As I walk down the corridor of our school’s music department, my eye is caught by the contents of the noticeboard, writes Rhona Macdonald.
It is plastered with photos: Christmas concerts; trips to the Glasgow Music Festival; that time the choir sang carols for the old folk’s home. All are filled with beaming pupils, sporting mismatched uniforms and holding their instruments like trophies.
These little windows to the past are bittersweet reminders of life before lockdown, when groups of more than six people from two households could meet to rehearse music for upcoming performances, and wind players’ practice wasn’t limited to the confines of their own homes.
But these vistas are also vessels of hope, endearing depictions of our school’s involvement in the community and premonitions of future projects.
The importance of music has always been championed by Hyndland, with pupils encouraged to take up instruments early on in their school career and a wide selection of groups for them to play in.
So, when a national lockdown was enforced, the silence was only brief. Peripatetic instrumental teachers continued lessons over Zoom. Entire classrooms moved to Microsoft Teams. The school Twitter account teemed with videos of students playing pieces from the comfort of their own homes.
Lockdown highlighted the importance of music through its capacity to connect people and underlined how intrinsic it is to our daily lives, but it also shone a light on its neglect and underfunding.
I count myself lucky to be in so many of the photos on this wall. Seeing myself up there with my friends is a refreshing burst of warmth in the otherwise chilly corridors of our school.
I remember watching the older students perform in our local church at the Christmas service when I was in first year and feeling a desire to be up there one day myself.
I have just submitted an application to study music, and I can safely say that I wouldn’t be doing so without the nurture of our school’s music teachers over the years and the ensembles I’ve had the pleasure of playing in.
For the meantime, this noticeboard will have to act as the stage upon which younger pupils are inspired to take up instruments, and I have no doubt that, when restrictions permit, the sound of music will once again echo down the Airlie building’s corridors.
- Rhona Macdonald is an S6 pupil at Hyndland Secondary School. This article also features in our newsletter ‘My Glasgow West End’. Please subscribe by hitting the button on the top of the page.