Blog

Autumn Term 2020 is Go!

The Autumn Term 2020 started on 19 September, and everyone at CYMT was delighted to be back up and running in person at Richard Huish College.

There was a tangible sense of excitement and it was brilliant to hear live music being played.

The difficult months of Lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic meant our CYMT community was operating entirely online from mid March to mid July. It was no mean feat and students, parents and staff worked brilliantly together.

CYMT and Huish worked hard to make it possible for activities in person to restart in September. We explored and put in place lots of health and safety procedures. Everyone must abide by these new procedures in order to stay safe. The pandemic has not gone away so we must maintain vigilance and strict hygiene and cleaning regimes at all times.

It means things look a little different to pre-Lockdown. Now there is compulsory hand sanitiser on arrival and throughout the Centre. There is regular cleaning and allowing lots of space between people. We continually encourage good, regular hand-washing and wearing of face coverings where appropriate.

There will be no live concerts with an audience this term (unless guidelines change at a later date) but we hope to present live concerts online or live-streamed.

UPDATE, Wednesday 04 November 2020:

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday 31 October 2020, we have been carefully considering the implication of the national restrictions for Centre for Young Musicians Taunton.
Although schools and universities are continuing to operate, the nature of our work does not fit into the category of statutory education and therefore we are more aligned with out of school clubs for the purposes of these restrictions. Although there isn’t specific government guidance for our sector currently, advice for beyond school settings is not to meet in person for the period of the restrictions.
Having considered all aspects with senior colleagues at Guildhall School we have decided that we are unable to operate any in person activity for the rest of November unless we receive government guidance to the contrary. This is for the following reasons:
  • We need to play our part in the national effort to help control the spread of the virus by discouraging mixing outside of school bubbles
  • In some cases, students need to travel beyond their immediate locality to attend, and as only essential travel is permitted to protect public health, it is not clear that this travel would be considered essential
  • We anticipate that take up for in-person ensembles would be significantly less due to the new restrictions, which would make ensemble teaching unfeasible for this period
The welfare and safety of our students, staff and parents/carers remains our highest priority.
We appreciate that this is disappointing news for us all, and the decision has not been taken lightly. However, assuming restrictions lift on 2 December as planned, we will continue to operate our blended model for the remainder of the term, with our focus being to accommodate as many in person activities as possible before the end of term on 12 December.
We are delighted that, thanks to the Michael Tippett Musical Foundation, we will have 3 Composers in Residence from Guildhall School this term, and 3 next term. The composers will work with CYMT students and tutors to guide, support and inspire our young musicians. The project will start online on Friday 13 / Saturday 14 November and will run until the end of January. More information about this will be provided to the students whose groups will work with the Composers in Residence.

If you would like to contact the Centre please contact the office on taunton@cym.org.uk or 07754 217993. We’d love to hear from you!

CYMT tutors have space for individual tuition in the following instruments:

trumpet, trombone, flute, clarinet, sax, guitar, bass guitar, singing, piano.

Please contact the office on taunton@cym.org.uk or 07754 217993 to enquire about individual lessons.

L – R: CYMT Guitar & Bass Guitar Tutor, Ed Gerlach; Josh Armitage, drums; CYMT Deputy Guitar Tutor, Iain Eccleston.