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Winchester Cathedral gives music education a new tone in lockdown

Children from across the country can learn about music in a different way this lockdown as Winchester Cathedral has launched Musical Moments.

Musical Moments is a series of videos covering different musical topics aimed at children between five and ten years old.

A video covering a new topic in the national curriculum is uploaded to the cathedral’s YouTube channel every week.

According to the cathedral children can learn to play music, how to sing songs, and discover different instruments in the orchestra.

Choirs Officer at Winchester Cathedral, Kate Downer thinks the videos are a good supplement to online teaching, and that the “fun yet educational” videos can be nice to watch after a hard day of online school.

She said they wanted to use the cathedral’s “world class” music department to support schools and families as it is much harder to deliver music lessons online.

Downer told WINOL: “Last lockdown, in the very first one, we did lots of virtual choir things, a lot like how a lot of people have been doing where people gave been recording at home and putting it all together.

“And it was really well received, and I don’t think we were unaware of it, but it reconfirmed just how much people appreciate music in times of issue. Not necessarily making music, but listening to music and being a part of music in some way.”

The episodes in the series has so far included and introduction to the organ, how to sing ‘You’ve got a friend in me’, and how to compose for the voice.

Downer told WINOL: “Claudia is the assistant organist at the cathedral, and she is obviously very well versed in the organ. But the organ can be quite an intimidating instrument, I think for some children, because you don’t learn it in school do you. The closest thing you’d get is a keyboard. So we wanted her to break it dow in a really digestible way so that young people could watch it and be interested in the organ.”

Children are also encouraged to find a positive moment in the video that they can add to a jar of positivity – a initiative to write down things that made them happy daily.

Downer told WINOL: “We’ve received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback for the project. We’ve had videos sent to us of children and grandchildren giving us reviews on the videos, we’ve had quotes sent in’ we’ve had lots and lots of shares on Facebook.”

The cathedral has been live-streaming services, and the equipment used to do that has made it easier to create Musical Moments.

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