How Slow No Tempo’s Quarantet Project Has Been Keeping Me Sane

a screenshot of one of Slow No Tempo's "quarantet" videos

Slow No Tempo recently posted our tenth video in the ongoing Quarantet Project. As random luck would have it, this video was posted exactly 2 months after the first video: April 4 – June 4. This prompted an introspective journey about this project thus far.

When we started this project, I had absolutely no idea how long it would run. (I still don’t…) But I did know it would be important to me to have something creative still continuing in my life during the shutdown, and that it would be important to me to be staying in touch with the guys in the group. I didn’t realize just HOW important it would become for my overall mental wellness, nor how strangely satisfying it would be to see the final product each week.

Even though we’re not actually together, we’re still making music together. I’ve come to realize that this is HUGE. Every week, I’ve had a creative project to work on. I’m still singing. We’ve even been tackling new repertoire which has sometimes meant I’ve worked on new arrangements for the group.

Realizing that our 10th video (not counting the “behind-the-scenes” and Star Wars Day videos we also put out) was about to go live had me reflecting on everything. And it hit home just how fortunate I’ve been during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown to have this project in my life. I love performing, and was crushed when both Cantabile and the Kamloops Community Band spring concerts had to be cancelled. Being able to work on the Quarantet Project with Slow No Tempo has kept me active. This has kept a lot of the grief and despair that so many musicians all over the world are feeling right now at bay. I still have moments, especially when I see something in my calendar for a now-cancelled event that I hadn’t removed yet. But by and large, having this ongoing project has done wonders for keeping me out of a depression spiral. We’ve joked in the past that our weekly rehearsals are half therapy session, half practice, half good fun time. (we’re not math wizards) The therapy aspect has never been more true than these last 2 months.

If you are feeling the effects of grief and loss due to the cancellation of live music performances, know that this is a perfectly natural reaction. The BC Choral Federation recently had a virtual town hall presentation with bereavement counsellor Rick Bergh as a guest, discussing the emotions that accompany the uncertainty we are all facing right now. It is well worth a watch, even if you are not a choral singer.
Please, reach out if you are feeling overwhelmed right now. There are always people around you who will be there for you. You just have to reach out – they’ll reach back.

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