Coping With Corona and Free Sheet Music

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise” – Victor Hugo, Les Miserables.

For many of us, it has been difficult to focus on anything beyond the Coronavirus. On any given day we might feel the full spectrum of negative emotions, sometimes even concurrently. When our thoughts turn their darkest, it can be helpful to balance them with feelings of gratitude; gratitude for nature, for family and friendships, for good books and good music. Though this virus seems interminable, remember that as our mothers told us, this too shall pass. Here are some things that have helped me remain positive:

Comfort food. For me, there is nothing more comforting than eating pancakes. Since I am allergic to gluten I make my pancakes with almond flour, but they are delicious nonetheless. Chocolate is also helpful, and filled with antioxidents! What foods bring you joy when you feel scared or depressed?

Nature walks. Since I don’t feel like going to the gym these days, I have been taking walks up the foothills near my house. The wildflowers are beginning to reappear, and when I go out early enough I see the cutest jack rabbits scampering around. They fill my heart with joy.

Playing the piano. I’ve been playing some of my favorite pieces by candlelight in the evenings, letting myself fully appreciate the beauty of the music. Why punish ourselves by limiting our thoughts to pessimism? Appreciating beauty is allowed, and even essential, when dark thoughts are conspiring to dominate our minds.

Dancing. Another great way to exercise alone is to put on some music that makes you want to get up and dance. You can dance or sway any which way; as long as you are moving to the beat you are getting a great workout and releasing endorphins into your brain that will make you feel better. On Tuesday (St. Patrick’s Day!) you might try dancing to some Irish music on or other music sources. Irish music always gets me going!

Sensual pleasures. As long as I am washing my hands all of the time, I am using scented soaps that I love. If you are able to find a scented soap that tickles your fancy, washing your hands will become more enjoyable.

Maintaining a balanced view. I have found this video of a patient from the quarantined cruise ship helpful in giving me a balanced view of this virus:

“For me, the most inspirational people are the ones who put their shoulders up against the wheel of despair and PUSH back really hard — not just once, not just a few times in their lives, but every single day.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, author Eat, Pray, Love

To help cheer you up, here is the sheet music for 🌹Red Is The Rose🌹 (the same tune as the Scottish Loch Lomond) which I posted a few years ago. It think it is one of the most beautiful Irish songs, with beautiful chords and a familiar melody. Even if you have played it before, now would be a good time to enjoy it again! Click to Print:

If you feel like sharing some of what is helping you to cope in these dark days, we would love to hear about it. I look forward to the warmth of spring and am holding onto positive thoughts of our lives returning to normalcy as this virus fades into history, as no doubt it will. Until then, join me in looking for ways to enjoy life within your music and beyond. With love, Gaili

Author, Upper Hands Piano: A Method for Adults 50+ to Spark the Mind, Heart and Soul and Songs of the Seasons SPRING:


16 Replies to “Coping With Corona and Free Sheet Music”

  1. Thank you so much for the music clip!

    I have decided, for the time being, to teach piano lessons via Skype starting Monday. If Skype is too iffy, I am considering Zoom as an alternative. This creative change takes my mind off the darkness sweeping the world. For comfort, I cook, groom my old gentleman pup (who is sadly nearing his final day), dabble with completing a crossword puzzle, phone friends and family, and keep my piano singing. I have especially enjoyed playing and singing hymns with reassuring lyrics and revisiting pieces I played as a younger woman.

    I wish you all good health and positive uplifting experiences! Let music heal you and those around you.

    1. Great inspiration Leona, thank you! Sorry to hear about your pup. Our beloved pets don’t live long enough. It’s heartbreaking. I will be teaching some lessons via Facebook and Skype too. Also some lessons in person while wearing gloves and sitting a couple feet farther away from students than usual. Best wishes to you

  2. Thank you Gaili for your uplifting thoughts. Like you, decided not to go to the gym for a while. I do plenty of walking, enjoy cooking, talking to friends, work in my garden, and tickle the ivories.
    I would like to one day join you on your hike:)
    The coronavirus “This Will Pass Too”
    Let’s hope soon.

  3. Thanks for the suggestions, poetry and comments! I am lucky that I have my wonderful family and friends around me. We lift each other up. Thanks Gaili for your beautiful website. I just discovered it. I love your arrangements! Offering the online option to students. In person for those that are well and ok with coming over. I am taking a how to teach online lessons, online, from Bradley Sowash this coming week,3/16 and 17) and next week 3/24 and 3/26. He’s an awesome teacher. We’re using the Zoom app for class. Always thinking or playing piano and/or singing my favorite tunes and earworms;) Love, light and prayers to all.

    Paulette Amory

  4. my wife and I have decided to isolate for at least 2 weeks, just maybe I will get the hang of this piano playing,, lots of time to practice 🙂

    1. One side benefit! More time to practice will be great Len! I’m glad you will take care of yourselves and stay safe. I’m trying to set up some Skype and Facetime Lessons for my students who want to self-isolate. Not as good as in person, but still worthy. Take care Len!

  5. We are working on positive and creative energy and realize we are fortunate to be able to stay in and away from others. Some people do need to go out to work– to deliver the things we order, to visit the elders and to take care of us when we fall ill. Let’s be super nice to each other now. Let’s listen to and play great music. I suggest we open our windows wide and let our neighbors hear us play or sing. Music can be such an amazing comfort any time, but now more than ever. With music we won’t feel or be so isolated. A suggestion if you haven’t heard this–listen to the Italian tenor quarantined in Florence Italy right now. His performance will warm your heart.

    1. Thanks for these wonderful suggestions! I agree, music does help allay those feelings of isolation, and reminds us that we are isolated, together! How wonderful to hear this tenor sharing his gorgeous music with the world! Thanks Mary

  6. I love your comfort food; for me the same. I enjoy baking pancakes and I did that two days ago. At the end of the day I like to read a book with small pieces of chocolate. I have a big garden at around my house where I can do some relaxing work or play with my dog. My house is in a district with a lot of space. I have a small dog so I can take my little friend on my bicycle to ride along the river from bridge to bridge where the water, now at the moment is at high level and almost a lake. For me it is very comforting so when I am home, I had cleared my head to go behind my instrument and play the pieces wich came in my mind during the day. I also like to stay in conctact with the rest of the world and find some time to sit behind my computer reading your post and write to you this little story.
    Stay healthy and best wishes.

    1. Erna thank you for sharing that. I love the image of you and your little dog bicycling along the river. I agree, while we are self-isolating it is great to also check in with the world to stay in contact. Thanks for your inspiring story 🙂

  7. Hi Gaili, I’m so happy to have found your blog again! Like everyone I’ve been self-isolating and delving deeper into things I love, especially, piano. Over the past 5 years I managed to have broken each of my wrists, making playing difficult, at times impossible, because of pain while stretching my fingers. I’ve since discovered the magic of inversions, making my ability to change chords so much easier just by shifting a finger or two. I’ve spent a lot of time with your books 2 and now 3 but the challenge is figuring out which inversions work best with the surrounding chords. Is there a method to this that I’m missing or is it just memorization, trial and error? It seems I waste a lot of time on this process. Does this make sense?

    I hope you and your family are well and healthy. Your daughters must be well on their own paths by now.

    Your old piano blog friend,

    btw I just changed my password but still having difficulty logging into WordPress. Hope this reaches you.

    1. Hi Nancy! I am so happy you re-discovered our blog. A few years back I had to change the address and though they promised I wouldn’t lose any followers, I did lose most everyone 🙁 There was supposed to be a message telling you where the blog moved to, but that didn’t work either. TECHNOLOGY, ugh! My daughters are well and one is getting her masters at the University of Cambridge in Englnad, and the other one is part owner of a restaurant in the Hamptons, NY. So all is well. I am teaching online. I hope you are doing well, I guess you won’t be doing your camping trip this summer.

      Re the inversions, you need to decide on which inversions you use for each chord based on what chord comes before and after. For awhile that means figuring out each inversion, which does feel tedious. But after awhile, you begin to memorize the inversions, and can play them spontaneously.It just takes time and practice until they fall under your fingers naturally. Keep practicing all of the 1st and 2nd inversions in all 12 keys, 4 chords each day, or each week, whatever you have time for. Also when you are figuring out which inversions to use for a song, write in the chord symbols (C/E, F/C etc.) and make sure you do them consistently. I hope that helps. Don’t worry, it will get easier over time! xo G

      1. Hi again! Thanks for getting right back to me. I suspected as much, repetition and practice. It’s been an interesting road. Some days I sit down and as you say those inversions roll off my fingers and make complete joyful sense. Other times I’m lost. Jerry’s playing guitar again and we’ve started playing together so more music fun. Now I need to get over my insecurity of playing in front of people.

        We’re staying put for the summer. The fall veggies in my garden are done but I’m trying to grow squash, melons, cukes, a few other things. We take a long walk every morning. Hauled the elliptical into the family room, and doing a bit of yoga. I’ve been baking sourdough bread and eating too much of it. FaceTime and Zooming with my CA kids, and trying to stay upbeat which is so difficult this week especially.

        Glad to hear your kids are actively engaged in great things. Be well Nancy

        1. Yes the pain is compounded this week. I’m glad you are planting, me too! I have collards and artichokes now and am growing zucchini, tomatoes and a variety of greens for the summer. Enjoy your bread! We have to cheer ourselves up! My husband is a guitarist and we play together a lot. It’s SO GREAT to share music! xo

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