In Coronavirus Funding Impact Stories, Funding Stories, Physical & mental health, wellbeing & safety

Project: Delivering online ‘Monday Motivation’ videos to keep school students engaged with music and opera at this uncertain time
Grant: £2,500
Fund: NET Coronavirus Appeal (more info)

Garsington Opera is known for putting on spectacular performances during a six-week summer opera festival at the beautiful Wormsley Estate in Stokenchurch.

With the outbreak of coronavirus, not only has their famous summer festival been replaced by online access to some of their fantastic past productions, their OperaFirst workshops in schools have also been temporarily halted.

Ordinarily, Garsington’s OperaFirst workshops give school age children the opportunity to explore the musical and dramatic themes of an opera through in-school workshops, culminating in an exciting visit to Wormsley to attend a full-scale performance. With schools initially closed – and now reopened with strict safety measures in place – Garsington Opera has found a way to continue to deliver workshops to children at this uncertain time.

With a £2,500 grant from the NET Coronavirus Appeal, Garsington Opera has been able to deliver online ‘Monday Motivation’ videos aimed at students. Through these weekly videos, students who would have participated in their school’s OperaFirst workshops (and even young people who haven’t had the chance before) are able to stay engaged with music and learn more about opera.

The 30-minute programme, which includes a performance from a special guest opera singer, explores the themes of a specific opera each week and is an interactive mix of movement, music and art-making.

“We are very grateful to the Heart of Bucks Foundation and their funders for supporting Monday Motivation, which is making a real difference in the life of our students”, shares Jill Battson, Head of Individual Giving at Garsington Opera. “We [saw] Buckinghamshire schools adopt the programme into their lockdown teaching schedules, and have heard from children – and adults – how much they are enjoying the material. Mostly we are making sure we deliver quality material that continues to engage our students in music and opera”.

“We will continue making Monday Motivation until the end of the school year, and at the end of the summer holidays assess if we need digital delivery, or if we can go back into the schools to deliver workshops”.

Watch a Monday Motivation session:


To view all of Garsington Opera’s videos, visit their YouTube channel.