Arts and Culture

How music heals during pandemic: The CompanY founder shares advice

Maridol Ranoa-Bismark - Philstar.com
How music heals during pandemic: The CompanY founder shares advice
Before he started writing more than 400 songs to date, the founder and lead singer of The CompanY didn’t have any idea he could string beautiful music and words together.

MANILA, Philippines — Never has stress been a recurring theme of daily life than now, when the Omicron virus has made a lot of us cough, sniffle and experience body aches and pains. 

Quarantine, lockdowns, loss or reduced income are making this year as trying as ever.

Singer-songwriter-music teacher Moy Ortiz copes by turning to jazz instrumentals like Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Earl Klugh and Christ Botti. He prefers the language of instrumentals over vocals because the latter reminds him of his work, as founder of the award-winning vocal group The CompanY. 

He’s not alone. Scientific studies show that music therapy lessens pain, enhances sleep, and promotes relaxation, even spiritual wellness.  Another study, this time on clinical staff working with COVID patients, proves that music can ease stress related to emergency hospital situations.

Even medicine proves that music boosts the immune system, which plays a vital role in keeping us healthy, especially during the pandemic. In fact, knowing that music can help has a self-fulfilling prophecy. Simply turning on the music lifts our moods and makes us feel stronger. 

Inner calm 

That’s because music therapy produces many positive things:  inner calm, “activation of autotherapeutic potential and psychosomatic rebalancing.”  

Psychiatrist and psychologist Dr. Randy Dellosa states that music alters brain chemistry, and evokes emotions and imagination.

Ortiz and doctors know how soothing, calming music softly playing at clinic waiting rooms reduces anxieties associated with medical check-ups. 

“When I’m undergoing a procedure with my dentist or dermatologist, they play soothing and relaxing music to calm both patient and doctor,” noted Ortiz. 

When he feels under the weather, soft rock from the  Carpenters, Bread, and the playlist of the now defunct 96.3 WRock never fails to cheer this music man up. These sounds from a bygone era comfort him, taking him back to a more innocent, less complicated time.  

In this sense, music becomes his travel machine, transporting him to places that bring him joy, peace and rejuvenation.

The same soothing effect occurs in a spa, which plays “new agey” instrumental music which lulls people into a relaxing trance, while they close their weary eyes and give themselves tender loving care.

Spiritual care

Spiritual care, on the other hand, is what Ortiz gets when he hears beautiful, well-performed mass songs.

“It greatly assists in my worship and praise for God. I am most pleased with mass song performances by Jesuit Communications/ Radyo Katipunan. Mass song performances by the Ateneo Chamber Singers, Hangad and/or Bukas Palad are most instrumental in enhancing my prayers at Mass,” Ortiz vouched.

Besides performance quality, music volume spells a big difference between music he enjoys and that which doesn’t relax him. Soft, contemplative music is his runaway choice when he’s on a vacation, meditative mode. At this point, classical and classic jazz work wonders for him.

Not so when he’s working out and driving fast. That’s when he shifts to  loud, upbeat music that urges him to rev it up.

The pandemic is far from over. We don’t know when it will end. Aren’t you glad, music is there to  keep us sane?  

RELATED: The CompanY’s Moy Ortiz shares songwriting secrets


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