Using Music To Help Cope With Challenging Times | Coursera Community

Using Music To Help Cope With Challenging Times

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The world is facing the challenge of a coronavirus. Our social lives have come to a halt as we are being told to “social distance.” 
Many people now find themselves alone in isolation. At such times we can turn to music for comfort.

Music can lift your spirits as well as people around you. In Italy, where everyone was ordered to stay home people took to their balconies and rooftops to sing or play instruments for both themselves and their neighbors who could listen.

This is a good time to pick up your guitar and sing with your family. Or you can learn how to play guitar, or banjo, or ukulele or fiddle or any other instrument. If you don’t play an instrument, you can dance or sing to music. You could also listen to a great piece of classical music such as Beethoven’s 9th, or perhaps Mozart”s “Magic Flute” opera?

How have you turned to music to help you through troubled times?

What have you listened to? 

What instrument have you played?

58 replies

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I so agree that music can be incredibly comforting. I’ve been listening to Yo-Yo Ma a lot recently, and love that he started sharing #SongsOfComfort on his Facebook page! Some of my other favorite musicians are using Instagram to share music with #LiveFromHome - another great pick me up if you need it! 

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Definitely, music is very hope giving and inspiring as well. I’m recently listening to Bob Dylan’s discography - and many of the songs are so subtle and powerful - Mr Tambourine Man, It’s Alright Ma, Like A Rolling Stone, Queen Jane Approximately, Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues, Desolation Row, All Along The Watchtower etc. - all are extraordinary. 

Also, recently I discovered Chad & Jeremy - and they are so good:



Also, Interestingly, a couple of rock musicians - Liam Gallagher and Brian May - are tuning onto George Harrison’s message in “All Things Must Pass” and it is definitely uplifting - while the lyrics are a bit bleak, the music has very optimistic overtones:


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Since I’ve talked to all my students and cancelled all their lessons for at least the next couple of weeks, I’ve got time on my hands. I’m revisiting a composition, that I had to do for the final of my Blues/Rock Keyboard course last year. I hand wrote it so I’m redoing it on Noteflight and I decided to add a guitar line. Then I’m replacing the keyboard solo part with a guitar solo and I’ll record the keyboard and then the guitar over it. Been wanting to do that for a while. Also writing an installment for my blog on the topic of music as comfort. Plus I’m looking at signing up for some online bass lessons. And the great part, I’m finishing up the last two weeks, of the last course, towards my Berklee Online, Advanced Professional Certificate in General Music.

Wow, @playfulcat ! You are so productive now! How wonderful!

My son teaches guitar and has moved many students to online lessons. It’s a new venture for him, but will hopefully being in some income as well.

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@Judith I’ve offered the option of Skype to my students but when your students in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s they are a little hesitant to try it.  Do have a couple of younger one and who knows, they might go for it.

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I am working from home. So not totally free, but I do get to practice more with my guitar lying next to me :) I am still learning but I have gone through and heard lots of music also. Ranging from Les Paul (No not the guitar but the creator :) )
to some new musicians like Sammy Rae 
And learned quite a few things from some greats
Keith Wyatt

and Robben Ford - he has many more instructional videos.

Oh and also found this one  lets you write notation. 
Recently for one of my courses, I was looking for one but couldn't find it at that time.

I kinda have my hands full, with the things I need to practice LOL!!!

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@shashiks  I’ve also been working a lot this past week with Noteflight. I had not used it for a while but to redo the blues piece I’m working on I used it. 

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@shashiks  I’ve also been working a lot this past week with Noteflight. I had not used it for a while but to redo the blues piece I’m working on I used it. 

Ahaa! Another blues fan!!! Happy string bending to you.

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Finished the blog installment and posted it this afternoon.  Here it is if anyone is interested:

@playfulcat , that’s a excellent blog! We all need to be creative now, think of productive ways we can function, creating a blog is a good way to use your time and to reach out to others.

I do think that lessons -on-line ( congrats on your bass guitar lessons!) would be so important to pursue . I understand if you have an older population it might be more challenging, but it’s as easy as downloading “skype”, which you can help your students get. People want to continue lessons and want to continue to support their music teacher so this would be such a good way.

My son is splitting lessons up for his younger students, having only 15 minute lessons, but one will feature skill building and the other jamming with the skills learned. Using Zoom, you can even get a few students together to enjoy playing something together too.
But you seem as if you have many wonderful ideas as to how to spend your time.

Your blog fits so well here, explaining how music has positively effected and helped your life. Thanks for posting it. 😀

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@Judith thanks for the kind words. I appreciate it.


@playfulcat I appreciate how you have contributed to making this an excellent forum .


Well, I`ve been learning music and teaching it and producing for 7-8 years and it`s been a part of me ever since. It`s been 2 years since I've been dealing with depression and anxiety and music`s been the biggest help I could ever have.

@Ariyan , what kind or style of music do you listen to or play? What aspect of music do you teach?

Thank you for sharing how music has helped you. It is so easy to engross yourself in music and forget all about life’s stresses, pressures and anxieties. I need it in my life, especially now, too.


Music has always been the one thing that makes me feel better when things aren't going so well. A year ago I decided to learn the guitar so I could create my own music when I needed it. It has helped in many ways :) 

@6StringNZ it is so good to hear this. I spent so many hours in my room as a young person just playing guitar and singing songs to soothe my broken teenage heart or to help me to cope with the usual stresses of growing up. Creating your own music is such a wonderful way to help you feel good.


Hello all, currently I am enrolled in the course Music and Social Action offered by Yale University. Since I'm working from home, I can't afford the luxury to immerse myself into music 24/7. But I do make sure that there is at least 20-30 mins of solitude and music without any disruption everyday.

Music has always been a crucial part of my life. I like to listen to different types of music- different genres and different languages.

Music is my therapy when I need to recharge my mind, or may be sometimes when I just need to cry my eyes out and get rid of some pent up emotions.

I learnt Indian classical music when I was in school. I like to explore and try music from all around the world.

My favorite artists include a plethora of diverse musical talents like Wardruna, Evanescence, One Republic, Taylor Swift, Ghulam Ali, Disturbed, Eminem, and Srikanto Acharya.

I am sharing the link of the song which I have been listening to a lot these days. This is sung by a Pakistani artist named Ali Aftab Saeed. This song touches hearts in a beautiful way!




@CanvasnCrayons , I enjoyed listening to this song so much! It is beautiful and rhythmic and haunting. What do the words mean? The background graphics were really cool too.
You really have such diverse musical interests.This is one of the reasons I enjoy music so much too. There is music for every mood and feeling we have. It’s especially important to spend time listening or playing music these days. Thanks for the music.

Your name intrigues me….are you an artist or is the canvasncrayons just a symbol for life? 


These times have given me an opportunity to connect with music on a deeper level. I have started listening to jazz and now I am completely hooked to it. I listen to jazz while studying,walking or simply relaxing. In fact this fomented me to understand the impact of music in our daily lives and hence I have taken a course in coursera to pursue the same.

@Tata24 thanks for sharing this.What jazz do you listen to? It’s the kind of music that you often need to listen frequently and then appreciate it more and more each time. 


I often forget just how much music impacts my mood. I struggle with bipolar disorder and the down times are particularly difficult, but it's so easy to elevate my mood simply by putting my headphones on and playing the music I love. 

My first love is progressive trance, which keeps building and building on itself until it eventually reaches that divine crescendo, usually more than once. It does more for me than any pill ever could, and it's such a simple, little thing. 


Music heals Mind Body and Soul .

I regularly listen to Mantras .

You can download it from YouTube 

1)OmNamah Shivaya.

2) Mantra for Peace of Mind.

3) Santoor musical instrument.

4) Raga nata Bhairava.


I really enjoy this song called The Blessing, I had it in my mind the last days!

I believe that prayer and workship are an effective way to cope not only with the pandemic, but also with our challenges in our everyday lives.

It is sad to see that so many people seem to have forgotten about it 🙃😌

May God bless you and keep you,






@JudithI’ve offered the option of Skype to my students but when your students in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s they are a little hesitant to try it.  Do have a couple of younger one and who knows, they might go for it.

That's so sad to me. I just turned 60 and I make it a point to understand technology. 


I use a mantra I believe is rooted in Kundalini yoga , called Adi Shakti. I also use Aum.

You are correc . Mantras are very powerful!