Healing Through Harmony: The Art of Serving Others
By Laura Dinh
Within less than a year, the world has transformed into something unrecognizable. Going outside has been deemed a risk. Social interaction has been limited to texts and video calls. Financial difficulties have been exacerbated. School and work days have become monotonous through the screen. The COVID-19 pandemic destroyed the fundamentals of “normal” across the globe, and as quarantine drags on, remaining in high spirits is becoming hard for many.
When her school district entered lockdown, high school student and musician Anna Jian recognized this problem among many families in America. Financial burden coupled with declining morale was a fatal combination, and now with ample time on her hands, she became determined to make an effort to alleviate hardship from these families.
A cellist for over seven years and a pianist for a decade, Jian has been surrounded by music nearly her whole life and gained a love for the art. Realizing that she could offer solace to others through this art, she gathered her musician friends across her school district and planned to use their skills to make a difference in some shape or form. The result was Healing Through Harmony.
Based in Bakersfield, California, Healing Through Harmony is a small organization of middle school and high school musicians that receive donations from their GoFundMe Page and exchange their musical performances through Instagram or Facebook. All of this money is later given to Feeding America, an international, non-profit organization dedicated to feeding families across the country.
Although this is Healing Through Harmony’s ultimate mission, it has indirectly tackled other problems as well. In the midst of quarantine, music acts as a major source of relaxation for both the musicians and listeners. After months of cancelled activities, rehearsals, concerts, and events, the life of a musician in the midst of a pandemic has been mentally taxing, leaving many unmotivated. Fortunately, Healing Through Harmony ignites the drive of these young performers to hone their musical skills and use their talents to help out those less fortunate than themselves. “I think it’s important for us, especially as students, to remember that there is a lot going on in the world,” Jian says, “so we should try to do what we do best and help the community.”
For listeners, the performances offer a safe haven from unending news of political fragmentation and social upheaval. Although the organization consists mostly of classical musicians, it is unafraid to present more modern songs for others to enjoy. Whether the performance is Faure’s Pavane Op. 50 or Grace Vanderwaal’s Hideaway, one is sure to be immersed in the warmth of the music, regardless of the genre.
Within its first few months, Healing Through Harmony has raised over $700 – an exceptional amount for a group of performers. For all of its efforts in putting out quality performances for donors, it certainly has earned this achievement. As of now, it is collaborating with the Little Virtuoso Project, an organization that focuses on raising awareness of music and its neurological impacts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Toward the end of November, both groups are planning on holding special holiday performances to raise more money for their
cause. As the young organization matures, it continues to explore its options in order to reach out to others for contributions.
“To me, music is more than just an extracurricular activity,” Jian reveals. Indeed, a mere extracurricular activity could never have led these musicians to this path of serving others in this tumultuous world. Music has brought them all together to contribute to something greater than themselves. Despite the challenges this pandemic poses, their endeavors, their determination, and their passion touch the hearts of many. In this way, Healing Through Harmony is truly living up to its name.
For more resources regarding Healing Through Harmony, check these links: