I think by now we’re all too familiar with the phrase “comfort food”. Different for everyone, it ranges from chicken and dumplings to (here’s my favorite) apple dumpling with vanilla ice cream. It’s that food that makes you feel good. Either nostalgic for the past or relieving the stress of the current day. We’ve all been there.
Lately I’ve been dealing with stress of family members. There are several problems and I’m dealing with everything as best as I can. But when it comes to practicing my cello, I find that I’m having a very difficult time focusing. In fact, it’s an effort to work on the music that’s required: orchestra and quartet. And believe me, I do need to work on this music. That Brahms passage from the Tragic Overture is still haunting me.
So what I’ve been doing is turning to “comfort music”. It’s music that is not stressful. Does not require fast passages. There are no moment in the music where 4 measures before the “hard stuff” I start thinking, “uh oh, it’s coming up…it’s coming up”. It’s music that is relaxing, non-stressful, and brings me to a better place. Everyone needs some music like this. It may be something as familiar as “Amazing Grace”
Or it may be something you aren’t (yet) familiar with, but is very soothing. Here’s “Meditation” by Frank Bridge
I hope you try to find your own “comfort music” when you’re feeling overwhelmed or under pressure. It’s a great… (what else?) comfort.