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A Musician During Lockdown


Much to my surprise I have found lockdown really very interesting. I would even say that I am grateful, for it has forced me to address some uncomfortable feelings around working with people on-line rather than face to face. Pre lockdown, I was happy to spend an hour or so online per day, but now I find I am spending most of my working day onscreen! I have had to adapt to teaching piano and flute online using Zoom and FaceTime and this has been very challenging as I am not a natural IT person.

When I moved to Husthwaite in 2013 my then yoga teacher suggested that I continue to teach my Lancaster students via Skype and I was horrified at the mere thought of it!! However the current situation made me face my fears and I dived into Zoom lessons with much trepidation, attending numerous webinars and trying to get help and inspiration from amazing online piano teaching gurus.

At times I have felt really overwhelmed as there is so much to learn but at present I am just accepting where I am and am learning new things gradually. On the whole, most lessons seem to go fine (some even go really well!) and it's lovely to see the children I teach respond with great delight to lots of games and fun stuff and hopefully they are learning too!

I have also had a very transformative experience with my partner, Michael's granddaughter Daisy (age 2.5). Despite having met Daisy on quite a few occasions in the last couple of years we haven't really managed to connect well yet because of the distance and busyness of all our lives. Thanks to Zoom all that has changed and we meet every Monday morning for a Grandma Gila music show! We sing lots of songs and I get some groovy pictures up in the back ground and we have a lot of fun. Her parents put me up on their huge TV so Daisy now thinks that I am a TV programme - but apparently I am one of her favourites!!

I feel so fortunate to be living rurally at this time as my connection with nature is really important in sustaining me. Michael and I have been so enjoying our local walks - discovering variations on often trod routes and beautiful places at this most special time of year. We also have been doing lots of yoga classes online - especially welcome after being in front of a computer screen all day.

I miss my friends and loved ones hugely but I find that connecting via the internet is wonderful too though never a complete substitute. With advice I have also managed to set up my own website, , something I never thought I would get round to doing.

My relaxation at the weekends has been to lose myself in painting. I especially love painting outdoors in the warm sunshine with birdsong all around. This has been a really wonderful spark to have re-ignited in me - I must also give credit to Lawrie Hill and his lovely art class as I think this too was a catalyst earlier this Spring.

Gila Robinson