56 Ways for Music to Help When Social Distancing

Music binds us together—and can assist in self-care.

Posted Apr 09, 2020

Music has been making headlines recently for its ability to bring people together during this unique and challenging period of social distancing. Music therapists facilitated a balcony singalong for quarantined seniors at an assisted living facility in Texas. A community in Italy made music together from their balconies. Residents in Wuhan chanted and sang together as a way to boost morale. Over 1,000 people submitted videos of themselves singing The Carpenters' “(They Long To Be) Close To You” as part of a virtual “couch choir” performance.  

People have found ways to engage with each other through making music together from afar. But this isn’t the only role music can have to help us cope.

Last week, I came across a Facebook update from a fellow music therapy academic, Helen Shoemark. She teaches a course at Temple University in which her graduate music therapy students immerse themselves in theory-based practice.

According to Shoemark, their most recent two-day intensive meeting took place in March, just as we were all beginning this “new normal” we now find ourselves in. So the planned exercise changed, and the students were challenged to create information sheets to address the following:

How can we use what we know as music therapists to help our community use music during COVID-19?

With permission from Shoemark and her students, I share the following five infographics they developed in the hopes it stimulates ideas for using music in helpful, intentional, and effective ways to care for yourself, your children, your older loved ones, and your loved ones with disabilities.

14 Days of Family Music Activities During Time at Home

Developed by Alexia Lekos and Sarah Mosden

 Helen Shoemark, used with permission
Source: Helen Shoemark, used with permission

8 Quick Ways to Promote Self-Care Using Music

Developed by Alison McCrea, Cindie Wolfe, and Yijing Yin

 Helen Shoemark, used with permission
Source: Helen Shoemark, used with permission

My COVID-19 Daily Routine (What to do when you don’t know what to do)

Developed by Allyson Rogers, Sueah Park, and Aimee Pearsall

 Helen Shoemark, used with permission
Source: Helen Shoemark, used with permission

Stay Well With Music During COVID-19: A guide to music for your older loved ones

Developed by Hannah Pulver-Knowles, Rou Ma, and Yiqing Xiang

 Helen Shoemark, used with permission
Source: Helen Shoemark, used with permission

Themed Playlists and Resources for Individuals With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Developed by Joshua Stevenson and Mary Cate Carr

 Helen Shoemark, used with permission
Source: Helen Shoemark, used with permission
 Helen Shoemark, used with permission
Source: Helen Shoemark, used with permission