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Keeping music education alive

24 April 2020

Our Head of Strings, Nicole Crespo O’Donoghue, writes about the value of continuing to study, and enjoy, music at this challenging time.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything" - Plato.

In our present situation, Plato’s words are proving to be even more important. Teaching music is not just about learning an instrument. It is about music making, appreciating history, creating a routine, and teaching young people the discipline of practice. During our current crisis, all of this can help the mind to maintain some normalcy and can help to improve the state of the soul.

At Westminster City School, we have many fantastic musicians and our music lessons have resumed online. Our young people continue to showcase great commitment and hard work every week. It is a privilege to not only teach these young people to create music, but to help them become the best they can be, especially in these dark times.

Great minds have often been linked to music. Einstein, for example, was an accomplished violinist and, according to his own words, had he not pursued science, he would have been a musician: “I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.” 

By adapting our teaching methods right now, the student learning curve is continued, and  the connection between education and the arts continues to be encouraged and nourished.

On a personal note, I would like to thank all the parents/carers within our School community. Thank you for your diligence and dedication, which has ensured the swift continuation of our wonderful music making.  

Finally, remember that, while you are at home and if you are in need of some inspiration, there are many orchestras and venues, like the Berlin Philharmonic and the Royal Opera House, that are streaming past performances for free! 

Nicole Crespo O’Donoghue is Head of Strings at Westminster City School and a teacher at the Royal College of Music.

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