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Photo courtesy of Tomisin Ogunnusi

Junior Tomisin Ogunnusi started playing guitar at the beginning of quarantine when she received her first one. Like many other students, playing an instrument and music has helped relieve not only their boredom but also has acted as a stress reliever.

Students explore new and different instruments during quarantine

With the finish line feeling like it’s looming over our heads in a race that’s tested everyone’s strength, students are reflecting on what they’ve acquired during quarantine, whether it’s a new ability, relationship, accomplishments, things learned or just staying sane.
With life seeming to slow down, along with the entire world shutting down with it just a year ago, the negatives often — if not always — outweigh the positives regarding life in the midst of a global pandemic. But there have been some advantages that come with staying home, such as activities like spending quality time with family, a thing that you may have been severely missing out on before the pandemic, delving into a new hobby that’s kept you occupied or picking up a new instrument and exploring music.
“During quarantine, life was slow, and I’m not sure why, but it was a time for reinvention. Then I thought: ‘why not try some new things?’ … After a few days, I started learning more about the ukulele and decided to keep playing it until quarantine was over, so I had a new skill to show off whenever I wanted,” senior Cameron Mack said.
A common theme among students who decided to pick up an instrument was that the dullness of quarantine inspired them to start playing different instruments.
“During quarantine, I was pretty bored and didn’t have much to do, so I decided to start practicing on my brother’s old guitar, and it was pretty fun learning how to play the guitar,” junior Sara Susa said.
For some, picking up a new instrument or learning new music on instruments that they’d already owned was a way to relieve stress and acted as a form of self-care to help with their mental health.
According to a paper published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information, playing music improves communication skills, emotional release and decreases anxiety and agitation, aiding in the player’s overall well-being mentally.
“Playing music has helped my mental health over quarantine; playing my guitar, ukulele or the keyboard that my friends recently got me for my birthday has been a much-needed stress relaxer from school, work or anything else,” junior Tomi Ogunnusi said.
Others decided to start playing an instrument after a while of not playing at all.
“I took a guitar class in 8th grade but I haven’t really played since. During quarantine, I’ve started playing around with my mini electric guitar because I was bored, and I’ve gotten better,” junior Precious Noble said.
Whether picking up an instrument started out of boredom or wanting to rekindle an old hobby, some students have found refuge and others a new interest through music and playing new instruments during quarantine.

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