b'Feeding the soulAs music halls and airports emptied, musicians and writers found other ways to connect with audiences, families, and their inner selves.Kerri Ryan, violist Ms. Ryan quickly realized just how big that change was. Pre-pandemic, she said, she could practice For a musician withand practice and rehearse with the orchestra, but the Philadelphia Or- that was always the lead-up to the actual perfor-chestra, living throughmance. For a musician, she said, the final thing is a pandemic showedwhen we go out and share it with the audience. So her just how much shewhen the audience wasnt there, it was hard to feel loves her work. that connection. Kerri Ryan, who is aIn their daily lives, the musicians had somethingviolist in the orchestra,in common with students and their families in said she learned howPhiladelphia and beyond. As she told us in animportant it is to setinterview, We are doing a lot more online work, small goals for her- just like you are. The orchestra also started to record music that was released online.Photo by Jessica Griffin self and resist getting overwhelmed by big goals. Like the pandemicMs. Ryan also spent time online reconnecting with itself, if you think about the big picture it can beold friends. She said the pandemic seemed to overwhelming, she said.bring with it an emphasis on people.A small goal for Ms. Ryan was learning to feelI feel fortunate that Ive been able to connect with comfortable performing without a large audience.people Ive lost touch with over the years, she Its been a really unusual experience, she said.said. Before COVID, I was more focused on work In mid-March [2020], we had a concert and foundand playing and job responsibilities.out right before that we werent going to be able toDuring the pandemic, she learned to be more have an audience. Loss of the audience changedflexibleto accept things for the way they aremy experience. and make the most of it.41'