Georgia School of Music survives pandemic
Alpharetta, GA – Katie Pearsall started playing music when she was in college. Inspired by a teacher who discovered her almost perfect pitch and encouraged her to simply give it a try, she did all she could to acquire and deepen her expertise. It didn’t take long for her to realize how much she wanted to own her own music school.
“I went to college and got my teaching degree, my teaching license, everything,” Pearsall said. “Glad I had the experience, but I realized I had to keep this dream. I worked in a bunch of different studios here in Georgia – I learned what you can do and what you can do. you should avoid. “
“It was very exciting,” Pearsall said. “After I opened it was a huge learning experience. I always wanted to have something like this. It was a dream come true. I was lucky.”
In March 2020, the pandemic struck; threatening his dream. The new students are gone. Many students have withdrawn.
“Some people took classes with me for almost a decade, and they didn’t have the money, they didn’t know what was going to happen,” she said. “Some people have come back, some have left. No one has come for class again.”
As a gesture of good faith to the families she had worked with for years, Pearsall began to float course fees, pushing back the date payments were due.
“It was scary. It was up a lot at night, ‘what am I going to do.’ I had other business opportunities that dried up; the gigs dried up. I was nervous, very nervous, “Pearsall said.” 2020 was just a huge turning point for ‘est- can I do that? ‘ I had to say to myself “you can do this. If you weren’t supposed to do this, you wouldn’t have done it in the first place. And now you’re doing it, even though it’s not great, even though it’s not perfect. “
“Just like you learn a song or a solo; it doesn’t matter if you make a few mistakes, that’s why you repeat it. “
She knew that if the school was going to survive, she was going to have to find other ways to teach. Online was the answer, although she knew that for college students it wouldn’t be ideal.
“Getting classes online was tough,” Pearsall said, adding that she would tell students, “we’ll just try. I’m not expecting much. Some of these kids, because they’re musicians, are more sensitive, and I don’t mean emotionally. They feel the heat, the temperature, the humidity, everyone’s emotions, things like that. Watching them come in every week, I’m like ‘I love you, I’m proud of you, you’re doing so well.’ I had to pump them up and be a cheerleader. So it was difficult. These online courses were difficult. ”
In early 2021, before the studio reopened for in-person lessons, Pearsall began working with some students outdoors and at safe distances.
“There is hope, there are positive things at the end of the tunnel,” Pearsall said. “There are parents who want to come back, but some parents will wait and see because we have all these new variations. It’s a little better than before.”
For Pearsall, it was all a series of lessons.
“As a business owner, being brand new is different than if I had been open for five or 10 years,” Pearsall said. “I just started. For me, I feel like I’m still in the baby stage to learn a lot of things. As a teacher, my job is never to tell people if they are talented. or not. My job is to take all fear away so that they can be just themselves. “
The studio is now open for in-person and virtual classes. And in the end, she says, it’s worth it.
“I just want to give music to the children.”