nma is pleased to be offering a mix of in person and online lessons from our Ropergate base once more.
You can usually rotate from in person to online lessons whenever you need to, subject to giving us notice, and with the exception of class lessons you can normally keep the same time when doing so.
Lessons continue online for singing and woodwind instruments, and as an option for anyone else who prefers to study remotely, now or indeed at any time.
Feeling a little like Robinson Crusoe here, having been all around the island and worked out who those footsteps belong to. That’s the effect on again, off again lock down is having, with so little change of environment we might as well be stuck on a deserted island.
But there are good points. Whether playing or listening, music is feeling better than ever, and I’m starting to get the itch for new instruments. At least it’s something to think about.
Outside of music, we are avidly waiting for weather warm enough to begin seed sowing, and to see if we can improve on last year’s crop, when we grew not a lot of but nevertheless very tasty food. When you pick your produce and eat it soon afterwards, even just a lettuce, the taste is beyond compare.
Having a hobby is really helpful, and a lot of you seem to be turning to jigsaw puzzles to ‘get away’ and de-stress. My thing is making the best possible coffee at home, and I have been making significant progress in this area. I find two such cups a day is a sensible limit.
What are you doing to help you get by? Whatever it is, I hope you are having fun. Congratulations to the many students who have confounded any difficulties of remote lessons to make really outstanding progress. It is a credit to our students that they have achieved so much.
Looking forward to when it is safe to get back together at the Academy again.
Further Development – Government Introduce New Lockdown
Happy New Year to You!
Surprising no one, the government tonight has reintroduced a lockdown throughout England. The good news for music students is that we were well prepared for this, and in fact we had already begun to move students back online in anticpation of this development. We are sorry that we are temporarily unable to welcome you into our studios, but as many of our students have shown us, it is possible to both enjoy your lessons and also make great progress while working online.
To help you keep improving through this difficult time we are here for you as ever and ready with a smile. Perfect it isn’t, but we promise to try to make it both fun and productive for you, and certainly a lot better than putting all your activities on hold.
We eagerly look forward to seeing you, and just think how good you will be by the time fully normal business is resumed!
1st January 2021
NMA returns to teaching on January 4th, with lessons according to our usual timetable. However, with the public health situation as it presently is, there will inevitably be some changes.
Our policy from January 4th therefore is that though our teachers will work from their usual studios, we will actively encourage our students wherever possible to take lessons online rather than in person. For those students who do not have online access, lessons will continue at the Academy as usual. The aim of this policy, which is for the safety and well being of all parties, is to reduce to a minimum any personal contact at this crucial time in the course of the pandemic.
The newly emerged strain of the virus is highly transmissable, and our view is that we don’t yet know enough about the conditions which favour transmission. Therefore, the safest thing, it seems to us, is for everyone to minimise contact with each other.
For this hopefully brief period, we envisage a much reduced number of students attending lessons in person, including those for whom online lessons have not worked well already. If you feel you are able to get by with online lessons, then this is what we recommend for you.
Please note, this is our standard advice, and your own situation may vary according to the understanding you come to with your own individual teacher.
23.12.20 – Darrell Priestley
As we already knew, this was always going to be a Christmas with a difference. A Christmas to review, re-examine, and reframe our ideas of what is important, and a time to think about what Christmas can and should be.
This year, with great care, we will all try to find new ways to share with families and friends just how much they mean to us. The limitations on gatherings only serve to remind us of the importance of others in our lives.
This year, against the backdrop of the pandemic, Eileen and I have marvelled at how our students and their families, as the teachers too, have risen to the challenges they have had to face. Resilience and fortitude have been equalled by a strong sense of togetherness, married with a determination to succeed.
While many students have responded by practicing more, accelerating their progress, perhaps the greater surprise is how we have got to know a lot of our students and their familes rather better, chatting online, on the phone, and at times even in person! While we’ve all had a challenging year, we have been truly touched by the warmth shown to us by students and their families.
Along with all the teachers, Eileen and I want to wish you all a calm, quiet, and above all a supremely safe Christmas. Whatever the New Year brings, we hope to build on everything we have achieved together so far, and make 2021 the best that it can possibly be.
Looking forward to seeing and working with you again soon.