It has been ten weeks since we have converted in-home and in-school music lessons to 100% online music lessons. COVID-19 saw spring recitals across the world going virtual. And it all seemed to happen so fast. So, I would like to take a moment to look back and organize what all happened in Spring 2020.
OUR JOURNEY BEGINS.
ONLINE MUSIC LESSONS
On March 12th, we as a studio decided to switch from in-person music lessons to online music lessons due to COVID-19. We expected concerns or even complaints from our studio community. Our official announcement email, however, was met with many supportive and encouraging messages from studio parents and that made the transition quickly.
Luckily, this was not our first venture online. However, it was the first time that every teacher and student was entirely on board. The first and second weeks were challenging for everyone. Converting to remote learning, navigating online platforms; all of it had a steep learning curve. But we got through that first week. Then a second week, and another week. When we reached the fourth week of online teaching, the benefits of this new style of learning were coming to light.
Meanwhile, Every student, parent and teacher was working towards one goal that seemed impossible a month ago: an all online spring recital.
VIRTUAL SPRING RECITAL
First, we had to decide. Maybe we could postpone the recital until summer, so we could use the venue and make the event what we originally planned. But, during this pandemic, we like many others wanted to keep some sense of normalcy by maintaining the studio’s schedule.
We decided to go with an online recital; which only lead to more choices and changes. Initially, we wanted to go live on Youtube with recorded videos, but that platform has some restrictions. We detoured and ended up collecting all of our students’ videos into one link to be shared at recital time.
Shooting, collecting and editing the videos began a week before our big event and this process was the most rewarding moment for our studio. Each student in the video dressed up nicely for the recital and performed with their best effort. Everyone shone so brightly during his or her performance, and it gave us an idea of how much each of them practiced and prepared on his or her own during this hard time. As we do for spring recitals, we added an opening, closing, and a refreshment clip to the video.
We all made this event happen, despite the circumstances, and that was powerful for everyone involved!
This idea for an online studio project was inspired by Berklee students coming together as a virtual orchestra. Their collaborative video showed us all how music connects us to the world. We sought to bring all of our students together, even while apart, by teaching them “Chopsticks March” in our weekly group classes. Individual recordings were collected and combined using the magic editing software. This was the extension of community-based studio project that is part of our mission to invite not only the students but also their family members to our recitals and events. With the successful result of the first studio project, “Chopsticks March Ensemble”, we are currently working on the second project, “Chopsticks March Symphony” which will involve even more of our students’ and community’s talents with more pianos, voices, and ukuleles!
OUR JOURNEY continues.
The past ten weeks have been full of challenges, but they’ve also brought new opportunities. Things that we had been dreaming about but never got to try were visualized. Soon I’ll be writing about group and summer classes online. Stay tuned!