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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.
04.12.20 – Update
In accordance with current Government guidelines, we can once again offer in person lessons at Northern MusicAcademy. Students also have a choice of online lessons at all times, and there is good flexibility to switch between in person and online lessons at need, with a little advance notice.
26.11.20 – Darrell Priestley
As we leave the one month circuit breaker lockdown, like many other regions West Yorkshire emerges with continued high levels of Coronavirus restrictions. On our best reading of the available information, including that available from gov.uk, we conclude that we will be able to resume in person lessons at nma from Wednesday 2nd December. This will come as welcome news to the many students preparing for various accredited grade exams, or working towards GCSE or A levels requirements.
In line with government guidelines, formal lessons will resume from Wednesday 2nd December. However, all teachers will continue to operate online lessons alongside in person teaching, and anyone who prefers to take lessons remotely at this time can and should continue to do so. We imagine that an online lesson option will remain in place for anyone that wants it for the foreseeable future, and there is currently no plan to end this.
We know that many of you find in person lessons particularly well suited to your needs. At the same time, online lessons have proved highly effective, with a proportion of students finding their progress has surpassed previous levels. This may be down to improved practice habits during these strangest of times, as so many of us have learned to spend more time than usual at home. Where it works for you, you may well want to consider online lessons as a way of limiting your social contact with others.
What we can say is that the changes we have made here at nma mean that coming into contact with others is reduced to a bare minimum, so much so that you will see very few people in the building at the time you visit, and like you we are keen to reduce our social contact to the minimum, as is appropriate at this time.
The most important thing for progress is to keep practicing, and we look forward in due course to musical get-togethers of the kind we used to take for granted. In the meantime, we are all looking forward to a safe future, free of restrictions.