On Tuesday 22nd  September, the Middle School Wind Band became the first musical ensemble to return to the music-making that Wilson's School prides itself in.

Since the beginning of lockdown, from Friday 20th March, musical pupils had largely been practising and developing their skills by themselves. For the fortunate some, zoom lessons were available - though not everyone had access to this technology and variations in pitch aren't always accurately conveyed via Zoom which was especially a problem for brass instruments with a pitch range renowned for its nuance.

However, by the second week of September, the majority of music lessons had returned  and, in the fourth week of September the Middle School Wind Band began to work on its first new piece of the academic year - "The Muppets Show Theme" - whilst pupils from different year groups maintained a two metre distance. They were joined in the following weeks by other musical groups including Chamber Strings; Brass Ensemble; Junior Strings; Flute Ensemble and more.

Alex McDermott, a pupil at Wilson's primarily playing the cello and French horn in a range of musical groups within the school, including Chamber Strings and the Middle School Wind Band shares his thoughts on music during lockdown and in school:

Alex felt that music "kept him entertained" over lockdown - a period where many would have needed something to keep themselves them occupied and also provided the opportunity to "explore pieces".  In his case, he was able to explore classical pieces with his cello and more modern music with the drum kit.

Contrastingly, there are various reasons why he prefers music at Wilson's compared to practising solo: "I like the availability of music rooms for practice; how different years are able to come together in different ensembles; and the music staff" - Alex appreciated how kind and helpful the staff in the music department are as well as the opportunity given to all pupils as part of the Year 7 Music Programme. This began nine years ago, where all Year 7 Pupils are offered one year free tuition in an instrument.

"I enjoy the varying choices of music and the great taste, [of the teachers] for example, we can choose some of the music in chamber strings," said Alex. Furthermore, he explained how he found it easier to play in musical ensembles  than by himself because it produced "more sound" and sounded "superb when played right".

Music has played a key role in keeping pupils entertained over lockdown and many have enjoyed its return upon the reopening of schools. If restrictions do ease sometime in the future, then music shall continue to flourish across the UK as more pupils will be able to get involved with music-making, developing their musical skills and producing euphonious  sounds.