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29.03.20 – Darrell Priestley

This is not a message I ever imagined writing, even at the beginning of March, but it turns out a lot can happen in a few weeks. Really! Right now, we are all reeling from the massive changes to our lives. But mercifully, the changes will be temporary, in a while we’ll be allowed out again, and provided we all behave ourselves and do the right things, it should be ok. In the meantime, we can only make the best of it, picnic in the front room, and probably learn some useful new things, such as resilience!

As of 23rd March, the Northern Music Academy has sadly had to close it’s doors to our beloved musical family for the first time in over 31 years, except for holidays – ( holidays! what are they?). It’s unprecedented, and quite bewildering, but step 1) of the Reslience Handbook says ”always make an opportunity out of any unexpected situation”, so that’s ok.

For the next few weeks, or however long it may be, we want to keep you on track with your music. Playing or singing music regularly will help us all keep in a good mental place, stay motivated and focused, have fun, and making smooth progress. Now doesn’t that sound like an opportunity to improve? I rather think so. Perhaps there will even be a special prize for most progress made at the end of it; just think, you could be in the running! And, if so, that would make you more of a winner than anyone in the 2020 Olympics – Awesome!

Using the internet, we intend to stay in touch, hear you play and watch you make progress, using live conferencing software. Wow! We just have to learn how to use it first. You won’t need to be an expert, (but if you are you can probably show me how to do it!) and of course the technology will need a little bit of learning, but it’s suddenly looking like we will have the time to do so, and even if we are a little slow at the start I have the feeling that soon we will all become rather good at it.

All this means quite a bit of organising for us at first, but as soon as each teacher grapples with the conferencing software and gets their head around the lesson booking arrangements, they should be in touch with you to suggest possible options for you. Whatever happens, don’t panic, you can always email us if you get stuck; Eileen or I will get back to you as soon we can, hopefully within 24 hours.

FInally, there have been whispers of Eileen opening up her famed ‘challenges’ to the students, fiendish competitions where I am usually out of my depth, and where other people inexplicably have an edge on me, even the tots. I don’t know how she picks them, but I’m getting better at losing – well, I’ve had a lot of practice by now!

Stay safe everyone, and see you soon online.

Best wishes Darrell