Musicians for Troubling Times
#PandemicSurvivalPlans, Resources, and Hilarity

During social distancing, musicians and arts organizations are coming up with ways to continue to reach our audiences and our students. We also always resort to some silly games. Here are a few that my colleagues and I are engaging in.

How are you adults dealing with the lockdown? Here are some of our best “composer new wines and liquors”: (Inspired by Christian Hoskins, Gramophone Magazine reviewer)

Composer Drinks

And for the Teetotalers, Coffee and Tea drinkers among us:

Mozart Merlot

Tchaikovsky chai

Wagner Whisky

Puccini Prosecco

Mahler Mimosa

Tchaikovsky Tchaikoffee

Rameau Rum




Berlioz Beaujolais

Bruckner Breve

Beethoven Brandy

Monteverdi Moccha

Mendelssohn Midori

Massenet Macchiato

Verdi Vodka

Donizetti Darjeeling

Tartini Martini

Mahler Mint



Chopin Champagne

Orlov Oolong

Messaien Marijuana

Kabalevsky Chamomile

Copland Campari

Gesualdo Ginger

Satie Sambuca

Edward Elgar Earl Grey

Verdi Vino

Haydn Hibiscus

Corelli Cappuccino

Ravel Rosé


Rossini Martini Rossi

Lully Latte

Cherubini Cabernet


Chabrier Chardonnay


Webern Vermouth


Modest Mussorgsky Moscow Mule


Sadly, some of our favorite composers are affected by the Coronavirus too. Thanks to Margot a @BloodyMargot and her 10-year-old son who drew our attention to DryCoughsky, who wrote the famous Variations on a RoCoCough Theme, we heard about several others. Beware these are Punny!





Aaron Coughland

Samuel Barfer

RimskyCourseHeCoughs caught it from RimskyCauseHeCoughs and RimskyCoarserCough.
And there are other dreaded ones to avoid like Claude TBussy. Don’t forget to gargle with Franz Liszterine especially if you’re Phlemmy Bernstein or any Flemish Composer.

Lin Manuel WashYaHanda for 20 seconds and DonTouchThe Handel. Or you’re likely to KatchitTurian and feel very Marin Malaise. You might even end up with a Jean-Xavier Lefèevre.

Also remember to GinaSterila with Sanit-Saens.

Musicians are used to isolation. The good news is you can keep up the practice! Study those difficult pieces you haven’t had the time to learn. Take lessons on FaceTime or Skype or GoogleDuo. Prepare a program to broadcast to family and friends. Your concert outfits, tails, and tuxes will still look wonderful on FaceTime. Several artists are performing private concerts online from their homes while #socialdistancing including Igor Levit (@igorpianist) who is offering Social Media House Concerts 7pm nightly, and Alisa Weilerstein (@AWeilerstein). Steven Isserlis is loading calming music (@StevenIsserlis), no tux, heels, or tickets required.

Outstanding programming is always available on, which does charge a yearly subscription fee. They have an amazing array of concerts, ballet, opera, lectures, documentaries, master classes, and historic programs. My husband and I have been hooked for years.

The Unipiper staged a whimsical faux COVID-19
disinfection in Portland, Oregon on March 8
© The Unipiper via Storyful also offers wonderful broadcasts— operas from The Royal Opera House, The Bolshoi, festival favorites, and Shakespeare and some of their content is free of charge. The Toronto Site Ludwig van Toronto, another terrific site, is beginning to list free streamed performances, “virtual concerts you absolutely need to see this week.”

Naxos Music Library is the most comprehensive online classical music library, and they literally have every piece of music you can think of available on their site. Their twitter account tweets about all things classical music. This is a subscription service.

And the Vienna State Opera is closed but is also continuing to play daily online.

If Broadway is your bag on the Playbill link you can watch 15 favorite shows.

Open Culture offers the best cultural and educational online media for free. Listen to the best live classical music performances for free on their The World Concert Hall. Their site also has music and performing arts courses to take online.

If you’ve always wanted to take an Ivy League Course, here are 450 you can take for free in several subjects, including 20 Art and Design courses, such as Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and the ninetieth century orchestra, 18th century Opera: Handel and Mozart, Stravinsky Rite of Spring: Modernism, Ballet and Riots; Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique and Program Music in the 19th Century.

Leonard Bernstein’s Masterful Lectures on Music.

And there are plenty of online resources for kids too!

Let’s Play Music

Classic FM

Classics for Kids

Virtual Field Trips for Kids

Free Coloring Books from 113 Museums

Museum Images online

Musicians and students are taking to their balconies to sing, and play for their neighbors. A great way to battle isolation and bring some music and hope to your communities.

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