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Meditating on my Time at More Music

Posted by More Music on 14 October 2020

It has become cliched to reminisce about life before Covid, to consider listlessly how the world has changed and to mourn the livelihoods we left behind. However, if you would indulge me for a second, I would like to reflect on the extraordinary few months I have had with More Music, including the way in which this internship exceeded every expectation I had.

When I wrote my original blog post only a few weeks into my time here, I remember strongly feeling supported, encouraged, pushed but most especially respected, a feeling that is quite unique as a student worker: I recall how much I had learnt already but whilst I had great respect for the people here, I remained focussed on the skills I had amalgamated. Though I was proud to be able to contribute to such a fantastic charity, my blog post primary dealt with the amount I was enjoying the educational and creative experience.

Yet within a few weeks everything had changed beyond all imagination. Even amongst all the upheaval, however, I only spent a few weeks on furlough and soonish enough I was back working; something that I will forever be grateful for. This has been a time of enormous struggle and even within the small university bubbles, the adverse effects have shown themselves to be manifold; but I was lucky to have More Music, who gave me a chance to expand my horizons, learn new skills and simply kept me busy.

I will never forget the kindness that I have been shown here and I was not the only one who found solace and comfort in More Music over the lockdown. As the conditions grew increasingly difficult, the need for community support grew likewise: the unifying and uplifting nature of music is universal but it is the relationships that More Music fosters between the Music Leaders and participants which makes More Music a haven for many. There is something indescribable but unquestionably special in the soul of More Music and that something, whatever it may be, was now more crucial than ever.

Lockdown has caused many to reflect on their priorities, beliefs and motivations, among them More Music themselves. Covid put into perspective many aspects of our lives that we had previously taken for-granted but for More Music it reaffirmed the importance of the central ethos: community.

It demonstrated that it was not a venue nor simply a place for education but a place that is the embodiment of community spirit: the camaraderie and friendship that More Music exudes was not due to the fact that a smallish building on Devonshire Road hosts a series of classes where people can meet and bond. Instead, More Music is founded ad flourished on the dedication and love of its staff, without the joy and laughter that they share, More Music would simply be like any other venue.

This was made abundantly clear when I began to write about the work that was continuing onwards and the impact it was having: there was no doubt that their work must continue the only questions were ‘how?’ followed by ‘what can we do better?’.  There was no doubt that the trials and tribulation that technology brings alongside it benefits put a strain on the delivery online but what was apparent to me when I was researching for my article was how much these sessions are cherished. I hoped when I penned the piece on the Music Leaders that I could not only demonstrate to the outside world what heroes they are, but also show the leaders themselves how valuable their work really is, just in case they were to ever doubt themselves. So, if that didn’t come across, now you know!

I certainly enjoyed writing about lockdown and the Catch the Wind festival, learning about the past and the present and having the space to share my thoughts and observations; but having a chance to work on the Viva La Youth week was the most eye opening and heart warming experience. The talent that I saw in that week was awe inspiring but what took me back the most was the perseverance that was shown by all involved; the desire to help, to succeed, to continue in spite of everything.

The skills I have developed have been of such a wide range: from working on the website, designing graphics, using social media, researching, creating and most especially writing. Though what I have taken away that I most treasure, is not the skills and experience that I will put on my CV but the intangible things.

The love that flows from the building into the smallest corner of the smallest street, and out into the most vulnerable areas and onwards to engulf all the people of Morecambe, is something that I hope will continue to inspire: I learnt a lot about what the goodness of human nature can achieve.

In a world where students are being encouraged to ruthlessly pursue the glamorous, well-paid jobs that are advertised to them and where a good nature and dedication are too often unrewarded, if or when there is a new intern here I truly hope that they too take that away: they will, as I have, learn a lot of skills, gain new experiences but also learn lessons that they thought they already understood. Perhaps they too will also see that intangible, inexhaustible and precious spirit that is the very essence of More Music.

Lastly, I would like to thank More Music once again for this extraordinary experience and I wholeheartedly trust that all who read this will participate and support More Music as they continue on their journey of strengthening the community through the joy of music.

Click HERE to read Rhian’s first blog at the start of her Internship.

Follow Rhian on Instagram: @rhi.e.d


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