Coping with COVID-19

This has been a stressful and challenging time for everyone. In these unprecedented times of self-isolation and physical distancing, social media and technological advances allow us to stay connected with those who don’t live with us and continue where we left off.

Making Music Together

One of the things that we can share through the internet is music. As such, here is one of the most inspiring efforts we’ve seen this week–a virtual performance of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “What the World Needs Now Is Love” by students from Boston Conservatory at Berklee and Berklee College of Music.

Shelbie Rassler, a senior composition major at Boston Conservatory, shared a post on Facebook enticing others to take a video of themselves singing, dancing or playing an instrument to some part of the song or the whole song. Compiling these videos together made a virtual performance of the whole song!


– Shelbie Rassler

Click on this link Love Sweet Love to access the full article

For Work or For Fun: Music Production

Another way of making music together is through a “multiplayer music” app called Endless. It is aimed at users who are familiar with the basics of music production and synthesis while remaining somewhat accessible to those who aren’t. Though it probably won’t become a staple of bedroom producers, it could be a fun way to pass the time while cooped up at home.

Here is a video of how to jam with friends online:

For full access to the article, click on this link: Endless

Virtual Concerts

But aren’t all concerts postponed or cancelled because of the pandemic? Not quite.

URGNT LIVE is an ad hoc crowd-funded livestream series of 19 concerts in empty venues created in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The goal is:

  • To unify the arts industry in Toronto (musicians, presenters, technicians, organizers) in a safe and creative way
  • To raise money to pay a nominal fee to all involved parties to help with lost gigs/wages as a result of the quarantine
  • To document this bizarre period in history in our city
  • To make compelling content available to audiences when we need it most

For more information, visit their Facebook page: URGNTmusic

BPAC at Home

The Burlington Performing Arts Center created BPAC at Home to bring performances, in video and audio forms, as well as interactive education and enrichment, directly to you. Find programming, downloads and activities in their website at:

Share your music or any music-related post on social media and feel free to tag us. We want to hear from you!

@LIVELabMIMM/ @live.lab @musicandthemind

Aside from music, the Science field is also providing us with support through these tough times.

McMaster Science Cares

Several figures in the McMaster Science faculty have expressed their concerns for students and reassured us that we will get through this pandemic.

Here are some messages from different figures in the Science faculty:

“Some days will be good, others will be hard. Remember to be kind and have compassion both for yourself and for others. Don’t hesitate to reach out and connect with your professors and your peers. We are getting through this together”

– Miranda Schmidt, Department of Physics & Astronomy

Students in McMaster’s Faculty of Science are greatly missed by all our faculty members and staff. Look for more #MacSciCares messages of reassurance and hope in the days ahead.

Research Continues

Do you miss participating in research studies? Due to the pandemic, research involving human participants is currently discontinued. However, several labs are still running, including The Music Lab, which allows you to participate in their studies online!

The Music Lab is based in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. They conduct basic cognitive science experiments with many different populations and with people who live all over the world, including in small-scale societies. They also work on large corpus studies of ethnographies and field recordings from the Natural History of Song project.

If you wish to participate and learn more about their research, here is the link to their website The Music Lab

Participate in a Survey

To all McMaster Undergraduate Students: 

We invite you to participate in a research study on student wellness and how we can better inform the development of pro-active student support programs

We recognize that the COVID-19 precautionary measures implemented in the middle of March resulted in many disruptions that could impact student wellness. 

We invite you to anonymously complete a survey designed to collect information about the extra-curricular activities you have been engaging in and your overall wellness. It will take approximately 20 minutes and is open until the end of April. 

As a thank-you, at the end of the Survey you can enter a draw for one of ten prizes of $50 each. This study has been reviewed by and received ethics clearance by the McMaster University Research Ethics Board.

Rachael Finnerty, Ph.D. Student, Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour

Dr. Laurel Trainor, Professor, Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, Director of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind and the LIVELab

Susan Marsh-Rollo, Research Coordinator, Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour

The Student Wellness Survey is now closed. Thank you for participating!

Documentary on Rhythm

Click on the link below to read a documentary from CBC that highlights Neuroscience research on rhythm, including Rythm Therapy and how language affects how we interpret rhythm:

** Stay tuned for more MIMM and LIVELab online studies – coming soon! **

On a final note, remember that through music, science, or any other platforms, others are there to support you.