Music makes us feel better

23 July 2020

Life might feel like it has paused but, thankfully, music is still playing.

As soon as the pandemic hit, we saw music bringing people together. From impromptu concerts held on balconies, to socially distant street choirs cheering up communities, music has played a vital role at this difficult time.

Using music to stay positive 

Raymi

Ten-year-old Raymi is an extremely gifted musician who plays the piano, flute, ukulele, and countless other instruments. Despite missing his friends during lockdown, Raymi is staying positive and reminds us why music is so important.

“Music is making me feel better because I usually feel very anxious and nervous,” says Raymi. “When I think about my friends I miss them. But at least I have an activity that reminds me of them because a lot of them play music too.

“I know we’re going to get through this and I hope that soon enough the coronavirus will go and we’ll all be able to do what we used to do: go to school, go outside and just be normal again!”

Raymi is supported by charity Awards for Young Musicians, who help nurture the talent of young musicians from low-income families. Whatever the rest of the year has in store for us, the charity is committed to making sure young musicians can keep learning, practising, and playing.

Making music in lockdown

Sixteen-year-old Kayla is an exceptionally talented violinist. Just as she was preparing for important exams and end-of-year recitals, lockdown put her musical journey on hold.

“I, like most others, have struggled with lockdown as many orchestras and groups have been cancelled or postponed,” says Kayla. “Finding an aim for practice is difficult.”

Online masterclass with Thomas Gould

Fortunately, Awards for Young Musicians stepped in, arranging online masterclasses with renowned violinist Thomas Gould. Kayla joins other young violinists as they listen to each other play and receive tips and tricks from Thomas, including insight into the realities of life as a professional violinist.

For Kayla, the masterclasses provide a real lift: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the fortnightly sessions with Thomas Gould, which have given me great performance opportunities and much inspiration. I don’t know what I’d be doing without them.” 

Kayla’s father is full of praise for the extra support: “These opportunities have been a real boost in this testing time and I cannot thank Awards for Young Musicians enough. Not just for the time online, which is wonderful, but for Kayla’s mental health as well.

“Some days Kayla feels low and trapped, but then she prepares for an online session and she’s smiling and full of life again. The value of this is priceless. It gives her a purpose and something to motivate herself through so much disappointment in the last few months.”

Nurturing young talent during the pandemic

As a result of lockdown, in-person music lessons have been cancelled, rehearsals have stopped and planned live performances are postponed. For young musicians to potentially lose access to their musical education – at a time when they need it the most – is a real blow.

Awards for Young Musicians know that the young people they support, from low-income families, are more likely to be adversely affected by the pandemic. So they have adapted their support, ensuring young musicians continue to get the help they need and don’t miss out on opportunities.

Giving talent a chance

Musical talent is everywhere but now, more than ever, opportunity isn’t: family finances and other obstacles too often get in the way. Awards for Young Musicians is working to change this in two key ways: by supporting young musicians from low-income families, with funding and other help; and by supporting music education through training, advocacy and research

Find out more

Despite the current challenges, Awards for Young Musicians continue to support over 500 young musicians from across the UK. Thanks to the charity’s kind supporters, talented young people can create and play music that brings people together.

If you’d like to find out more, please visit Awards for Young Musicians’ website or get in touch with Sanpreet Janjua, Development Manager on 0300 302 3422 or sanpreet.janjua@a-y-m.org.uk.