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In light of changing government restrictions, a sense of uncertainty, and the prospect of an impending extended lockdown, Caroline Gale and students from Guildford County School remind us why continuing to make music is essential and worth every effort.

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For many educators, one of the main obstacles to resuming one-to-one music tuition is completing effective risk assessments during the coronavirus pandemic.

With complex government guidance and understandable caution from school leadership and parents alike, this important paperwork has taken on new significance. Your risk assessment should help minimise the risks of coronavirus transmission through your teaching practice.

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One Week Done, and what a week it has been. I thought I should reflect on this first week back, mainly because we have been off for so long in 2020! There has been so much happening every day at school. Getting through the first week was something I worried about having spent so much time at home. But it would appear I not only “survived” the first week, but I also enjoyed it.

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In recognition of Youth Mental Health Day 2020 (YMHD) on September 7th, we are exploring how music can nurture wellbeing by helping children and young people to ‘Bounce not Break’. It has long been recognised that music can be an amazing tool for fostering positive mental health and wellbeing in both adults and children. We have collected some great resources, sites, and positive stories about how music can do exactly that.

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While the #CanDoMusic campaign is offering practical resources to keep music in schools, there is often a major obstacle to adopting these: convincing your school’s senior leadership team. Although Coronavirus has disrupted the previous academic year and continues to provide ongoing challenges for schools, music can still take place safely with appropriate risk assessments in place and the scientific research is constantly increasing.

But what if your SLT is still reluctant?

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Dear reader,

Have you slept yet? I dearly hope so. Please continue to dedicate time to yourself; your family/loved ones; your thoughts and… breathe.

What a shift we’ve had in education this year. Congratulations to each and every one of us: we’ve all had our roles to play in this and I applaud you all for making it through.

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As pupils return to school it is vital that they are able to continue their musical learning.  Yes, they must have access to the subject as it is an essential part of a broad and balanced curriculum, but also because music’s wider social and emotional benefits will be invaluable in supporting students’ wellbeing – something many school leaders are saying will be at the core of their ‘recovery curriculum’.

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Martin Fautley, Professor of Education in the School of Education and Social Work at Birmingham City University, and co-author of the ISM’s National Curriculum assessment and progression frameworks for music, explores what awaits music teachers and students as they return to school in the ‘new normal’.

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Robert Thompson, Teacher of Music and Music Technology at Kenilworth School & Sixth Form, Warwickshire, reports on how the department pulled together to make a viral video.

The pupils in all our various ensembles had been practising since January for our Spring Concert, due to take place on March 31. Obviously, with the developing pandemic of COVID-19, and then announcement of school closures, the concert had to be postponed...