With the 2024 Southwark Awards approaching, here is our experience of winning the 2021 Business Resilience Award during lockdown.

For SE22 Piano School, winning the 2021 COVID-19 Business Resilience Award sponsored by Lendlease, was validation of their outstanding work to support clients and keep the business going during lockdowns.

Lorraine Liyanage, Head Teacher and founder, said: “Covid had been such a struggle and we had stayed afloat by looking at ways in which we could add more value while kids were at home during lockdown. We are the only business of its kind in the area and we got this award because we offered more than just the lesson.”

During the pandemic the school was able to offer Zoom music lessons and in addition, organised weekly group lessons that were open to all young musicians, not just students. These allowed a meeting place for both teachers and students to perform music for each other.

The winner’s graphic has been placed on the school’s website and social media and there has been a spike in enquiries since the Virtual Awards Ceremony last October and as COVID-19 restrictions lift.

The East Dulwich-based music school is now open for piano, guitar, singing and theory lessons in person, and helps students prepare for the upcoming music scholarships and aptitude tests to local state schools.

Its achievement in the 2021 Southwark Business Resilience Awards was all the more welcome after an initial disappointment in 2019.

“We first entered the awards programme in the year they started but didn’t get anywhere so decided to try again – in business you can’t get put off – and it was a massive surprise that we won.”

Author: Lorraine Liyanage

Owner of the SE22 Piano School in East Dulwich. Founder and Director of the Dulwich Music Festival. Piano teacher based in East Dulwich since 2007.

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