Latest Coronavirus Update from Plymouth Music Zone’s Chief Executive, Debbie Geraghty.

The Plymouth Music Zone team has very much missed seeing all your lovely faces through our regular musical get togethers that we so sadly had to cancel due to the current crisis. We miss being together and hearing that beautiful sound of music in the PMZ building and elsewhere and that musical joy we share each time we meet.

As you will no doubt understand, in light of the current situation and government advice, we will be extending the period of closure of the Plymouth Music Zone building and the cancellation of all regular face to face music sessions until 1 July 2020. This will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

We are very much still here though.

It has been tremendously heartening to have been able to keep in touch with so many of you over the past few weeks, both behind the scenes and via our musical sharings on social media. We have been listening and learning during this lockdown. Exploring what is needed and how we can be of most value to you during this time.  Our team remains committed to continuing its work and doing all we can – albeit in a different way.

Plymouth Music Zone’s heart very much remains in the same place. We are about Music Making a Difference. Always will be. This crisis has not changed who we are or what we passionately believe in. In fact, it feels even more relevant now. As a team, we continue to explore with you how we can use music to keep connecting with as many people as possible who can most benefit during this isolating time. Music has a strong role to play in maintaining our mental wellbeing. You’ve told us that too.

On that note, we are now working with our Music Leaders and participants to shape a new PMZ Extraordinary Times Programme that aims to keep this PMZ community strong through both online and offline musical activities. We want to reach as many of our diverse musical communities as possible. But we also realise there will only be so much we can currently do – so we wish to make it as meaningful as possible.  We all know music provides a much needed sense of togetherness. We have more faith than ever that music and creativity can still allow us to touch others – even at a distance.

We have also been very keen to look after the PMZ team as everyone attempts to navigate this uncertain and difficult territory.  All PMZ staff are now working remotely from home. We are aware this crisis will be a marathon and not a sprint and wish to preserve the strength and security of our team as a priority. To aid this, and to demonstrate our full commitment to wellbeing, we will be adapting PMZ working hours for the next few months.

From Mon 20th April until 1 July, PMZ will be operating a 4 day week while still fully respecting all current staff pay and conditions. We intend to designate this new weekly day off as a #WellbeingWednesday

Having Wednesdays free will allow staff to find the much needed space to look after themselves and those they care for during these increased challenging times.  We believe this will ultimately help the team maintain focus and productivity which in turn will help us serve our communities better.  Which is what matters to us most. We will also be scheduling the sharing of useful wellbeing related resources on our Facebook page on Wednesdays. We hope this mid week pause can help support our PMZ community in some way too.

To keep communication channels strong, PMZ core hours during this time will be 10am to 5pm.  Please feel free to contact us by email or social media should you need to be in touch. 

As with so many arts organisations and charities, Plymouth Music Zone’s income and funding will inevitably be impacted by this crisis. We are working very hard as an equal priority to ensure the charity can still be using music to make a difference for a very long time to come. We, of course, cannot do that without the support of key funders and all those who choose to donate to the charity. I am reminded of a section from our recent business plan that suddenly feels more of a guiding star than ever:

Plymouth Music Zone’s vision and mission are straight from the heart. We love music. We love people. We love making a difference. Our real passion is combining all three – bringing extraordinary people together through extraordinary musical experiences to enable extraordinary things to happen…

Immense thanks to all those who see the value of the impact of the work we do and who have faith that our new PMZ Extraordinary Times programme will do all it can to begin a new musical journey – with our participants, as ever, at its heart.

It is certainly not easy to express the enormity of what is happening all around us at the moment. We do hope that together, in small but meaningful ways, music can continue to be the language that can hold us all together in the challenging months ahead.

We are deeply thankful for your continued donations and support through our Just Giving page.

Warmest thanks,