Music society creatively engages with community during lockdown

Manchester University Music Society (MUMS) have been reaching out to local communities despite lockdown restrictions, using online platforms such as Zoom and YouTube to engage with community groups such as care homes, charities, schools and hospitals.

In December, the society held a relaxed performance with Venture Arts, a charity who work with adults with learning difficulties. The relaxed performance provided Christmas music for the Venture Arts Christmas party with around sixty of their members attending via Zoom.

Also at Christmas time, the MUMS Outreach team organised a Christmas video, distributed to care homes in Greater Manchester and to celebrate National Intergenerational Week earlier in March the society held Zoom sessions, connecting with four care homes around the country. Further choir videos have also been distributed to Manchester Royal Infirmary and Manchester Children’s Hospital.

The society’s work with primary schools has continued in the form of percussion ‘Bamboo Tamboo’ workshops, delivering a mixture of weekly sessions and one-off longer workshops to various schools across Manchester, with volunteers video-calling into schools to lead the sessions. Video resources have also been developed for primary schools to use, introducing children to different types of music and instruments.

Zoë Kundu, Head of MUMS outreach said: ‘Our work in the community during lockdown has been a great way of encouraging continuous music-making in different ways to lift spirits during this challenging time. It has been lovely to see the joy on children’s faces during Bamboo workshops, the tears in care home residents’ eyes in Zoom sing-a-longs, and the enthusiastic dance moves of the adults at Venture Arts. ‘

The society are now in the process of planning for their online summer relaxed performance, which will be taking place in June, as well as running more Bamboo Tamboo workshops and continuing the virtual links with hospitals and care homes.

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