It has been several months since the world first suffered from the devastating effects of the coronavirus, the deadly pandemic leaving behind great misery and suffering in its wake. Not a single soul is exempt from it’s deathly grasp. It is in these times of need that the importance of unity and solidarity becomes much more apparent, for how else could we prevail over this immense invisible force if not together?
It is ironic that during this time when human connection is needed most, we are all forced to remain self-isolating within the boundaries of our own homes. But it is also during these difficult times when we discover the true extent of our likeness; the bonds we are able to form without any use of physical contact. One medium that has already connected millions of people all around the globe is music, the world’s greatest universal language.
Music has played an essential part in the lives of humans for centuries. Especially now, when technology has enabled us to simultaneously listen to the same tunes across continents, the enormity of its influence over us truly is astonishing. There have already been multiple occurences during this pandemic where music has been used to rally hearts and bring people together. In Italy, where neighbours first banded together on their balconies to sing hymns of independence, joy, and togetherness, sparking a large number of ‘balcony-gatherings’ all over Europe and the United States. In the halls of an empty Cathedral, where Andrea Bocelli’s angelic renditions amassed immense awe from online viewers both young and old. In social media platforms, where artists sing songs of hope to spread comfort and express their gratitude for the thousands of healthcare and frontline workers who risk their lives for us everyday. In the confinements of our own homes, where we sing along and dance to the same rhythms that echo through the hearts of our brother and sisters wherever they may be.
In the spirit of all this, we at Stichting Alzheimer Indonesia Nederland organised our second online session last Saturday. The session was an intergenerational sing-along held through Zoom, with the exceptional Eve Trio from Jakarta providing the music to a number of songs from a long playlist of notorious throwback pieces. The success of this event is another testament to the extent of music’s influence, with 24 participants consisting of the elderly, the Stichting Alzheimer Indonesia Nederland community, volunteers, and millenials from Indonesia, the Netherlands and Switzerland all singing their hearts out to the wonderful arrangements available courtesy of the band. The Risk Reduction and Meaningful Engagement event was intended to help caregivers, people living with dementia, the elderly and their families bond over the nostalgic tunes and relax during this otherwise straining period. The intergenerational gap, with the youngest participant being 14 years old and the oldest 90, did not hinder the enjoyment of all those who participated. For music truly does have the ability to make us forget our differences, and instead remember the strength of the ties that bind us together.
Sabina KZ, 14 years old
MYP5 International School of Groningen