Our survey results are in!
Two weeks ago, we asked our community to share with us some of the ways that music and being a musician has enriched your life. Over 100 people took the time to respond to the survey.
From being a satisfying way to make a living to providing connection in these times of rampant isolation and loneliness, the survey results show that being a musician plays an important role in the lives of our community members.
The results paint a clear picture of how playing music and singing at both the amateur and professional level can be beneficial, with notable benefits that include providing ways for us to express our emotions, bringing peace and sharing positive experiences with others. Most importantly, you told us that being a musician brings you joy.
A few of the additional benefits mentioned by respondents:
- Relieves isolation & provides comfort
- Increases self-confidence / helps to overcome timidity
- Provides a gateway to a spiritual life/ experience
- It’s a better way to spend your time than watching the terrible news on the TV
- Allows us to express our emotions
- Helps deal with depression
- Helps us to learn new technologies
- Sharing intimate moments and emotions with other musicians
- The synergy of seeing a student grasp the concept and translate it into their playing.
- Helps me free the senses and brings joy.
- For the peace, serenity and joy I feel when I am part of the glorious, heavenly harmonies of ensemble playing.
- Grounds and engages me more deeply than other activities.
- Music feeds my soul!
Here are just a few of the many thoughtful comments and touching stories that were shared in the survey (you can read many more at the end of the article):
Music is a cornerstone or a touchstone in my life. A strange metaphor considering how music is ephemeral. Singing in harmony is my greatest joy. Being a member of CAMMAC has been one of the most important elements of my life, for almost 40 years.
Making music is as close as I come to religion. It is a spiritual experience for me which fulfills a need to share my passion and emotion with friends. I couldn’t live without music in my life. Music brings me peace, while I’m surrounded by unrest.
When I got married, my husband saw how much I loved music, playing in concerts, singing in the Bach Choir in Paris… he suggested that I should think bigger. Some day, I will no longer give concerts, so it would be nice to think about the meaning of music. I started studying musicology at the Sorbonne and this added a new dimension to my passion.
I have spent my entire life immersed in music, in many different forms. At 79, I still enjoy playing chamber music and singing with friends. Hearing music on the radio brings back memories of choral music I’ve sung, band and orchestral music I’ve played, and chamber music I’ve played over the years. I am fortunate to have so many facets to my musical experience.
Music doesn’t ELEVATE my life; music IS my life! Over my 70+ years I have met so many interesting people, and I can count on the fingers of only one hand the number of friends (out of hundreds) that are NOT musical connections. My favorite activity (not possible now due to COVID) is getting into my car and driving from one friend to another, arriving in time for dinner and music, spending the night, having breakfast, and taking off to the next friend … I can do this for weeks and cover several thousand kilometers. Thanks to the ACMP Directory (www.acmp.net) I find people to play with (and stay with) wherever I travel.
Participating in an art form helps give a broad perspective to a person. It develops greater capacity to understand the human condition and allows the individual to gauge and balance their experiences against this broader reality making for a healthier person who feels connected to a community, a time in history, a place on earth. Participating in the arts as a creator or consumer reinforces the makeup of a civilization.
Making and listening to classical music gets me as close as anything to make me feel I have a soul.
Several people mentioned the importance that taking music lessons online has had for them recently:
I really appreciate what CAMMAC is doing to keep the music going during the pandemic, with something new every month. Thank you.
I like all music and enjoy trying out all types (classical, jazz, big band, musical theatre, film music, pop and world music). I am in several bands and orchestras that cover most of the types I have indicated and most of my week (until the pandemic) was taken up with going to one orchestra or band with free days taken up with practising for them. Music has been my refuge in this odd time and I have been able to join in some classes online both playing and exploring techniques and hearing about various composers. If I was not able to play my flute every day I would not have been able to cope with the lockdown restrictions as well as I have, that is not to say that I have coped very well but it would have been worse.
Weekly viola lessons on Zoom have helped me with pandemic stress. During the lesson, I can’t think about anything else except playing. I’m not quite there with practising!
And to the person who mentioned not feeling confident enough to try an online class… we encourage you to give one of our online classes a try, as our teachers are incredibly welcoming and helpful, and the ambiance is very welcoming!
Others mentioned time spent at the CAMMAC Music Centre:
I find the mix of nature and music at Lake MacDonald healing and inspiring.
I would just like to say that I was once a member of CAMMAC and I have been to the MacDonald Lake Music Camp about 6 or 7 times in my life (first time around 1980). Each time it was pure joy. Circumstances in life have meant that I haven’t been able to go back since 2005. Thanks to you all!
So if you haven’t taken your instrument out to play lately, nor raised your voice in song, we hope that you’ll do it today!
If you miss playing and singing with others, we encourage you to try one of the many classes and activities available online for musicians (you can find CAMMAC’s online programming by clicking HERE), or even to tune in to a live broadcast of a concert. If you haven’t tried it yet, you might be surprised at how much you’ll enjoy it.
We don’t know yet if we’ll be able to hold in-person activities in our regions or host our members at the Music Centre this year, but regardless, we’re making plans for in-person activities so that we’ll be ready to welcome you if we can.
We’d like to offer a big thank you to everyone who took the time to answer the survey, and also to all of you for being a part of our community. Each and every comment is a testimonial to your commitment to our shared passion for music, and we are so very glad to know that you’re continuing to make music in these difficult times. As one commenter noted,
“A musical life is a beautiful life!”
Additional comments shared in the survey:
Music practice in these distanced times has been my go-to place for reducing stress. Having played the flute my whole life, it is my anchor.
The practice of Music allows me to reconnect, to find myself. It’s soothing in times of stress. It is a form of meditation in action.
My daily balm in this pandemic we are all grappling with.
Being a musician is a great way to meet people in a new situation. We lived, for a year, in Germany. Within a week I was in a community orchestra which led to regular chamber music sessions which were very important to me at the time.
Perhaps self-centered, but it makes me feel good to be able to play something on the piano for others who often say they wish they could. Also to inspire others to sing, e.g. carols, pop music, anything…
Learning a new language and a new universal language is very appealing to me.
Music takes an immense place in my life, not necessarily in terms of time but in terms of the quality of its animation in the rest of my life.
So many of my music memories are tied to important occasions on my life. Music has always been there for me, as singing was very early, soon followed by piano lessons which, happily, I liked. I cannot imagine being without music in some form. It has soothed, comforted, and created so many emotional responses over the years. Endless enjoyment, promoting my happiness in life.
Music has enabled me to plan my retirement and find a new reason to live…
I have made new friends. I have improved my skills as an accompanist. Music is the golden thread running through my life since childhood.
Oh, music is everything, from body workout, mental workout, discovery, experimenting, developing skills and collaboration, to the joy of communication and sharing feelings through performance. It literally can run one’s life. It is remarkable that at any level of our development we can make silent music scores speak to us again.
I hope in the future to be able to come to the CAMMAC school in person once travel restrictions are restricted which is a good way to have a goal and something to look forward to. I may try to join an online class at some point in the future if I should feel confident enough to try.
I love music… singing gives me both a voice and new opportunities in life.
I started music in my late 60’s, never had any lessons before but have now for 3.5 years until Covid. I’m realizing a lifelong dream! 🙂
I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without music, and the same is true of many people in my family and friends.
I firmly believe that we are created to sing! The blossoming of a person’s whole being, and the connection with others when we sing together is a striking expression of unity and diversity. Each voice is unique, but together we experience the beauty of expression that enriches the audience.
I cannot imagine a life without music – and most of all, early music.
Can make for a fun party when the music starts!
Music gives access to beautiful emotions that sometimes heal the soul.
I miss playing in an orchestra enormously in this time of pandemic, I realize that practising my instrument (the viola) with the objective of arriving well-prepared to rehearsals was an integral part of my days. Playing alone is much less motivating, so I’m eager to get back to the orchestra.