Two months ago I told my students to “have a nice spring break.” Little did I know leaving the school that day that it would be the last time I would see their faces in person. Within a week, stay at home orders were placed and everyone’s lives changed in a split second. Immediately all of us wondered how we would continue to serve or if we would even have the opportunity to continue serving. ArtistYear acted swiftly; everyone began devising a plan and reassured us that we weren’t going anywhere. So how does one serve during a pandemic?
Serving your community is more important now than ever, but to keep our communities safe we are doing it from home. I am continuing to serve the school I was placed at. Normally I would be working with my bubbly clarinet section or the goofy trombone students, but now I’m working with everyone online to achieve the same results. I spend most of my days researching online activities and materials to provide the students. I want the students to have the same amount of fun while learning more on their instruments. I give them three categories to choose from: play, create and listen . By providing these categories, I hope they become inspired by what they hear and want to create music.
The results of learning music online have actually been incredible. Students now have the opportunity to learn at their own pace and no longer worry about what their neighbor is doing. It is so inspiring to hear what they accomplished when I get to see my students on video calls and listen to assignments they submit.
In addition to continuing service at my school, ArtistYear has also had the amazing opportunity to launch an educational YouTube channel. We have multiple series featuring different arts disciplines. I have been working with an amazing team of musicians to produce “UnderCover: How to Cover Your Favorite Songs.” This channel gives us the opportunity to serve communities far beyond our own. While many of us do not have fancy equipment, we are making amazing content with what we have.
Although I know I may never see my students again, at least I know I can continue to serve them. With everything going on in the world I hope my students are continually being inspired and motivated to create. With this being said , it is time for me to go and create.