Home Forums Pianobook Lockdown – HOW ARE YOU DOING?

  • This topic has 25 replies, 18 voices, and was last updated 2 years ago by christianhenson.
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    Yesterday I made a video about turning a corner in my own head here:

    I would love to hear how people are doing, how’s the anxiety, the distressing loss of control, of liberty, the constant distraction of armageddon pedalled to us via the media / social media? Or are you relishing this slower, quieter, more focussed time?

    Please share your thoughts below, and if any of you are struggling I’ve got notifications on for this thread so am a shoulder if one is needed…

    C. x

    Richard Ferrando

    Just watched the video and honestly it helped. The anxiety’s been bad since the whole thing started but this week it was crippling. I think the full weight of the situation finally hit me. But today I got good news that helped ease some of my worries, and tomorrow I have a phone appointment with my mind doctor, who has a knack for shaking the nonsense out of me (she’s an Existential Realist), so I’m hoping that I, too, am turning a corner and might finally be able to get things accomplished. Fingers crossed.

    Cheers, sir. And thank you.

    Carl Wheeler

    Hi Christian/All

    For me the uncertainty of everything is causing lots of anxiety, I have a newborn son which further adds to my worry. I’m naturally a bit of a hermit/unsociable, but even for me staying locked up in doors has been a challenge to my mental health.

    I’m fortunate enough to be able to work from home and I’ve set up my work computer on my music desk. Which means I can have a quick tinker on my breaks from work, which certainly helps with my sanity.

    I’m trying to treat this time as an opportunity to develop my skills and this makes Christians education content even more valuable.

    So please keep them coming!

    My best wishes to you all!

    Keith Theodosiou

    The only real thing I think about is, is it bigger than they are letting on. How long is this lockdown really going to go on for.
    We do have to try and stay calm and be level headed about this all.
    I know it will be a lot harder for people with families though.

    Humans have been through a lot of hard times throughout history but they always pull through.
    I just hope when it’s all over, we don’t revert to how we where.
    This should lift the human spirit to a higher level.

    Marco Iannello

    Left a comment on your video, Christian, deliberately not mentioning the uncertainty of how long this lockdown will last. I am just living the moment, as I always do, but I am certain we will be out of it, at some point


    Hi Carl, interesting that I was saying to a friend that this feels very familiar to when you have your first kid. You’re in this terrifying hinterland with no apparent end. Only when you have your second child do you look back and go “aw that wasn’t so bad” and actually enjoy that hellish first few weeks with a newborn all over again.

    To exhaust this analogy I feel that the economic urge to return to work will eventually overwhelm this current societal need to comply to social distancing. It is not yet one day after posting my video that the doom mongers at the Guardian report this:


    Where I think it was totally expected. Someone very helpfully pointed out to me how to predict an outcome based on one witnessed elsewhere but where the context is ENTIRELY different is about as unscientific as you can get. Will it be better here, worse here, who knows, but will surely not be the same as somewhere else where the circumstance is non-comparable. The only thing you can guarantee by comparing a pair of non comparable situations is that the outcome will certainly be different. You can use one as a marker of the other, better or worse, similar or very different. That is it.

    I predict that these types of articles will turn from a trickle to a stream at which point commerce and industry will put unbearable pressure on governments to relax the current measures, one country will fall, then another. I imagine we’ll see a Swedish model here where we all get back to work whilst the aged are instructed to stay indoors. Then later in the year we’ll have a second outbreak, a second lockdown but one which will again will be unlike the first as the context and understanding will be different. Kind of like one’s second child. Next time round, we’ll be better prepared and possibly even look forward to doing the things we didn’t get to do the first time.

    I could balance this post with the misery I think we’re all going to witness (hopefully from afar) over the next few weeks but wish to offer up the yang to the perpetual yin that we’re being force fed.

    Wow, this forum is a good way of wasting time editing a massive mix tutorial with Jake Jackson…. gonna have to ration my exposure to it!!


    Darren Prescott

    Interesting topic. I think the cases of anxiety and low mood/depression will undoubtedly increase during this dreadful period. So much bad news and it seems there is literally no-where to escape to, even if we could escape.

    It is important to be wise about how much of this news one exposures oneself to. It’s very easy to be gripped by bad news since humans seem to find this stuff addictive (something to do with our ancient past when knowing local bad events would help our chances of survival within the tribe?). So be conscious of absorbing too much. It’s a balancing act. I’m not advocating a complete media blackout, but a short daily update and no more will surely keep the anxiety monster in its cage.

    (The BBC do very good summaries on their website, so it makes it easy to keep in the loop without drowning in the fear and dread of it all.)

    I’m self-isolating in order to protect my elderly mother who has underlying health problems. I work in a hospital so feel like I might be more likely to catch the virus than most. I’ve had to take unpaid leave to in order to remain at home.

    I’ve decided to turn this bad situation into a positive by composing more. I suffer with anxiety and depression so it helps me take my mind off anything bad.

    I also think it’s so important to stay in touch with your loved ones through any/all means available. I try to FaceTime with my niece and nephew most days.

    Take care everyone and try to keep positive.

    Kind regards,

    Joshua Meltzer

    One book that has been extremely helpful throughout the years during trying times in my life is “When Things Fall Apart”, by Pema Chodron. For those not familiar, Pema is Buddhist nun and also a westerner so she is able to take some of those eastern ideas and make them very tangible to those not well versed in those philosophies.I’m not one to recommend books often but this one I have done so many times. It deals with the uncertainty and sense of groundless-ness we all feel during hard situations and how to accept and embrace those rocky feelings more openly. Like some of you I have struggled with some anxiety. I think many creative and sensitive people do as we feel too much at times! Anyways…. Best to all of you from Lockdown, USA. I’ve been lucky to get out in to nature and hike a lot, which helps! Take good care, Josh

    Richard Ferrando

    I’ve found this helpful, too. The Reddit thread r/coronavirus is moderated by scientists and doctors, and you can filter it to just display “Good News.”



    The sense of claustrophobia can be a bit overwhelming at times, but I try to remind myself that we’re lucky to have a home and space in the garden with birdsong and (most importantly when you have a 4 year old) a swing.

    The lockdown comes at a strange time for me personally. A lot of changes happening emotionally and professionally. I think if we weren’t on lockdown I might be forcing a proactiveness – trying to develop/fix/create things as quick as possible. Whereas the lockdown has forced these changes to happen slowly and naturally. While frustrating for someone whose mind races at a fair old clip, as the weeks go by I appreciate the slower pace more.

    I’m reading less, but reading better. Working less (due to home schooling), but working better.

    I have also been reframing a lot of what is going on as a rehearsal for the future. Or maybe not a rehearsal, but a forced chance to experience what sustained emergency feels like and how it affects everything from mortgages to medicine to toilet rolls. I really don’t mean this as pessimistically as it will probably sound, but the last year has shown that we live very precariously. Floods, fires, viruses. What I’m getting at is that rather than scream at the horror, I’m trying to reflect and learn from it.

    I’m not sure if I’ll actually end up experimenting with domestic wind-power or keeping bees, but thinking about it has been keeping my mind from wandering down darker alleys.

    Keith Theodosiou

    What I have noticed more than anything during this hard time is the resolve of the Human spirit.
    Just take a look at Twitter for instance.
    World famous actors and musicians posting their little videos of fun and beautiful musical performances, the ordinary people posting their little gems of fun from their homes. It is truly inspiring.
    I have seen some home videos that are truly amazing considering this situation.
    We will overcome!
    We are all as one!
    Stay safe and stay calm and enjoy your precious time with you loved ones 🙂


    The lockdown / quarantine can be and has been a little mind-numbing, but also has given me opportunities to do things that were otherwise difficult to do outside of this time.

    Especially in regards to pianobook I’ve been able to finish 3 instruments for submission and am now working on a 4th which has been really enjoyable.

    It will be interesting to see how long this lasts, but I think worrying is different from being very cautious. I take good care of myself and feel obligated to fulfill my civic duty of thoughtfulness and precaution during this time, but I waste no time worrying while I coop up at home because my creativity and time is at stake.

    Maximilian Kisbiro

    The mirrorman commands us to eat healthy and do sports. He can only be seen through a portal in the shiny part of our cave. This portal is guarded by some invisible repelling force.. enabling him to rule over us with terrifying warpaint, big big eyes which can suck out your soul and his scepter made from red material not known to man and yellow charms made of unkown weavings. He orders us to find this scepter in our own dimension, soak it in water and remove all the paintings from the walls of our cave after enchanting the holy water with deadly yellow poisons…

    TBH I am quite displeased. The tech-company I am working for got rid of all students due to financiel problems and the actual crisis. 3 Months ago I put nearly all my savings in my flat and now m income is gone too. My halfly-finished master-thesis likewise. So my financial stability is in enormous danger and finidng a new job isn´t that easy aswell at this time. And when all this is over, I also have to start over with a new master-thesis. Actually im devasted becuase of this. Sorry to put my weight on your shoulders. And at this point I am not really able to take a look at the bigger picture, which is also discussed here, sorry. Thanks for the redditpost @Richard Fernando!

    But I am working on a concept-LP with a local singer for 1 years now and I am about to wrap up the first half. There is a lot of cross-referencing between all of the tracks and at the point, where I currently am, I want to create some new themes incooperating most of the used motifs so far and i pushed this work in front of me for some months now. Yesterday I analyzed the first 3 songs regarding harmonical, melodical and rhythmic motifs and ma de a whole harmonic analysis for these songs to extract the patterns and crate a more complex pattern and put different pieces from different songs into it. It is quite hard for this part to not sound like shit^^ I know, that I am asking a lot of this part but I want to wrap it all up to this point as elegant as possible. And I also want to do this with the second half of the LP so i have two major themes for a final song, which could be arranged in the sonata form. Would be a nice twist for some technical death… I hope^^


    Generally, I’m not one to complain or emote about negative times in my life, but this seemed like an appropriate place/time to vent a little bit…so please forgive my long post.

    Like many freelancers, my work has been massively disrupted/discontinued as a result of the lockdown. I make my living primarily from playing my French horn in orchestras, recording sessions, and teaching. I went from working constantly to nothing, and it all happened virtually overnight. Fortunately, I was able to move my horn studio to online lessons, which seem to be going well. My girlfriend plays horn on a national broadway tour, and her shows have been cancelled until late May… but who really knows. Although it’s great having her home, it’s a shame that she is home under these circumstances. Financially, we should be fine and able to ride this out, but I fear for my friends and colleagues who this was financially devastating for. Unemployment benefits have been extended to gig economy and self-employed individuals, but they are overwhelmed here and they are running behind by at least a week.

    On a positive note, I read an article today that suggested that here in Ohio, we will reach peak infections this week without overwhelming the state’s hospital resources. I feel incredibly thankful for the decisive and early actions taken by our governor, which has been in stark contrast this country’s Great Orange Clown. The lack of a concert schedule has also freed up plenty of time for composing as well as sampling the various instruments and noise-makers that I have around the apartment. I submitted my first sample to pianobook yesterday, and plan on doing several more.

    I hope everyone is doing their best to stay positive and healthy.


    My way of staying positive is catching these:


    I have an alarm that goes off, I drag myself out of bed, and I drag myself up a hill for fear of missing the thing I need to catch at the time I need to catch it at. I then return and there are half a dozen fixed things I need to do, copy SD card, curate audio, import footage, speed up and grade, create top and tail cards, export, upload.

    …and thats it, before the rest of the house wakes up I have made something.

    Meaningless, yes, but its something that wasn’t there when I dragged myself out of bed, and it makes me feel good. If nothing else goes well today I have that to look at and reflect upon.

    I think we will see the media-tide make a huge turn over the next 10 days. It controls the narrative not only in our own heads, but those of our leaders. A friend of mine has covid and we thought she was going to die, because that is what the media made us think was likely. She was suffering hugely at home and the doctors refused to take her into hospital. This is, on reflection, because they knew she wasn’t going to die. Just like we know it is highly unlikely we’re going to die if we catch flu. Possible yes, likely, no.

    It is the uncertainty that is crippling us with fear, so my personal mission is to seek certainty even if all that we can be certain of is that we will be uncertain.

    Germany is seeing a reduction in cases, so is Spain, Japan has come off “National Emergency”, China had no deaths from covid yesterday (if you can trust what they say). The emergency nightingale hospital in London is not being used and London hospitals have not yet reached capacity.

    Those are the positives I’m leaning on with the certainty that we’ll become more certain about things soon and that we’ll all probably regret not learning German, reading that book, nor indeed starting that album during this weirdly wonderful but definitely uncertain time.

    Thats my waffle for the day.

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