For the past 18 months, Emily Myles has been teaching pupils in schools across Cambridgeshire how to play the flute, piano and clarinet – as well as how to sing. Emily joined Cambridgeshire Music’s teaching team after she graduated with a music degree from the University of Cambridge.

Normally Emily travels across the county to ten different schools each week sharing her passion for music with 75 different pupils from Chatteris to Cambridge. But for the past few weeks, Emily has been combining her teaching responsibilities with a new temporary role as Shielding Case Officer for Cambridgeshire County Council.

Because Cambridgeshire Music’s team are County Council employees, many music teachers like Emily and other key staff have been redeployed during the coronavirus emergency to help some of the most vulnerable people in the county.

Emily’s new role involves calling 60 people every week who are ‘shielding’ – people who have long-term health conditions and are at serious risk from Covid-19 – and to check that they have access to essential supplies and services.

On top of this vital work, Emily is still managing to offer fortnightly music lessons to 50 of the students she would normally be visiting in schools. But all of her lessons are now offered online through Cambridgeshire Music’s Connect programme. Emily has moved all of her lessons to Thursdays and Fridays so that she can focus on her role as Shielding Case Officer in the first half of the week.

Although she is currently only able to offer fortnightly lessons, she has found her pupils and their parents to be understanding about the current circumstances that are impacting many of Cambridgeshire Music’s teachers.

“It’s important that these phone calls are my priority because people’s lives are at stake,” Emily explained. “I’d love to be able to teach more hours but it’s just not possible.”

Read Cambridgeshire County Council’s information and advice for residents and businesses on the Coronavirus pandemic here: