Music is the cure

Providing form of escape from dull, bleak reality


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Canadian singer Grimes

With the world in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing is in full swing in the United States, and schools nationwide have been closed down, leaving millions of students and teachers continuing instruction at home in quiet isolation.

This strange and uncomfortable time has left many students confused and anxious over what will happen to the school year as well as to the health of our family and peers. But in the depths of quarantine, music has become a beacon of hope.

Music has always been a saving grace for people like myself, who use it as a form of escape from dull, bleak reality.

Canadian singer-songwriter and producer Grimes’ chaotically ethereal fifth studio album, Miss Anthropocene, and English singer-songwriter Dua Lipa’s impressive sophomore record, Future Nostalgia, are the two albums I’ve found myself listening to most during quarantine. I’ve existentially referred to the former as my “quarantine soundtrack” due to its apocalyptic themes, and the latter is a shining light of hope in a music industry that continues to suffer from album delays and tour cancellations.

My fellow Pinole Valley High School classmates have been using music in a variety of other ways. For freshman Daniel Martinez, it’s to alleviate boredom.

“Artists like Doja Cat, Shakira, Melanie Martinez, Todrick Hall, and others make me feel happy and not in a total place of boredom. Quarantine has been Hell, but relatively peaceful with music.”

For sophomore Carlos Vargas, it’s to simply get the blood pumping: “[Music makes] me want to dance, like, dance to the whole song.”

This isn’t exclusive to students. Several of my teachers have been coping with the quarantine using music too. English teacher Julia Brady has been listening to a song from the children’s television show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood about self-worth because it reminds her of her students, whom she dearly misses. She even made them a playlist to listen to while they do their work from home, which features American singer-songwriter King Princess’ “Cheap Queen” and legendary Swedish pop group ABBA’s “Take a Chance on Me”a thoughtful gift from a caring teacher.

An upsetting and stressful time doesn’t mean that quarantine has to be the same. The solace that music brings has made and will continue to make the ordeal a little bit easier. Music is the cure.