Are you frustrated by how suddenly you had to stop doing what you do best, performing live?
Or are you saddened by how little you may have been able to provide support to vulnerable people during the crisis? Or do you miss the unique connection between you and your audience?
Why not fulfil all these needs in one work opportunity? Playing live music to isolated or vulnerable people and providing them with emotional support.
That’s what we, the World Harmony Orchestra, offer and we would love you to join us!
For professional musicians the fee is £30 for a 20/ 30 minute performance plus travel expenses if necessary.
Amateur musicians are also very welcome to join and are paid travel expenses if needed.
SUPPORT VULNERABLE PEOPLE THROUGH MUSIC
The Orchestra is a registered CIC, a social enterprise supporting vulnerable people through music.
Knowing the power of music and the positive therapeutic effects it has on people, we wanted to do something about the terrible situation arising from the outbreak of Covid-19.
The most isolated people in society are the most likely to become more isolated because of the situation. Having someone play music especially for them lifts their spirits and helps them feel more connected to other people.
Since the start of the crisis, we have been matching musicians with self-isolating people who have reached out to us.
We have organised 35 concerts so far all over the country, and our work has been featured in the BBC News, BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio London, The Times, the Morning Star, the American magazine Slate and NBC News, France Musique and French Morning London.
We follow Government guidelines as this service provides care to vulnerable people and when the musician is very local and can walk to the place it counts as part of their daily exercise allowance. The musician is able to perform outside someone’s house, keeping a strict safety distance which is either on the pavement, in a garden or in a courtyard. The maximum number of musicians we send is two.
THE RIGHT SOCIAL DISTANCING AND THE POWER OF LIVE MUSIC
It is vital to respect the need for social distancing in order to save lives. But we need to remember the length of the gap is 2 metres, not 2 kilometres. 2 metres allows people to remain safe. By staying physically apart from each other, we end up too distant emotionally, and our social bonds threaten to break.
Nothing can compare with the power of live music. Technology surely helps us to stay connected somehow in these troubled times, but will never replace the intimacy and warmth of a real human exchange. Not a physical exchange of course, but hugs don’t need to be physical, they can be psychological, artistic, musical or human. Eye contact is also very important and can create a special bond between two people separated by a few metres.
These live concerts revealed that isolated people don’t only need material support. They need to feed both their body and their soul. And that’s what we artists provide them with thanks to live performances.
We have received heart-warming and moving testimonials from people who we’ve organised the concerts for. Many people said that the performance made their day, week or even year, and was a glimpse of sunshine in these gloomy weeks of isolation. A moment which has the power to boost their morale and refuel their resilient souls. And for the most vulnerable, it has been something even more valuable than that. It may literally help save their lives, not just that one action but the sum of acts of kindness from the community.
Here is one of the testimonials: “I am 49 but in a vulnerable group due to my genetic illness. I live alone, my usual carer can’t come and help me. Have been feeling like it’s all too much. I have suffered severe depression. Now I don’t have anyone coming round or helping me I feel myself getting darker thoughts. Having local musicians doing a concert outside my door would definitely help my mental health and make my year. I am craving live music right now.”
How many people are in the same situation? How many amongst them will never even get any visit and sink into a dark tunnel ending in depression or even worse?
The feedback from the musicians has also been very positive. They told us how special and worthwhile such an experience has been for them too.
If you would like to be involved, get more information or even if you would like to do this outside our organisation, as part of your freelance work, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to share ideas: email@example.com
We believe that the more musicians and artists do the same, the better it is for all.
We just released a song involving musicians and audience members who have taken part so far in the project, and the chorus tells all of us that it is now:
“Time to dare, dare to care, care to share our love”.