performances show just how instinctual the act of working together to make a beautiful piece of art like music is.
This sense of connection isn’t just some kind of placebo either: Studies show a definite link between singing or playing music together and the neurochemicals in that brain that give us a feeling of connection and closeness to one another.
Further studies suggest music itself came into existence in the first place solely as a means of socially bonding the early human populations. It’s interesting to think that music is primarily viewed as a recreational or entertainment product, whereas it was a critical part of community and social engagement in humankind’s early days.
In modern society, while things work much differently, music can still be used in the same way – and it still is all the time. This is why music is such a big part of many churches, why the best memories most people have with their friends and family have certain songs associated with them, and why people who sing in choirs enjoy a laundry list of benefits.
How music can impact a person’s life depends entirely on how the person engages with it; the quality of the music itself is much less critical. Anyone can join a community choir or orchestra – or if that’s a bit too intimidating, there’s nothing more fun than a karaoke night with friends.
Even in extreme circumstances when people can’t get out of their homes and be around others as quickly or safely, people are still finding ways to collaborate online, so there’s always hope for connection in human beings when there’s music.