No Barriers

Art and Music as Collective Therapy: Speaking with Musicians, Mandy Harvey & Adrian Anantawan - Extended Version

Episode Summary

Part two of our Alchemy Series (sponsored by Wells Fargo and Prudential) - Dave and Erik speak with world-renowned musicians, Mandy Harvey & Adrian Anantawan on the role of the arts and music during this critical time in history. Both artists are skilled at adapting, improvising, and connecting with others through their music. In this episode, they share their own experiences in today's climate and their advice on how to thrive.

Episode Notes

Welcome to part two of our new Alchemy Series, sponsored by Wells Fargo and Prudential, where we speak to experts and thought leaders to attain nuggets of wisdom during COVID-19. The arts have played a critical role in everyone's lives during this trying time. When crisis occurs, art and music take on a new role in our lives. Whether that is escape, relief, or outlets of creativity, the importance of the arts becomes clear. 

Dave and Erik speak to two of our No Barriers Ambassadors, Mandy Harvey and Adrian Anantawan, each talented and resilient musical artists to shed some light on the role of art during this pandemic. 

Born without a right hand, Adrian Anantawan began the violin at nine and has since established himself as a rising star in classical music. Memorable moments include performances at the White House, the Opening Ceremonies of the Athens and Vancouver Olympic Games and the United Nations. He has played for the late Christopher Reeve, Pope John Paul II, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He has also helped establish the Virtual Chamber Music Initiative at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Centre — a cross-collaborative project that develops adaptive musical instruments for use by young persons with disabilities within a chamber music setting. Throughout the year, Adrian continues to perform, speak and teach around the world as an advocate for disability and the arts.

Mandy Harvey is an award-winning singer, songwriter, and motivational speaker who lost her residual hearing at the age of nineteen while a freshman vocal major at Colorado State University. She pursued multiple career options, but returned to music, her true passion. She quickly became an in-demand performer and has released four albums. In 2017 she appeared on America’s Got Talent and earned a Golden Buzzer from Simon Cowell for performing her original song “Try.” In addition to performing and speaking, Mandy has become an ambassador for No Barriers USA, with a mission to encourage, inspire, and assist others to break through their personal barriers. Sensing the Rhythm is her first book.


Learn more about Mandy on her website:

Watch Mandy receive the Golden Buzzer on America's Got Talent  

Visit Adrian's website:

Watch Adrian give a TED Talk:

Below are practical tips from this broadcast that you can apply to your own life today.

1. “Art and Music are the most human things we can do.”- Adrian 

During this time, art and music are a form of resistance to this inhuman virus. Use music and art as a way to fight against the virus, let it be an outlet to express your emotions and to heal. Learn a new art or craft, play the guitar, or sing out loud to your favorite album. Let this be a time of creativity and innovation.

2. “People are understanding the benefit and the power behind having a Rope Team to encourage you and push you forward.” - Mandy

Now more than ever is a time to reach out to your community. We are going through the same painful and challenging situation, use this commonality as a tool to support one another and lift each other up in positivity and hope.

3. “A single note can look insignificant on paper but have the emotional impact and resonance that can change a life.” - Adrian

We all have a role to play during this pandemic whether we are on the frontlines or at home practicing social distancing. Think about how you can help others during this Pandemic. Can you sew masks, pass out food at the food bank, run essential errands for an elderly person? There are so many little activities we can do that can make a world of difference for our family and our community.

4. What music would you pick to listen to during this time?

Adrian, Rotterdam Philharmonic’s “Ode to Joy” (Beethoven)-

Mandy, Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” -

Listen to your favorite song, reflect on it, and think about how it may help you and inspire you during this time of uncertainty and fear.