Virtual tea break for RNCM staff and students

RNCM staff and students are invited to join in with #RNCMElevenses, a new online tea break held by Dr Michelle Phillips, our Deputy Head of Undergraduate Programmes, each weekday from 11am.

We caught up with Michelle, about how the initiative is going so far and why she feels it’s so important in the current situation.  

I miss contact with our wonderful staff and students, but there are ways that you can foster a sense of community virtually, which can be just as effective. The main buzz I get during the day at the RNCM comes from interacting with students, so it’s important to find other ways to keep up this key part of RNCM life.

The idea behind #RNCMElevenses is to have an informal catch-up that’s open to everyone, to give our community the chance to chat about coursework or just share stories about remote working and studying. It will be like an ‘office’ hour, but perhaps even more fun, and will hopefully involve some colourful PJs and some amusing household interruptions!

I hosted the first #RNCMElevenses on Monday 23 March, over a Zoom video chat and we had a lot of fun. We connected around the world, shared stories and music, and talked about how different countries and people are experiencing everything at the moment.

It was one of the most fun elevenses I’ve ever had – there were some great mugs, it was nice to see people in their family homes, and we had the chance to wish two students who were travelling home that day safe travels.

My Music Acoustics students are making instruments from found materials at the moment and another #RNCMElevenses highlight was Martha serenading us all with her new pan pipes, made from domestic pipes.

It was a really special moment of coming together, across year groups, and around the world. Edwina talked us through what happens when you arrive in Hong Kong, and showed us her wrist band that she has to wear for 14 days to signal that she has to be in quarantine.

It’s better than a normal tea break in some ways, as people have been chatting across year groups and Principal Study schools, and whilst for some of us it’s 11am, for others it’s 7pm. It’s elevenses on a whole new scale!

It is nice that you set the chat up, it is definitely comforting to be able to catch up with people from College – Rebecca Reavley, RNCM Vocal Studies and Opera student

I’ll be online from 11 – 11.30am most weekdays, ready with tea and biscuits – and I’ll post any changes to timings on my Twitter account. Hope to see you there!

24 March 2020