EJMS Covid-19 Update 14 - 13/4/21

Dear EJMS Parents, Teachers, Staff and Students

Summer Term 2021. EJMS re-commences online on 24th April 2021.

I hope you all had an enjoyable Easter Holiday. We are currently on our Easter break and re-commence on Saturday 24th April 2021. Due to current government legislation, we still cannot at present operate at Twyford School. Therefore we will continue to operate online for the Summer Term 2021. I remain very grateful to our teachers, staff and parents for mastering the skills of online teaching and learning and for putting up with the occasional internet and IT glitches with good grace and humour.

For anyone who may be reading this notice whose child is not already at EJMS, we are able to offer online: one-to-one instrumental lessons in all orchestral instruments, singing lessons, theory classes and aural skills classes. We can also provide recorded piano accompaniments for EJMS students taking the ABRSM Performance exams. Sadly, due to internet latency issues, we cannot do choirs or ensembles. (Nor do we teach piano.) If you have a child who might be interested in having music lessons at EJMS, please contact our Administrator Janine Neye on admin@ejms.org.uk

Looking further ahead, the vaccine roll-out appears to be going very well. We are looking forward to Step 4 of the government’s Roadmap out of Covid. That – if it all goes according to plan – envisages that no earlier than 21st June all legal limits on social contact can be removed. (This is, of course, subject to the Government’s four tests having been met at that time.)

Autumn Term 2021 Return to Twyford School (11th September 2021)

Given the previously mentioned ‘Step 4’, the ongoing successful vaccination roll-out and the apparent intention to vaccinate adolescents in August, I am currently confident that EJMS can make a full return to Twyford School in September 2021. Notwithstanding the genuine success of our online teaching, I am sure that everyone is looking forward to the day when we can all meet again and take part in or listen to our wonderful range of ensembles, orchestras and choirs. Obviously, many things can change between now and September and I and my fellow Trustees will be keeping a careful eye on ongoing developments.

Very Best Wishes,

John Hudson
Chair of Trustees
Ealing Junior Music School
[C19 Notice 14 – 13/4/21]

Update 13 - 31/01/21

Dear EJMS Parents, Teachers, Staff and Students

Spring Term of 2021. EJMS re-opened online on 9th January 2021.

We are now into week 4 of the EJMS Spring Term. Due to the current government lockdown, we cannot at present operate at Twyford School. However, we are continuing to operate very successfully online on Saturdays. I am grateful to our teachers, staff and parents for mastering the skills of online teaching and learning and for putting up with the occasional internet and IT glitches with good grace and humour.

For anyone who may be reading this notice whose child is not already at EJMS, we are able to offer online: one-to-one instrumental lessons in all orchestral instruments, singing lessons, theory classes and aural skills classes. We can also provide recorded piano accompaniments for EJMS students taking the ABRSM Performance exams. Sadly, due to internet latency issues, we cannot do choirs or ensembles. (Nor do we teach piano.) If you have a child who might be interested in having music lessons at EJMS, please contact our Administrator Janine Neye on admin@ejms.org.uk

I do not currently know when we might be able to return to Twyford School. Ever-changing government rules and widely varying covid-19 infection rates make it very difficult for organisations such as EJMS to plan ahead with certainty. It is currently my personal view that we will have to stay online for the whole of the Spring Term. The vaccine roll-out seems to be going well and is bringing closer our return to Twyford, but it would be a guess too far on my part to know at this stage where we will be after Easter. The EJMS Trustees and myself are however keeping the situation under constant review.

Finally, a reminder that there is no EJMS on 13th and 20th February—our half-term break.

Very Best Wishes,

John Hudson
Chair of Trustees
Ealing Junior Music School
[C19 Notice 13 – 31/1/21]

Update 12 - 23/12/20

Dear EJMS Parents, Teachers, Staff and Students

EJMS has now closed for Christmas. We re-commence on 9th January 2021.

What a year this has been. I don’t think anyone could have anticipated the horrors of Covid-19.

I am very grateful to all our EJMS Teachers, Staff and Trustees for their efforts in making our online lessons work as well as they have. And to our parents and students for persevering with what has been a new experience for us all.

As I write this message, London is in Tier 4. There are rumours that there will be a total lockdown after Christmas. Obviously, the EJMS Trustees are keeping a close eye on the situation.

Subject to the ever-changing government rules, I think it will be safest to assume that EJMS will have to operate online for at least the start of the Spring Term 2021. But, as I mentioned earlier, the EJMS Trustees are keeping the situation under constant review.

I wish you all a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It will be a very different Christmas to previous years, but I do hope you can still enjoy it.

Very Best Wishes,

John Hudson
Chair of Trustees
Ealing Junior Music School
[C19 Notice 12 – 23/12/20]

Update 11 - 06/11/20

Dear EJMS Parents, Teachers, Staff and Students,

EJMS recommences on 7th November 2020 after our half term break

Important message for Musicianship parents:
(Other parents, please see the message for you further below.)

I am very sorry to say that the second Lockdown has forced EJMS to close Musicianship Classes at Twyford School for the remainder of this term.

I am sorry for the lateness of this notification, but unfortunately the updated Government guidance for ‘Out of School Activities’ was only released very late on Wednesday evening. Sadly, having thoroughly studied all the guidance and legislation, it is clear that we will not be permitted to continue our Musicianship Classes at Twyford from this Saturday 7th November for the remainder of this term.

We are currently hoping to organise online face-to-face live sessions for the remaining weeks of this term. If all goes to plan, we will be putting this into operation from SATURDAY 14th NOVEMBER. Unfortunately, there has not been time to put this in place for Saturday 7th November. Janine Neye, our General Administrator, has emailed all affected parents.

It is too early to say what will happen in January 2021. I am hoping that we will be able to re-start at least Musicianship classes in Twyford School, but that obviously depends on whether a further full or partial Lockdown will be re-imposed by the government once Christmas is over.

Important message for all other parents:

I hope that you all enjoyed the half-term break, but that your children did at least do some practising!

I know that some parents were busy uploading Performance Exam recordings to the ABRSM website. For all who did, that you for doing this. I know it must have been stressful for both you and your child as none of us have done this before. I am not aware of any exam results as I write this, but I do wish you all Good Luck.

We re-commence our online activities on Saturday 7th November. Please check your Zoom audio settings well before your child’s lesson, as the settings may have changed if you have been using Zoom for other purposes. As ever, for Safeguarding purposes myself, our Music Director, Deputy Music Director and certain EJMS Trustees will be ‘dropping’ into lessons throughout the morning.

The Coronavirus has had a severe impact on the EJMS Finances. Janine has issued to all parents a letter from me explaining the position. Please do read that letter. The EJMS Trustees will be very grateful if you are able to help in the way suggested.

I wish you all well for the remainder of this term. Please continue to follow government guidance and stay safe.

John Hudson
Chair of Trustees
Ealing Junior Music School
[C19 Notice 11 – 6/11/20]

Update 10 - 18/09/20

Dear EJMS Parents, Teachers, Staff and Students,

Autumn Term 2020 started on 12th September 2020

I am very pleased to report that our first day of term was very successful, despite the long summer break. Both our teachers and our students are now very accustomed to online lessons.

In addition to our current online one-to-one instrumental lessons and theory classes, we will be commencing online aural classes on 26th September 2020.

Even more exciting news is that our Musicianship Classes will re-commence at Twyford School on Saturday 19th September 2020. If you wish to enrol your child into these classes and have not yet done so, please contact Janine Neye, our General Administrator admin@ejms.org.uk or 020 8930 0579. The Trustees and Senior Administrative Team have taken great precautions to ensure that these classes are COVID-secure. If you wish to read our Standard Operating Procedures for these classes, please click here.

At the present time, we are still unable to offer a full return of all our lessons and classes to Twyford School. The sheer range of orchestras, ensembles and choirs that we normally offer works against us in these unusual times. The Trustees do wish to fully return to Twyford as soon as we can safely do so. The Trustees main concern throughout remains the safety of our students, parents, teachers and staff.

EJMS does still currently have some vacancies for one-to-one lessons. In particular, we would welcome applications from anyone wishing to play the violin or double-bass. Please contact Janine Neye, our General Administrator admin@ejms.org.uk or 020 8930 0579.

Do please continue to follow government guidance and stay safe.

John Hudson
Chair of Trustees
Ealing Junior Music School
[C19 Notice 10 – 18/09/20]

Update 9 - 28/08/20

Dear EJMS Parents, Teachers, Staff and Students,

Autumn Term 2020 starts on 12th September 2020

After very careful deliberation, the Trustees have decided that EJMS one-to-one Instrumental lessons and theory classes will continue ONLINE for the Autumn Term.

The current Government guidance affecting organisations such as EJMS places many restraints on what we are allowed to do. For example, choirs and orchestras are out of the question. We have to observe social distancing. And EJMS cannot operate a ‘bubble’ system as our students come from some 50 different day schools. The Trustees main concern throughout has been the safety of our students, parents and teachers.

We are currently considering what additional classes we can offer online. I hope to say something more about this in the next couple of weeks. I also hope to be able to announce exciting news about Musicianship.

Government guidance is frequently changing. But EJMS needed to make a decision now, in time for the start of term. The Trustees will, however, be keeping an eye open for future changes to the official guidance. We all wish to return to the ‘normal’ EJMS as soon as that is realistically and practically possible.

Janine Neye, our General Administrator, will email Student Timetables out as soon as she can. These may be later than usual, as she has not been able to finalise them until decisions were made on how we would be operating this Term. Once Timetables have been sent, Aurélia Brambley, our Finance Administrator, will then start to issue Invoices.

EJMS does currently have some vacancies. In particular, we would welcome applications from anyone wishing to play the flute, saxophone, clarinet, double-bass and guitar.

For existing students and parents, if you have any issues with broken violin strings or broken reeds etc, please send an urgent email to admin@ejms.org.uk, and copy in finance@ejms.org.uk

Many thanks for your patience in these unusual times.

John Hudson
Chair of Trustees
Ealing Junior Music School
[C19 Notice 9 – 28/08/20]

Update 8 - 28/07/20

Dear EJMS Parents, Teachers, Staff and Students,

Summer Term 2020 has ended. EJMS has now closed for the summer holidays.

The new online EJMS ran very satisfactorily indeed for the whole of the last term. This was a new experience for us all. I am very grateful to all our teachers, Trustees, staff, students and parents who made this not only possible but also a resounding success. Although we could not do our usual end of term concert, the online Performance Platform was very successful and enabled students to share their musical talents with an appreciative audience.

At the time of writing, I do not know whether EJMS will be back in operation at Twyford School in September 2020. I hope that it will be possible, but there are lots of things to take into consideration, including PPE, health and safety considerations generally, and a contingency plan should there be a sudden local spike in Covid-19 infections.

If we are NOT able to operate at Twyford School in September, then EJMS will continue to operate online as per the last term.

The EJMS Trustees are meeting regularly online to keep the situation under review. This is easier said than done, as Government advice seems to change day by day. So please do keep looking at the EJMS Website.

EJMS does currently have some vacancies. In particular, we would welcome applications from anyone wishing to play the flute, saxophone, clarinet or double-bass.

For existing students and parents, if you have any issues with broken violin strings or broken reeds etc, please send an urgent email to admin@ejms.org.uk, and copy in finance@ejms.org.uk

Even though the rules about lockdown have now been relaxed, it is still very important that we all continue to take care of ourselves at this difficult time and follow the latest government and NHS advice.

Very best wishes,
John Hudson
Chair of Trustees
Ealing Junior Music School
[C19 Notice 8 – 28/07/20]

Update 7 - 04/06/20

Dear EJMS Parents, Teachers, Staff and Students,

Summer Term 2020 – The New Online EJMS – Lesson opportunities.

EJMS re-commences this Saturday 6th June 2020. I hope you all enjoyed last week’s half-term break.

The new online EJMS has been running very satisfactorily since 25th April. So much so that we are now able to take on new students and also students who may need an alternative online music teacher during the Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, we would welcome applications from anyone wishing to play the flute, saxophone, clarinet or double-bass.

Please contact Janine Neye, our EJMS General Administrator, on 020-8930-0579 or email admin@ejms.org.uk Due to internet latency issues, we are currently only offering one-to-one instrumental lessons and group theory lessons.

For existing parents and students, please remember on Saturday to check your Zoom audio settings before the lesson begins. Use the Zoom audio settings screenshot document that Janine emailed to you in early May.

If you have any issues with broken violin strings or broken reeds, please send an urgent email to admin@ejms.org.uk, and copy in finance@ejms.org.uk

Even though the rules about lockdown have now been slightly relaxed, it is still very important that we all continue to take care of ourselves at this difficult time and follow the latest government and NHS advice.

Very best wishes,
John Hudson
Chair of Trustees
Ealing Junior Music School
[C19 Notice 7 – 04/06/20]

Update 6 - 05/05/20

Dear EJMS Parents, Teachers, Staff and Students,

Summer Term 2020 – The New Online EJMS

The new online EJMS has now run for two Saturdays. We commenced on 25th April 2020 with one-to-one instrumental lessons. Then on 2nd May 2020, we added online theory classes given by our three theory teachers.

I am very pleased to report that the lessons went very well indeed. Even better than on week one, as our teachers, students and parents gained more confidence in using the technology.

Since EJMS first started using Zoom, Zoom has reported back that we have held 107 meetings (each teacher holds one long meeting on a Saturday morning) with 1,754 participants for a total of 44,642 minutes of time. This shows not only the teaching on Saturday mornings, but the amount of online administrative meetings that we have held, and are still holding, to ensure we can make the new online EJMS a real success.

We aim to issue updated technical guidance later this week. So parents and teachers, please do check your inboxes and junk folders for any messages from our General Administrator, Janine Neye.

If you have any issues with broken violin strings or broken reeds, please send an urgent email to admin@ejms.org.uk, and copy in finance@ejms.org.uk

Walking around Ealing for my daily exercise in the lovely weather we have been having, it has been a very odd feeling to see the streets so deserted. However, it is very important that we all take care of ourselves at this difficult time and continue to follow the latest government and NHS advice.

Very best wishes,
John Hudson
Chair of Trustees
Ealing Junior Music School
[C19 Notice 6 – 5/05/20]

Update 5 - 27/04/20

Dear EJMS Parents, Teachers, Staff and Students,

Summer Term 2020

I am very pleased to report that the new online EJMS commenced on 25th April 2020 and went very well indeed. To begin with we only ran one-to-one instrumental lessons. We are planning to add theory classes from 2nd May 2020.

Parents, please do check your inboxes and junk folders for any messages from our General Administrator, Janine Neye. Also do check your children’s lesson times, as they are almost certainly different to what they were last term.

Online instrumental lessons are something very new to most of us. I am very grateful to the EJMS staff, trustees and teachers who made last Saturday possible. And well done to all those parents and students who joined in.

Please do continue to take care of yourselves at this difficult time, and continue to follow the latest government and NHS advice.

Very best wishes,

John Hudson
Chair of Trustees
Ealing Junior Music School
[C19 Notice 5 – 27/04/20]

Update 4 - 18/04/20

Dear EJMS Parents, Teachers, Staff and Students,

Summer Term 2020

I am pleased to confirm that EJMS will be running online one-to-one instrumental lessons starting on 25th April 2020. We are also hoping to run theory classes.

As previously said, sadly, we will not be able to offer online choirs, ensembles, musicianship, aural or piano accompaniment. Though we do hope to put together some online resources that will keep your children busy and interested until we can all be reunited.

Our General Administrator, Janine Neye, is currently working on a revised timetable (which takes into account the lack of choirs and ensembles) and this should be with existing parents very soon. In the meantime, Janine has emailed all existing parents with a letter that explains in detail our plans for this term. Please check your inboxes and junk folders for that email and attached letter.

We will also be issuing to parents in the next few days some rules on how the online lessons will work, and there will be a separate document giving some technical hints and tips for the best online teaching experience.

Please do continue to take care of yourselves at this difficult time, and follow the latest government and NHS advice.

Very best wishes,

John Hudson
Chair of Trustees
Ealing Junior Music School
[C19 Notice 4 – 18/04/20]

Update 3 - 07/04/20

Dear EJMS Parents, Teachers, Staff and Students,

Summer Term 2020

Since my last update on 20th March, the Trustees together with our General Administrator and Music Director have been working out the practicalities of how EJMS can give online music lessons next term. The good news is that we believe we CAN do this, starting on our scheduled 25th April 2020.

Of course, there will be limitations. We will not, for example, be able to run choirs. (Inherent internet time-lags make this impossible.) And streaming music for children to sing with their parents at home brings a host of copyright issues that we would first need to resolve. I am still hoping that we can offer theory lessons.

Quite when the current lockdown restrictions will ease is a question for which I do not have an answer. You will be aware of news channels that this question is being looked at by politicians and medical experts. However, I have to plan on the basis that EJMS will not be able to operate in the Twyford site for the whole of the Summer Term 2020. I would obviously love this to change, but not at the risk of endangering anyone’s health. I have, in the circumstances, taking the decision to cancel the end-of-year concert at St Barnabas Church scheduled for 4th July 2020.

Our current plan is to offer instrumental lessons using Zoom. I am well aware of recent scare stories about several of the internet hosting platforms. EJMS is fortunate to have two Trustees with specialist IT knowledge, and we believe we can set-up lessons in such a way as to not pose any risks to teachers or students.

I hope to be able by the end of this week to be in a position where Janine (our General Administrator) can tell existing parents exactly how we will be operating and also the best way for parents to use their existing computer equipment for online lessons.

Please continue to take care of yourselves at this difficult time, and do follow the latest government and NHS advice.

Very best wishes,

John Hudson
Chair of Trustees
Ealing Junior Music School
[Notice 3 – 7/04/20]

Update 2 - 20/03/20

Dear EJMS Parents, Teachers, Staff and Students,

Since my last update on 17th March, the government has ordered that schools should be closed and all exams for next term cancelled.

I have today been advised by Twyford School that the School site is closed to external hirers until further notice.

As the latest predictions seem to show the virus peaking at the end of May and lockdown until perhaps August, Twyford considers it is very unlikely that they will be able to re-open for hires in the summer term.

This will not be a surprise to anyone. The staff and administrators of Twyford school have my sympathies for what is clearly an extremely challenging time.

Our scheduled term dates for the summer term are 25th April 2020 to 4th July 2020. I am therefore operating on the basis that EJMS will not be able to operate at Twyford School at all in the Summer Term, but that hopefully, we should be able to return to Twyford in September 2020.

I am also intending to cancel the booking at St Barnabas Church on 4th July 2020, as a full concert on that date will be impractical, even if the church has by then re-opened for hire.

(Currently, St Barnabas Church, along with all other Church of England churches, is closed for both church services and concerts.)

The EJMS Trustees are currently making detailed plans on how EJMS may offer online instrumental tuition during the summer term.

I will be in touch again once we have firmed up those plans. As you may imagine, apart from technical considerations such as both parents/students and teachers having suitable equipment and broadband speeds, and being able to access the same music, this will be a new venture for our teaching staff. At this time, it does not seem that online ensembles could take place. However, we are considering what we might offer in the way of theory teaching.

Please continue to take care of yourselves at this difficult time, and do follow the latest government and NHS advice.

Very best wishes,

John Hudson
Chair of Trustees
Ealing Junior Music School
[Notice 2 – 20/03/20]

Update 1 - 17/03/20

Dear EJMS Parents

As you will know, the Prime Minister at his Press Conference yesterday, advised that everyone should avoid gatherings and crowded places.

After very careful consideration, the Trustees have decided that EJMS will be closed with immediate effect. It follows that EJMS will NOT be open on 21st and 28th March. Nor will the end of term concerts and exams take place.

Although the government has currently not advised schools to close, EJMS is a very different animal to a normal day school. EJMS has a mix of students from different schools from around the Borough, and EJMS has normally around one hundred parents in the Twyford site at any one time.

The Trustees did consider whether we could stay open for one-to-one lessons but decided this was impracticable. At present we intend to reopen after the Easter holiday period, but government advice seems to be changing on a daily basis. I will write a further update as soon as matters are clearer. In the meantime, the Trustees will be looking at possible contingency arrangements for next term. I would like to assure you that there have been no reported cases of Covid-19 by EJMS students, teachers or staff, but I obviously cannot guarantee that that will remain the case.

Some parents will already be aware that the Junior Departments of two of the central London Music Colleges have also decided to close. In addition, the Associated Boards of the Royal Schools of Music have cancelled all music exams with effect from Wednesday 18 March.

This has been a difficult decision for the Trustees. I am particularly sad that we will not have the chance to hear your wonderful children perform at our end of term concerts. I also appreciate how disappointing it will be for those students who have worked so hard this term to learn that their exams have been suddenly cancelled. As already mentioned, this is entirely out of EJMS control. I am not currently aware of whether the Associated Boards will aim to reschedule the cancelled exams to a date sometime next term. EJMS itself may be able to reschedule the cancelled concerts to next term, but it is too early to say whether this is possible.

Unfortunately, staff will not be able to make up lessons missed, nor can we issue individual refunds under these exceptional circumstances. However, we are looking into whether our instrumental teachers may be able to email parents (via Janine) with suggestions of repertoire/work to do over the break.

Please do not ask Janine for further information. She has enough to do already and at present, there is nothing more we can say. I will issue further updates on the website as the position becomes clearer or more information becomes available. Please check it regularly.

This will be a very difficult time for many people, especially those with underlying health problems. Please take care of yourselves and your children and follow the latest government advice. I look forward to seeing you all again when we can re-open.

Very Best Wishes,

John Hudson
Chair of Trustees
[Notice 1 – 17/03/20]

Join EJMS Now