This year, possibly more than usual, I know music has played a very important part in RPMers lives and has been a continued source of stimulation and enjoyment……as well as perhaps being one of the things that just kept our heads together and sane! We all miss meeting together each month for an RPM Record club night, but what I hope has come out of the current situation is that, even though socially distanced, there is still a sense of RPM community and connectedness.
Being positive here, the silver lining of our Covid induced situation is that it was the catalyst for the idea of the Isolation Room Listening Booth. It’s become something I really look forward towards each week and from all your kind words (thank you so much) I can see you all do as well. In my mind I pictured the Listening Booth as being a virtual incarnation of the listening booths or listening stations that there used to be in the record outlets of the 60s or 70s……..I’m obviously too young to remember them, so I’m just going on pictures I’ve seen and anecdotes I’ve heard, of course.
Like any club, it allowed you to put aside some time for yourself, settle down with a brew, a coffee or something a bit stronger and just forget about the outside world for a few hours. Of course, as the last piece of music faded out, that big bad world was still there, but hopefully one felt rejuvenated and more empowered to get up and face it again. I believe that is one of the unique qualities of music; it promotes positive thoughts and feelings and is therefore holistically good for you.
And not just listening to music but also playing a musical instrument. I’m talking about what is now termed “wellbeing” here, I suppose, and wellbeing is especially high on the agenda at the moment. Whether you are feeling cut off from the world due to tier 4 lockdown with its social distancing or whether your work / life balance is out of kilter and causing you stress, research has shown that music and playing an instrument is good for your mental health. It stimulates the brain improving memory function. It can also enhance spatial and abstract reasoning, build confidence through self-expression and improve patience, self-discipline and time management skills. However, despite all these positive scientifically proven benefits, playing music is simply fun, actively engaging the brain thus making you feel happy and occupied. With all the gained time you may have at the moment, what better time to take up that ukulele, nose flute, alpine horn….or guitar you’ve had a secret hankering to have a go at?
But I digress; thank you for keeping the club going, enthusiastically embracing the Isolation Room Listening Booth, now evolved into the Seven Day Soundtrack. There is a new 2021 7DS page on the website…..and, writing this on 31st December, I can’t wait to see what will be chosen for Week 1. I do know it will definitely be a diverse selection of music encompassing a broad spectrum of styles and genres…….better than 6 Music, I’d say!