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Music in Lockdown

Making Lockdown Musical

As I’m sure you’re all probably aware but music is so much more than just the dots on the page. Yes this has something to do with it, but music always has and will be important to people for lots of different reasons. Creativity can be so important for mental health and making music, singing in particular, has been well documented as being brilliant for the brain and overall physical health too.

So as we enter week… 8? 9? 121? of lockdown here’s my tips on how to stay musically creative.

A lot of teachers have now moved into online teaching. I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to help a lot of teachers get themselves set up in the virtual world as I’ve actually been offering online sessions since 2015. This switch on to virtual lessons has been great as for many this has meant no pause to their musical journey. They work pretty much the same as ‘normal’ lessons with the right set up and are easily managed over apps such as Skype, Facetime or Zoom.

With a lot of people now being furloughed it has also meant that this online lesson situation has meant people are now fulfilling the dream to play as finding they now have the time and energy available. (And indeed many people are now digging out instruments they found in the loft!)

But actually I’ve found that a lot of my students are struggling musically at the moment. Obviously being at home with children to help ‘school’ and balancing that with work and home can prove difficult. And those who have more time on their hands are finding that, in fact, they have too much time, so they’re struggling to get in to a lockdown music routine.

So how do you find a musical balance for you or the kids…

1. If the kids need something constructive to do then perhaps investigate online lessons.

2. Find a routine that works. Try and find a day and time that suits you in the current situation.

3. Remember, sometimes less is more. Don’t force yourself or the kids to practise if you don’t feel like it. Do a bit then step away. It should always be fun.

4. Find something fun! Dig out something you loved to play or something that you’ve always wanted to play. There’s a host of websites that you can download sheet music from as well as lots of playalong tutorials from sites such as YouTube. You can also practise without playing. Spend a bit of time doing some music note games or again online music games.

5. Find some free online sessions. From virtual choirs and orchestras for experienced players through to playalong sessions for beginners – there are a host of great workshops to get involved with. I have been running some First Steps workshops as well as some online jam sessions. If your missing your normal musical fix, it’s worth investigating whether there is something else you could try while in lockdown.

Most of all keep playing.