On a Saturday in July I walked through the centre of Assen. On a cosy square the terraces are packed full, in the sun people enjoy each other’s company and a nice drink. After a time of intelligent lockdown, you crave everything that wasn’t there and couldn’t be, to be outdoorsy, with good company, of course keeping distance. A small ensemble arrives, with saxophone, trumpet, sousaphone and the fourth player has a drum set on his back. At a crossroads, between the terraces they start to play: cheerful jazz songs and tropical sounds. After the first song there is a small and soft applause, would people be waiting for this? For many people, this is the first time they can listen to live music again. Another song, a girl of about 4 years old starts dancing, another little girl joins her and drags her sister along. Mom’s starting to swing, too. The people on the chairs hop with one foot or gently clap with one hand on their leg. Above a shop a window opens, the residents dance on the balcony.
The atmosphere of the music fills the square and colors the faces of the people.
What about the musicians? Very enthusiastically they came to the outside location where they were going to perform. Finally, they can do what they love most to be heard by their audience. Making music is fantastic, but it’s only complete if you can also let people enjoy it. At first it took some getting used to, because after months of silence it took a while to start up. The start is a bit rusty, but after a few minutes they feel the energy of the music and of playing together. What a party!
Whatever genre of music you love, music is essential. It may not seem as necessary as medical care and food, but is it? Listening to classical music can comfort you when you’ve lost a loved one. Music gives a cozy atmosphere when you have something to celebrate or makes your favorite movie really exciting. Listening to music together connects people. The live experience gives an extra dimension to the experience. It takes you in mind to another place. It touches your feelings, your heart, your soul and moves you. With eyes closed, you breathe in the sounds.
The people who can give this experience are musicians. For years they studied and played music in order to develop the skills on a particular instrument in such a way that they can expressively express themselves on that instrument. After at least 10,000 study hours, they give with heart and soul everything they can give. It’s these musicians who are struggling right now. Corona and the measures have left a hole in their work and therefore in their livelihood. What the future looks like for the musicians is uncertain. Will the concert hall be filled again and the orchestras will play with complete instrumentation? Will the living room concerts take place again? Will the choirs be able to sing with joy again, live and with an audience? Will more people dare to learn how to play an instrument?
Until there’s an answer to these questions, I have a question to ask you. If you have the opportunity, do you give the musicians support? We all want to enjoy music in the future, don’t we?