Happy Thanksgiving! Here we are at the end of November and lots to catch up on. The picture for this blog is from one of my early morning walks, a particularly colourful sunrise near home.

I’m immensely enjoying my new job as a Lecturer in Classical Performance at the University of Liverpool. It’s been extremely busy and so lovely to be working with a fantastic and supportive team. There are assessments due in the next few weeks with some Christmas projects in the works, as well as already looking ahead to next term. Teaching, due to COVID-19, is taking place on online at the moment – the resilience of our brilliant students and music itself shines through every week.

The Royal Birmingham Junior Conservatoire continues to do its part in blending in-person work with remote teaching. As the Academic Coordinator, we’re all online but students are enjoying working in different ensemble groups alongside their other lessons as bubbles rotate. The theory classes are going well, a very different way of working, but we’re all adaptable and continue to forge new paths of discovery in exploring the wonders of harmony.

At the beginning of November I took part in the first Online Study Day for the Schubert Institute UK (SIUK). I delivered a paper, ‘Schubert’s Piano Music: Origins in Performance’, which was very well received and following it I’ve had some extremely interesting conversations and correspondence. It was a very inspiring day, hearing the different avenues of Schubert research and engaging with new people.

Taking every day at a time is definitely a lesson to remember in 2020. Those of us who usually like planning are remembering Burns’s famous lines of ‘To a Mouse’ – ‘The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men/Gang aft a-gley’ – and doing what we can when we can. 

And most importantly of all, remembering kindness to each other in these strange times can make all the difference in the world – take care.

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