2020 has been a year unlike any other in our lifetimes. So much of our normal life routines have been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. School went virtual and kids headed home back in March, and the disruptions didn’t stop there.
To each parent reading this, we commend you for how you’ve weathered this storm with your kids. And now, as summer approaches, we enter a new phase. Kids have even more free time, and many of the traditional summer activities have been canceled. Parents everywhere are scrambling for ideas to fill the summer with enriching activities – despite cancellations, closures, and postponements everywhere they look.
One great option is to increase private music instruction – or to begin it for the first time. Yes, right now, in the middle of a pandemic. It’s actually a great time to start studying music, and we can do it all digitally.
Tampa Music School Goes Digital
Just as school went digital this spring, so has Tampa Music School. All our lessons have gone online. This transition has gone pretty smoothly! Live video instruction is a pretty capable stand-in for in-person instruction. Thanks to all our current parents who have figured out how to make this work.
Whether you’re looking for resources to augment your child’s lessons or to help you decide on whether lessons are right for your child, we want to help.
How Do Online Music Lessons Work at Tampa Music School?
We’ve worked hard to ensure that our virtual music lessons are as seamless as possible for parents and students. You’ll book your sessions with your preferred instructor at a time that suits your schedule. When it comes time for your lesson, you’ll log on to our online portal and meet with your instructor.
Just as the curriculum for your in-person music lessons would be tailored to your goals, our virtual music lessons cater to your wants and needs as a musician.
In addition to virtual, one-on-one music lessons with professional and highly skilled instructors, we’ve also put together a list of additional resources that you and your child can take advantage of to enhance your music education. The resources below can help to keep your child musically engaged all summer long. And, best of all, parents without musical training should have no problem using any of them.
Attend Some Virtual Concerts
Attending concerts is a great musical experience for any music learner. Concerts are also a great tool for students considering lessons: they awaken the imagination and show what studying music can accomplish.
All live concerts are canceled right now, but that isn’t stopping musicians from making music! Arts organizations worldwide are hosting virtual concerts or virtual viewing parties of past performances.
The Florida Orchestra has an entire page devoted to TFO at Home, where you’ll find video and audio of past performance, interviews with orchestra musicians, and even teaching tips for specific instruments. The Tampa Bay Symphony also has some live performances featured on their website, including a powerful rendition of Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait, a work featuring spoken word along with beautiful orchestral music.
National arts organizations are participating, too, including the Metropolitan Opera, which streams a different opera each night.
Many popular artists are also going live from home, many through Facebook Live or Instagram. Check out your kids’ favorite local or national acts to see if they have any performances coming up.
Instrument Issues? Look for YouTube Tutorials
If your child plays an instrument besides the piano, you’ve probably dealt with instrument issues. From cracked reeds to slipped bridges to stuck tuners, student instruments have a habit of having issues. Before COVID-19, you’d simply take the instrument to the band teacher or your child’s lesson teacher. Now? It’s a little more challenging.
Fortunately, there are plenty of great YouTube tutorials available. If you can describe the problem, you can search for it on YouTube and find a great video explanation.
Host a Family Recital
This tip is reserved for those already taking music lessons, and it works best if you have multiple kids learning music. Spring recitals were largely canceled, but the lessons learned from perfecting a piece and then performing it under pressure are invaluable. You can recreate that experience at home. Have your kids get a piece “performance ready,” and then schedule a recital date. You can make it memorable by making the kids dress up, providing a recital reception, and even videoing performances to send to distant family!
Your kids may groan when you suggest it, but they’ll enjoy the memory years down the road.
Composer Biography Project
Summer is a great time for some extra reading. Maybe your child has a favorite piece and would be interested in learning more about the person who wrote it. Your local library likely has some kid- and teen-friendly biographies of a few famous composers, like Bach, Beethoven, Bartok, or Brahms.
Why not assign a composer biography as a summer reading project? When your child finishes, he or she could present a composer report to the family recapping what was learned.
Not taking lessons yet? Try an instrument report instead. Have your child research an instrument that he or she is interested in and present pros and cons to you. (This might even help you guide your child to an instrument that’s a good fit for your family and budget!)
Talk to Your Child’s Music Instructor
We hope the ideas we’ve shared with you today will empower you to provide additional musical enrichment activities for your children. These are all general ideas that will be helpful to any student of music, but they aren’t tailored to your child’s individual needs, interests, or instrument. For more tailored suggestions, current student parents should check in with their child’s music instructor. All our instructors have great ideas about instrument-specific and level/age-appropriate resources not included here.
These are challenging days, but we hope that music will continue to be a bright spot in your children’s development. Tampa Music School is here to help however we can. Don’t hesitate to reach out’ we’re here for you. And if you’re ready to start virtual lessons for the first time, contact us today!