Coronavirus quarantine: 8 activities to keep you entertained in self-isolation

24 March 2020, 09:15

Things to keep you entertained while you’re self-isolating
Things to keep you entertained while you’re self-isolating. Picture: Getty / Classic FM / Twitter

By Rosie Pentreath

Whether you’re working from home, or staying in with the kids following the latest coronavirus advice, we have the perfect pastimes to make it as enjoyable as possible given the circumstances.

Coronavirus is understandably starting to take its toll. And with many of us around the world being advised to continue self-isolating for the time being, we’re having to find increasingly creative ways to keep ourselves amused within the four walls of our homes.

The spread of COVID-19 has changed the lives of so many so quickly, but amid the struggles and the darkness, there are stories of solidarity and togetherness emerging.

Click here for the latest coronavirus advice from the NHS >

While musicians are playing to others from their balconies, singers are forming stay-at-home choirs together, and performers around the world are offering live-streamed concerts to classical music fans.

We hope to add some further light and support with our suggestions below...

  1. Learn a new musical instrument

    Always dreamed of shredding like John Williams (that’s the guitarist, not the film composer) but never quite had the time? Learn the classical guitar, or another musical instrument of your choice, through self-teaching, listening and repeating, and online tutorials such as Nicola Benedetti’s wonderful ‘With Nicky’ series for the violin.

  2. Watch a live-streamed classical concert

    Many orchestras, opera companies and performers are offering the chance for you to watch a world-class concert, opera or ballet live online – and in many cases for free – as governments around the world are advising against gatherings to curb the spread of coronavirus; something that has forced concert halls to close temporarily.

  3. Listen to the world’s first true crime classical music podcast

    Listen to Classic FM’s award-winning and addictive crime podcast, Case Notes, and find out what *really* happened when Mozart wrote his requiem and died before finishing it, why Haydn’s skull was found to be missing, and what goes into investigating the disappearance of a valuable musical instrument.

    Click here to listen.

    Case Notes, Classic FM’s award-winning true crime podcast
    Case Notes, Classic FM’s award-winning true crime podcast. Picture: Classic FM
  4. Listen to other classical music podcasts

    And if that’s not quite your speed, you could give these other fantastic classical music podcasts a go. We have a list of the ones we love, including That Classical Podcast and Aria Code, to help you choose!

  5. Read a book about your favourite composer, performer or conductor

    Cast your mind back to January 2020 when the major news of the day wasn’t coronavirus, but the celebration of the wonderful composer that is Ludwig van Beethoven

    Why not pop the kettle on, turn the news down, put your mobile aside, and take a moment to read our very own John Suchet’s wonderful book celebrating Beethoven’s life and brilliant music – Beethoven: The Man Revealed.

    Ah, coupled with that ‘Moonlight’ Sonata opening, it’s just what we needed…

  6. Join a virtual choir

    Choirs, like the Stay At Home Choir and Gareth Malone’s Great British Home Chorus, are forming all over the world, with music-lovers everywhere practising and performing together via online video chat.

  7. Make a dedication to a loved one on the radio

    Listen to the World’s Greatest Music on Classic FM, and make a dedication to your mother on Mother’s Day, or request your – or a loved one’s – favourite classical music on a weekday afternoon.

    It could make someone’s day 📻❤️.

  8. None of those grabbing you? This might.

    Or, if none of that quite cuts it, maybe you could line up thousands of dominos around the house, and plonk various cats in key “touch points”, and watch what happens next. Like this guy did 👇

    You’re going to want to watch until the end (and make some notes!).