Having now delivered more than 9000 online lessons, sessions and activities to our Big Noise participants, we thought it was a perfect time to take a look back at some of the different ways we've been adapting and learning, to ensure we've been able to continue supporting our communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought huge changes to the lives of children, young people and families. Since March 2020, when schools were closed and we entered the first lockdown, Sistema Scotland has worked to ensure that the Big Noise programmes continue to support the wellbeing of our participants through music and nurturing relationships.
Since March 2020, Sistema Scotland has continuously adapted Big Noise to work under a range of Covid-19 restrictions, from last spring's total lockdown to carefully-managed delivery within schools in late 2020, then the second lockdown in early 2021 and gradual reopening of schools in recent weeks. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, our priority has always been to support the wellbeing of the children and young people of Big Noise, their families and their communities.
We rapidly established the Big Noise Virtual After-School Club: a digital version of the after-school programme that our Big Noise centres deliver to children and young people aged from 7 to 18 years. Over the past year, we have delivered more than 9000 online lessons, sessions and activities. We received an overwhelmingly positive response from parents/carers to their children receiving online lessons from Big Noise during the lockdown.
"Big Noise was the only interaction my daughter had during the lockdown. Her mood jumped back up after her Big Noise sessions; the group sessions were extremely beneficial as she'd been feeling isolated and had little other interaction. Big Noise is where her good friends are." Parent of a Big Noise participant
Starting with one-to-one lessons, our digital delivery quickly expanded to include group lessons, Baby Noise sessions and community orchestra rehearsals, as well as other fun activities such as quizzes and virtual visits. We have also created hundreds of pre-recorded teaching videos, not only for our participants but also for use within partner schools - work that will continue even as the restrictions ease.
We also worked closely with local schools to ensure Covid-safe, face-to-face delivery wherever restrictions allowed. Having Big Noise back in schools helped to give a sense of something like normal for the children, which was much needed. Some children have also said that having Big Noise back in their school helped them to manage their moods, health and energy. You can read more about this in the report Face to Face Expressive Arts during Covid-19, which includes a case study from Big Noise Douglas.
"Big Noise gives me more energy and it helps my mum when I come home because I am more calm." Child receiving Big Noise lessons at school in late 2020
We are delighted that, as the schools have now fully reopened and Covid-19 restrictions are steadily easing, we are gradually able to return to our more typical Big Noise delivery and, most importantly, that the children will be able to learn, practice and perform together again. However, we have also learned a great deal in the past year about using digital technology and a range of other approaches to provide a more holistic approach to Big Noise.
We can’t wait to make an even bigger and better noise than ever before!