An open letter from Academy Director Dave Orrett – Monday, March 16th, 2020
Thank you for your patience as we worked hard all weekend to find a solution to the complications caused by COVID-19. We are committed to the health and safety of all in our community; our teachers, staff, students, and parents. In uncertain times with precautions and advisories changing almost daily, we believe we have found a solution that will work going forward.
Effective immediately, all private lessons will be conducted online until Orrett re-opens on Saturday, April 4th. (we will update you if the closure of the academy is forced to extend beyond this time.)
Although the school will be closed to the general public, myself and/or Candace will still be at the school many days to do admin work, organization, and ensuring things are running as smoothly as possible.
I have been in discussions with many other music school directors and music teachers in the global setting. As this is a worldwide problem, the global music community is working together to find the best technology for delivering music lessons online. We are confident in our platform of choice (Zoom) and have begun to train our teachers on it. We are also providing resources for them so that they can adapt to this new format and continue to deliver high-quality music lessons to your children.
Over the coming days, we will be sending you more information about how to make sure you are prepared for you/ your child’s private music lesson(s). We also want to ensure we stay in touch with you, our extended musical family, over this break so we are also working on other resources to help bring music to your home, so keep an eye on your email and our social media channels.
Unfortunately all group lessons are cancelled until April the 4th. More information is upcoming about group classes.
I know that many of you may be new to the concept of online video conferencing. I urge you to give it a try. While there will no doubt be aspects of online lessons that are different from in-person lessons, I am equally confident that, with your help, this fun and high-tech option will be a wonderful solution, at least during these challenging times.
In these uncertain times, it is important for communities such as ours to stick together and hold each other up. Life must not simply stop. Continuity is especially important for children who look to us for stability. Music lessons are one of the few things that can continue, and we are grateful for this. I also strongly believe in the positive power of music and am passionate about being able to bring music into your homes when mental health is of utmost importance.
I am so proud of my hard working teachers and I know you would all echo my appreciation for all they do throughout the year for your children. In moving to online lessons, we are also able to continue supporting them (who, as self-employed musicians are not eligible for EI) in a time when their income from other avenues (such as gigs and performances) has disappeared.
I know change can be difficult. We are here to support you. Please be on the lookout for specific instructions from our admin team as well as your teacher(s) regarding lessons. I look forward to this adventure with you!