Look after your mental health with music

Whilst we are all working and learning from home again, be sure to look after your mental health with music. Finding ourselves in yet another lockdown, mental health must be at the top of the priority list. Music is key to keeping ourselves mentally healthy and making us smile during this lockdown. Whether that is learning a new instrument, writing a song to express your emotions, or listening to some classic tunes to keep you feeling upbeat. Fyling Hall’s Music department have created a full curriculum of lessons and are teaching online live lessons every day, trying to keep music learning alive. 

Our wonderful Year 7s are exploring the different career pathways in music including: conductor, sound engineer, promoter and instrument maker. The Blues is a focus for our Year 8s, where they are not only learning how about the history of this genre, but also learning how to play the 12 bar blues and improvising around the Blues scale. Although not all of our students have instruments at home, I have managed to find some fabulous virtual ones that they can use to develop these skills. Our Year 9s have been looking into the magic of film music and discovering some of the incredible composers and scores that are available to us. 

My fabulous GCSE and A-Level classes have been soldering on with their exam coursework and trying to create as much content as possible whilst we are working from home. They have been real troupers, who are working their socks off to try and continue their course to the best of their ability.  

All year groups have also become heavily engaged with a fantastic online music theory website ‘Musicca’, where they are competing (in year groups), to try and get the most points before the end of the term. There is an edible prize of their choice promised, so that always helps to spur them on!  

As well as teaching from home and one day a week in school, I have personally been getting involved in other extracurricular music activities. As I sadly can’t play with my own band ‘Back in the Habit’, I have had to find other ways to keep collaborating musically. So far, I have joined an international virtual choir performing the Mezzo Soprano part for the song Rainbow by Kacey Musgraves. I have been top lining (writing the vocal part) for a collaborative album by a Hip-Hop infused Jazz duo from Middlesbrough. Most recently, with the help of my fiancé, I have also got involved in the BBC ‘huge virtual sing-a-long’ of Any Dream Will Do from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. This has been something that I know of few of my fellow Fyling Hall family have also joined in on.  

It has been a very strange term so far, and I truly hope we will be back after half term. I miss connecting musically with people in the same room as me and getting to teach our wonderful pupils face to face. I hope to see you all very soon, when Boris allows. In the meantime, be sure to look after your mental health with music! Lots of love,

Miss Helena Johnson, Head of Music