Music can create a sense of calm and joy during times of chaos and struggle and has been used by many as a tool to cope with the changes to everyday life during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ballarat-based musicians Michael Westlake and Joe Creighton spoke about the magic of music and the way it connects people to meaningful events in their lives during a Compassionate Ballarat webinar on Wednesday.
The public presentation was part of a weekly webinar series that provides practical advice and support to residents during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Westlake said he had worked for many years as a guitarist, singer, pianist and teacher, but only in recent years began appreciating the connection between sound and silence.
"Now I convey to students the notes might be someone else's, but the silences are yours," he said.
Mr Westlake said as well as appreciating the silence in music, everyone could connect with the mechanics of making music, even if they did not consider themselves a musician.
"Just getting people to clap and stamp their feet is joyous," he said.
"As musicians, we might be practicing to do something complicated, but in the end the simple things we are getting back to is making us really happy."
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Mr Creighton has played in bands with leading Australian musicians including John Farnham, Olivia Newton-John and Kylie Minogue.
He spoke about the link between music and memories and how music can create anchor points throughout our lives.
"For myself, music carries a lot of memories and seems to be able to unlock the ability to re-experience it again," Mr Creighton said.
"When I hear certain songs I am right back with my mother, I can feel the essence of that experience.
"Think back on the great events of the world, the music that was happening at the time will bring you right back to the feeling you had when you were there.
"It does have an incredible effect on you when you hear a piece of music that has meant to much to you and it will be with you for life."
Mr Creighton and Mr Westlake performed songs during the webinar to provide a moment of calm for listeners in what can feel like a chaotic environment amid the coronavirus pandemic.
During next week's Compassionate Ballarat webinar, Federation University Professor Gerard Kennedy will provide practical tips on sleeping well.
Visit compassionateballarat.com.au/whats-on for information on how to join the webinar.
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