On January 23rd we learned of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In weeks to follow, we would hear about the rising cases: first China, then Iran, then Italy. And now, the world. 


A month ago we could not imagine we would be where we are today. For many of us, life as we knew it has become unrecognizable. When our circumstances are beyond our control it is difficult to remain grounded and have hope. In times of difficulty, we often are so busy looking after others, we forget to take care of our own inner emotions. It may be easier to turn on the TV or scroll through social media - tuning out - than to stop and examine our emotions. It may be our only way to cope.

Project Light is a musical journey created with the purpose to help us find an alternative way to be aware and to find connection in isolation. A lighthouse that can guide you home in this time of uncertainty.  Every song is crafted specifically for us who are living through this pandemic.  In this playlist there are many emotions, from the past, in the present, and for the future. 


Find a quiet space, lie down and listen intently. In the music there will be something that calls to you, something that moves you and gives you the strength to move forward.


The virus threw the world into panic and fear.

Music can connect us, reaching through space and time, to be beside us, resonating with us, and connecting/bonding us.

Who: Anyone who needs to find connection and light.

When/Where:  A comfortable environment where you feel safe and can listen without being disturbed. At home on the couch, as you lie down to rest or when you wake up, even when going for a stroll.


How to listen: In the playlist, every track is an integral part of the musical journey. If listening for the first time, it is recommended to listen in the order of the playlist. It is important you do not stop listening mid-way through the track. Each track is designed to take you into the music and also to take you out.  There will be some tracks that resonate with you more and some that will not. For the tracks that do not resonate with you, take time to listen through the discomfort -- “what comes after the discomfort?”, for the tracks that resonate with you more, ask yourself, “how does it make me feel?”.


Use: Headphones, earphones, or a good speaker

Listening instructions


Total listening time: 54:04 

For vulnerable listeners,

Listening should take place with a trained music therapist for emotional support, and the following procedure should be used to create a safe personalized program.

Tracks 1-4 are designed to reflect the atmosphere and of emotional tension and may cause distress if listened to carelessly. It is recommended that a support system be available to prevent re-traumatization. 


You may want to:


  • Discuss your intent and immediate emotional needs with your therapist

  • Take time to listen to the beginning 30 second excerpt of each: tracks 1, 2, 3, and 4.  Share with the therapist how each track resonates with your current emotional tension

  • Select the one track that is most resonant with your tension, and that is in line with your intent

  • Pair that track with tracks 5-8 to make your personalized program like so: 1,5,6,7,8 or 3,5,6,7,8

  • Listen to your personalized program with eyes open or closed

  • Once the listening begins, stop listening immediately if any track becomes too strong

Project Light

Also avaliable on soundcloud

  • SoundCloud


Please note that some of the recordings you hear may bring up strong emotions. While this is a playlist designed to provide a musical experience, it is not a supplement for therapy. Please seek proper assistance if you require therapy services. If listening negatively impacts your emotional well-being please reach out and seek support from a licensed professional or contact us by email to speak with someone from the team. We are also able to refer you to other resources if necessary.

About this project


Project Resonance began with the thought, “What can we do for the people during the outbreak?” when Wuhan suddenly went into lockdown, and the virus enveloped China.

At that time, little did we know that it would soon sweep the globe.


After the playlist was released in China, we received a lot of feedback on how the playlist was able to help people process this difficult time. We hope by re-releasing this project internationally that those who listen can be reminded that there is light ahead, and even though the night is darkest before daybreak, in music you are not alone.

How did the project originally form?

Tempo Rubato collaborated with music therapists from the United Kingdom, United States, Japan, and New Zealand, with at least one Nordoff-Robbins (NR) therapist/trainee in every group. ​

As a NR based practice, we wanted to focus on what NR could do in a time like this. Nordoff-Robbins (NR) music therapy is known for its attention to musical detail and its ability to create shared musical experiences through live improvisation. We wanted our project to be a musical experience that can establish a meaningful connection, in which people can feel supported.


In order to create a playlist that the listeners could resonate with, we needed to provide the music therapists with accurate emotional material for them to respond authentically and with precision. Our team scoured and read hundreds of news articles, Weibo Wuhan diaries, vlogs on Bilibili and Youtube. We ended up with 8 main themes represented by the people’s writing. Each of the collaborators then received a letter/diary that could emotionally stimulate their respective themes and were asked to respond and improvise to the material as if in session.


The result was this playlist - an emotional musical journey of the outbreak.

"We believe emotion in music is a universal language that transcends all differences - we all share the same humanity."


Nordoff-Robbins UK (United Kingdom)
Libby Johns Music Therapy (New Zealand)
Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre (New Zealand)
Kana Okazaki, Kobe University (Japan)
New York University Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy (USA)
Nazareth College (USA)

Kyoto MTQ Group (Japan)


MT Abroad (远歌行) is made up of music therapists from United States and China. Their team is based in California, Beijing and Shanghai, providing relevant opportunities on music therapy study abroad and first-hand information about music therapy.