We Are Still Learning!

Our music rooms at Carey may be empty, but there is still a whole heap of great musical development taking place. Sure, the Stage 4 restrictions have taken away our wonderful bands, our great orchestras, our melodious choirs, our stunning musical and our wonderful plays – however, spirits remain high in our students’ bedrooms, lounge rooms, kitchens and studies as much terrific musical learning continues to happen.

In the past few days, I’ve had the pleasure through the Parent Teacher interviews of chatting to many of our families. Clearly there is a good amount of work going on at home. One young violinist reported, ‘I don’t have the long trip to and from school everyday so I have more time to practice.’ And a Year 7 musician was a bit bored so worked his way right through to the end of his tutor book. Our Head of Brass, Daniel Neal, has commented on the fact that many students given more time in their day have made more progress compared to other years, and our treasured Head of Woodwind, Jason Digby, passed a milestone last week when he taught his 400th online music lesson.

Much of our good work will be on display shortly. Young musicians – often aided by accompaniments recorded by our piano staff – are currently recording solo pieces for an end of term recital which will be streamed in the last week of term.

The importance of music in lockdown
I recently asked my Year 8 class to articulate why music was important. The responses were articulate, thoughtful and underline the importance of music:

            ‘music keeps me sane’

            ‘it doesn’t matter what country you live in you can still understand what the composer felt when he wrote the piece’

            ‘it’s a good way to show feelings’

            ‘it puts more depth into what people are thinking’

            ‘it connects people together’

            ‘it’s a part of who you are’

            ‘it makes people happy

            ‘it is a sort of new light – it can take control of your emotions’

            ‘it can relieve stress’

            ‘it is a coping mechanism’

            ‘it can let yourself be peaceful and quiet’

            ‘it’s a way of expressing myself instead of talking’

            ‘I feel it is a strong passion of mine and is a part of me’

Yes, we do miss our musicals, plays, choirs, bands and orchestras. Please rest assured that we have plenty of exciting plans ready to roll out as soon as safety permits.

In the meantime, use the extraordinary luxury which COVID-19 has given us – TIME – to immerse yourself in some good music. Practice your instrument. Write a song – maybe the COVID Blues! – or just make yourself comfortable and listen to some wonderful music.

Martin Arnold
Head of Music

Feature image: Year 9 student Diya learning online with her instrumental teacher, Adam Arnold.