Each week for the last several weeks I have been meeting on line with Rio School District Music Teachers and our artists in residence. We have been talking and planning about how we adapt to the pandemic school closures and keep our THRIVING music programs going. We know how important this is to children and community.
We have also been planning Rio Music Festival 2020: The Show Goes On. This year’s online music festival will be held Saturday June 13th and will be available online after the first streaming. I have been inspired by how the music teachers are confronting the challenges they face by adapting, learning and looking for the upsides of these school closure experiences. At today’s meetings after doing a go round on what kids have uploaded music festival videos etc…. I asked them to talk about things that have been positive during these times. They shared some great stuff even though many of them are clearly feeling the loss of live face to face performance and teaching.
Among their many uplifting thoughts were the following;
- The closures were causing music teachers to learn and explore new ways of teaching
- Students have more time to play and practice.
- Many engaged students are more introspective about their music.
- Many engaged students are getting private online lessons they didn’t get before
- Musical doors are being opened for many students.
- Many engaged students are practicing more.
- Some students who are more shy in regular class are blossoming.
- Teachers are coming to know their engaged students better.
- Engaged students are pursuing music for the love of music.
- Students are hearing themselves more and learning from the video feedback.
- Opportunities are being made for teachers to be more empathetic.
- Kids who are engaging are easy to work with.
- Teacher ideas of teaching music are changing.
- Kids have the chance to play it again and again.
- Teachers are learning to speak Spanish and interact with parents more.
- Being part of the Rio Music Teacher community has been much needed.
- Making Instructional videos has really developed.
- Some logistics of physical spaces have been eliminated.
Music, as Stevie Wonder might say, is the Key of Life. In Rio we know that the arts and all of human creativity are not an extra, they are essential and critical to what separates humans from other animals. Rio will continue to support our students by making sure the arts are part of their learning experiences. We hope everyone will tune in to Rio Music Festival 2020: The Show Goes On which will air at 1:00 pm that Saturday, June 13th.