Here’s to 2021! – December Blog

Digital Ambassador Piá Bromby chronicles life as an RNCM violinist in a series of monthly blog posts.

Manchester at Christmas

December, not too dissimilar to November, really kicked some of us in the teeth with mixed emotions – YET AGAIN! Tiers 1, 2 and 3 were just not doing the ‘Covid cake’ justice, so Tier 4 was introduced as an early ‘Christmas present’ to many of the nation. It’s totally gutting that the changes were announced when everyone had organised a little bit of hope during the holidays, however this is unfortunately the surreal reality of living life during a global pandemic. I keep saying to friends how bizarre it is to think that we’re living through these times that will one day turn into future generations’ history classes, or will be made into films for us to watch. I’m so sorry if the new tier system affected your plans to be with family and friends over the break and I hope you were still able to connect with loved ones in some way.

Now that that elephant in the room has been shoved out, let’s talk about some more positive occurrences in December!

CHRISTMAS, CHRISTMAS, CHRISTMAS! Yes, many of us (definitely including myself) were excited to have a well deserved break and get home for Christmas. It’s crazy to think that Term 1 of this year is already over and that we all survived this new and obscure way of life, which may I add, has been superbly organised and orchestrated (no pun intended) by all the staff at the RNCM – thank you!

My favourite genres for 2020…

Before term ended (and after lockdown finished), it was so nice to see the city preparing for Christmas with all the decorations and general buzz as more shops were allowed to open. College too put up its tree to celebrate the near end of many assignments (YAY), and the classic Spotify Wrapped revealed itself on December 2. In my spare time, I don’t tend to listen to much classical music as I prefer something with more of a dance beat. Don’t get me wrong, Bach Bourrées and Gavottes are absolute bops, but the vibe I go for in my own time is slightly different …

Listening to a wide variety of music is always an aim of mine for the new year as it’s important to me to expand and listen to other genres that I don’t necessarily cross as much with my own instrument. Do you make New Year’s resolutions or not? Let me know!

I was lucky enough to travel home on 9 December to be with family for the holidays. Piccadilly Station was so bare compared to the usual hustle bustle and it was the most spooky journey travelling home on such an empty train.

When I got home, there was still a week and a half left of term so lectures and principal study classes continued; assignments were finally submitted and practice continued as normal. Although it was lovely to be in my own environment, for some reason I found it super strange attending lectures from my bedroom at home as opposed to my bedroom in Manchester. I think not being surrounded by other musicians can be challenging sometimes as you can feel so out of the loop and separate from the rest of the RNCM. If you’ve been working solely online so far this year, respect to you and I hope it’s been a positive experience!

Online Zoom class

We’re so fortunate to be going through these times with technology, social media and Zoom (without which, we’d all be stuffed). I definitely have my issues and reservations with technology and social media, but I’m very thankful that it’s been here to help many of us during 2020. Sure, speaking to someone on a screen is not the same as in person, but it’s definitely better than nothing and has been pretty crucial over the Christmas break.

I understand that Christmas can be difficult for some people anyway, without the added problem of living through a global pandemic… family, gifts, food and drink can be very overwhelming. However, you survived, you got through it and creds to you for getting through the hardest Christmas you may ever have to experience. You may not even celebrate Christmas, in which case I still hope you had a peaceful break and similarly, you got through it! I hate the idea of dismissing a year as time is too precious to be wishing it away, yet I’m sure many of us will be happy to see the back of 2020. Sure, it’s been a car crash of a year for MANY reasons, however we’ve learnt so much about our world and ourselves this year, potentially more than any other year.

To finish, I have a little recommendation for everyone…

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet was released in September and I’d highly recommend watching this film if you haven’t already. Throughout the film, David mentions how with or without humans, a species, even a complete loss of habitat, nature will eventually thrive again. By pure coincidence, the release of this film perfectly aligns with events of this year, that parts of our planet healed despite the massive chaos Covid-19 has given us – nature prevailed and carried on. I will be aiming to continue being kind to my environment and others in the hope that we will all thrive once more in a better way than ever before – in harmony. I love the message David presents and will definitely be taking it with me into 2021.

I have finally finished my spiel (hooray!) and would like to wish everyone a healthy, Happy New Year; fingers crossed we’ll be able to see each other around College in a more normal sense at some time this year – here’s to 2021!

See you soon and thanks for reading,

Piá :)

5 January 2021