For just about everyone, life looks a lot different than it did a year ago. Stay-at-home orders, quarantines, and social distancing measures have changed the way we operate day to day. Families felt this early, with kids sent home from school in March. Now, as we head from school year to summer, we all continue to experience the broader effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With many summer activities throughout Boston and Massachusetts already canceled, we know parents are looking for help to keep kids engaged and entertained for the summer months. At Your Door Music is here to help however we can, starting with the resources below.
At Your Door Music, Minus the Travel
The pandemic has affected life as usual here at At Your Door Music, too. Obviously, we aren’t coming to your door right now. Instead, we’re coming to your phones and tablets. We’ve transitioned all students to online lessons, and we’re pleased with how all our students are doing in this medium.
We’re thrilled to be operating in an age that has access to this kind of technology. It makes it possible to continue instruction in this very strange time. We know that parents want to add more value to their children’s music instruction. But many parents lack much musical background, so they feel like they are limited in how much they can help.
Other parents are wishing their kids could start lessons right now, but they figure COVID-19 makes that impossible. On the contrary, At Your Door Music is happy to start new students virtually. All you have to do is call to get started!
Wherever you’re coming from, we want to help. Our team has pulled together some resources that parents can use to help their kids stay engaged in their musical pursuits. Check out the ideas below for ways to augment your child’s digital musical instruction (or to whet their appetite for what’s coming once they start).
How Do Online Music Lessons Work?
With virtual music lessons from At Your Door Music, adults and children alike can reap all the benefits of musical instruction from the comfort of your very own home. Once you’ve registered for online classes or been transitioned from in-person to virtual instruction, all you have to do is schedule your session with a professional instructor. When it comes time for your lesson, all you’ll need to do is log-in to our online portal to meet with your instructor for your scheduled lesson. All music lessons will be personalized to your unique goals so that you can make the progress you’re looking to achieve on your musical journey.
Resources for Continued Music Education from Home
In addition to your online lessons, there’s an abundance of resources and online activities available for you to continue your musical education.
Start with Virtual Concerts
Before COVID-19, attending live music events (like the Boston Pops or the Boston Symphony Orchestra) was a great way to inspire your young musicians. That doesn’t work right now, but there’s a silver lining. With live concerts canceled for the foreseeable future, many arts organizations are pouring effort into streaming concerts or providing free access to high-quality videos of past performances.
BSO isn’t offering much by the way of video concerts, but they are providing unique educational materials like BSO Homeschool. They’re also providing BSO at Home, video insights into the practice regimen and home life of BSO musicians during quarantine. Here’s an example.
Other organizations are offering more robust free programming, including the Metropolitan Opera and BroadwayHD. Well-known popular and local musicians are going live at home from time to time, as well. So, be sure to follow your child’s favorite artists on social media to keep up to date.
Host a Family Recital
This tip is limited to current student families, but it’s still worth mentioning. Just because you’re socially distancing doesn’t mean you can’t have a recital for your child. Make it a family recital instead. This works best if you have multiple kids studying music, of course. The pressure of having to perfect and memorize a piece and they play it in front of an audience is a crucial part of learning music. You can help your child prepare for future performances by hosting one at home.
Build interest with your kids by going all out: make up a program, have everyone dress up a bit, and have a reception afterward.
Bonus Tip: Film the performances and send them to distant family (and even not-so-distant friends).
Check YouTube for Instrument Issues
Instrumental students are bound to have issues with their instruments eventually. From broken strings to stuck valves to wonky tuning mechanisms, instruments can be finicky. Instrumentalists will miss the hands-on help with instrument problems that they get in their regular lessons.
Our teachers are still willing to diagnose and troubleshoot during video lessons, but there’s no need to wait until the next lesson and miss all those practice days. YouTube is full of impressive tutorials on solving most basic instrument problems. Chances are if you can describe the issue, you can find a tutorial.
Brush Up on Music Theory
Now is the perfect time for your kids to brush up on their music theory. Students often vary widely in what they know in this area, so be sure to check with your child’s teacher. If you’re looking for a kid-friendly resource, the worksheets from Opus Music Worksheets are a great place to start. Here’s an option that’s really beginner-friendly, and here’s one more that’s more geared to teens and adult learners.
Check-in with Your Instructor
The ideas here are generally helpful, no matter your child’s age, instrument, or experience level. To get even more custom-tailored ideas, current student families can talk to their child’s instructor. Our instructors know of many additional resources that are instrument-specific, and they can guide you to the resources that are most appropriate for your child.
These are strange days, but At Your Door Music is here for you. Let us know how we can help you. And if you’re interested in learning more about starting digital music lessons, reach out today.