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Back to school

A couple of days after other schools as ours had INSET days last week, my two children are back in school. One in Pre-school Foundation (the year before Reception) and one in Year 2. They were both happy and excited to be going back. My eldest to see his friends, especially his best friend, and my youngest to be wearing a uniform and going into the big school.

I have come home and done what many parents around the country will have done on their children’s first day back at school:

  • Had a cup of hot coffee
  • Sat in silence
  • Remarked on the quiet of home to my other half
  • Put a load of washing on (aiming to do at least 2 today!)
  • Got the vacuum and steam cleaner out and CLEANED MY FLOORS! They will stay clean until approximately 4.05pm, around 10 minutes after we have got home!

I do this every start of term: reclaim the house, clear away the grime of the last few months of having the children home all the time and not getting time to do anything other than the basics.

Of course not everything is the same. My husband gave up his office to work at home, so he is upstairs working rather than me having the house to myself. My children are going back to a familiar but different environment and I am a little nervous about how things will be, this term especially- how long will they actually be in school for? Will there be more home schooling? Will they be healthy? Will they unknowingly bring illness home with them? But the calculated risk of them returning to some normality, getting to play with friends and children who don’t mind play fighting as superheroes, learning, seeing people who are not their family, is worth it I think. I think.

This time last year I had a part time job teaching music to babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. My first job since having the children and one I loved. I am not working there any more and will miss seeing the children and their families very much. But I am very excited to see what I can do with this blog.

There are so many challenges ahead for arts organisations of all genres right now. The devastating impact that Covid-19 has had on the performing arts sector in this country, the impact on people’s finances as a result maybe meaning that parents are less easily able to afford to take their children to play groups or baby music classes, or to afford individual instrumental teaching. Some of the things I have heard in the news about schools maybe being encouraged to “concentrate on core subjects”. The difficulties music teachers will have with teaching classes next door to other subject teachers and not in their own dedicated space where they don’t have to worry about the noise they make. Concerns that have been raised about the heightened risks of loud talking or singing.

This will all have an impact on children and young people’s ability to experience music and what it can do for them, how it can help them. I hope, with this blog that I will be able to help those of you out there who want to help foster a love of music in your children- whether that be as a musician themselves or as a keen audience member at whatever concerts or gigs they prefer.

I am spending the next few days planning what I want to do with this blog this year: posts about different instruments, playlists you can listen to with your children, musical games you could play together, posts about the benefits of music education and exposure for children etc. If there is anything you would like to see covered here, let me know and I will see what I can do.

For today, though, I shall enjoy the quiet and maybe go and play without one of my children telling me to be quiet or joining in!

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