Music + Arts

And the band (and everyone else) played on.

Over the last few months, I have seen peripatetic staff in other schools being furloughed, with departments and schools fearful that Zoom or Teams were not going to be able to provide a medium for delivering instrumental one-to-one lessons adequately. However, Copthill took the brave decision to plough on and do its very best to give our students the usual high quality lessons that they deserve. I knew that we were in good company and had made the right decision after discovering that The Royal Academy of Music has also given tuition through this medium during these difficult weeks. Of course, without the tenacity of our wonderful peripatetic staff and the commitment of you, our parents, these lessons would not have been the resounding success that they have been. So, I would like to say a very big thank you to all, for helping our Music department to flourish throughout this period. I know from the many emails that I read how important these lessons have been to our children and parents in recent weeks. I am also informed of the excellent progress that most of the children have made - often having found more time to practise during lockdown and discovering so much more about their instrument. Although plans change daily, I am hopeful that lessons may be able to take place in school again from September, but this will be clarified by school nearer the time. I have missed our choirs and orchestras hugely this term and unfortunately, as it stands, we may not get to rehearse in our usual way for a while. With this in mind, it is important to remember all the past successes that we have enjoyed and to look forward to a time when we can get together again - it will come! In the meantime we can find other ways of preparing, perhaps by learning choir and/or orchestra repertoire individually in readiness for playing or singing with our friends again. One of the things I have enjoyed about remote teaching is finding new and creative ways to deliver what is mostly a very practical subject. Sometimes it has been extremely frustrating, but I hope that, by and large, your children have enjoyed their sequences of lessons, covering everything from musical theatre and film music to the great composers. It has been most entertaining to watch and listen to videos that children have sent of their practical work, as well as witnessing the growth of their aural skills through a myriad of activities. Maybe they have discovered they would like to be a film composer, or a theatre critic, or delve into more of the work of Beethoven? It has certainly given me the opportunity to ask the children to listen to a broader range of styles and to take time to really consider their thoughts about the music. Something that can often be hard to achieve in the hurly-burly of our normal, busy school life. This has certainly not been the sort of review that I anticipated writing; however, I am a great believer of silver linings around dark clouds. Perhaps it will only be in time that we will realise what our children have learnt in these months and not what they have missed. It may well be that what they have learnt was more important. With best wishes for the summer.

Mrs McAlindon