Merry Christmas everyone! Lessons are now done and dusted for this year and we’re really looking forward to a relaxing holiday after a super tough (to put it politely) 2020! Yep, it’s been an unmitigated disaster- Coronavirus has turned life upside down for families and businesses the world over, leaving virtually no one unaffected. When reflecting on 2020, however, we realised that The Music Place has a lot to be proud of and even more to be thankful for.
The magic of Online Lessons
When the UK first went into lockdown all the way back in March, things felt a little uncertain. But thanks to the magic of zoom and other video-chatting services, we were able to get going with online lessons almost straight away. Our staff and students adjusted brilliantly to the new virtual lessons and all put in an amazing effort to make sure their home set-ups were lesson-ready! Congratulations to everyone who used their new-found spare time to learn a new skill and to those who continued their lessons throughout lockdown. With the introduction of online lessons, we’re now able to offer teaching to students far and wide- it was only a matter of time before we went global!
During the Easter and Summer breaks, we took the opportunity to undergo a little makeover! You might have noticed that we now have a lovely new teaching room, a beautiful mural by Hannah Dagnall and some gorgeous new outdoor seating by Josephine Rose. Continuing the glow-up, we’ve also welcomed two shiny new staff members, Emily and Alice, who not only pretty the place up, but are also quite useful as piano teachers.
With their unwavering enthusiasm, our amazing choir team (Clare, Richard, Lucy, Cathy and Alison) have played an absolute blinder this year. From corona-proofing the choir room to running live zoom sessions, the team kept our choir going strong and we couldn’t be more grateful! The wonderful Vibrant Voices (our choir for those living with dementia) has also gone from strength to strength, with fortnightly video sing-alongs including Halloween, VE Day and Christmas specials.
Although we’re really missing being able to gather together for gigs and concerts, we’re really pleased to still be offering performance opportunities to our students through zoom. Thanks to everyone who has taken part in a zoom concert this year and to all the friends and families who hopped on a call to watch! It’s not every day you get to attend a concert in your slippers, something we strongly believe should outlast the pandemic.
Alongside the live zoom concerts, we’ve put out copious wonderful video performances from our staff and students. During the first UK lockdown, we put out an uplifting video performance every day on social media, in April we released The Music Place Magnificent Megaband’s version of ‘Put a Little Love in Your Heart’ which raised £1300 for Action for Children. In July our choir released their fantastic performance of Take That’s ‘Shine’ followed in September by our student bands’ ‘Movin’ on Up’ video. And we’re not done yet! Keep an eye out on our social media platforms for our daily ‘Musical Advent Calendar’ performances as well as Christmas Specials from our wonderful choir and the Vibrant Voices team.
We’re very proud of all of our students who took music exams in such a weird year! Big thanks to ABRSM, ICMA and Trinity for continuing music exams throughout the pandemic and well done to everyone who passed a grade! Special congratulations to singing teacher, Lois, who has been offered an honorary fellowship by ICMA in recognition of her consistently excellent singing exam results. Well done Lois!
SO, all in all it’s been a pretty productive year! Despite the circumstances, our students and teachers have consistently put their best foot forward in 2020, and we couldn’t be more proud. Thank you so much to everyone who has made this difficult year a little easier, and we hope you have a well-deserved Merry Christmas!