Nashua Community Music School Goes Virtual With Live Lessons | News, Sports, Jobs

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Courtesy photo The Nashua Community Music School will begin virtual instruction on Monday.

NASHUA – For music students who are at home due to school closures, private music instruction may be temporarily curtailed by a few measures.

And as the Nashua Community School of Music was forced to cancel all private lessons, group lessons, all music awareness programs and their winter recital, next week they will go virtual with music lessons at home.

Tori Caruso, deputy director of the NCMS, announced that several hundred students have been affected by the school closure. As for finding a different path for her students’ music education, Caruso said it was a tough decision for her and general manager Lindsay Rinaldi.

“Last Friday we hunkered down to talk about the options and what the plan was going to take forward,” said Caruso. “We knew we had to do something, and the full shutdown was not an option we wanted.”

Caruso said they wanted to make sure their teachers still had work because so many people in all fields were losing their jobs as the COVID-19 crisis continued.

“We had heard of a few other music organizations that were running virtual classes,” she said. “Lindsay also works for SNHU, and they had already started implementing their distance learning courses and many other schools had mentioned they were considering this model, so we followed their lead.”

Caruso estimated that between 150 and 200 students take private lessons. She also said that for many of their music teachers, who have been teaching for 30 or 40 years, it’s “was a transition.”

“We’re all kind of taking the approach of ‘we’re going to learn as we go with this'” she said. “It’s going to be different – especially for our teachers who have been teaching for so many years – we’re asking them to completely relearn how they teach in a matter of days. But our staff has been amazing. We are so grateful that they were by our side.

Caruso said they are looking forward to reopening, when they can, because the school is also impacting so many people with its outreach programs, which include private lessons and group lessons at different schools in the community. ; groups at the 21st Century Program, an after-school program at Title 1 Nashua Public Schools; private lessons at Hollis Montessori School and the World Academy of Nashua; and music groups in two startup programs in Nashua.

“We also have a few groups with Opportunity Networks, a non-profit organization that provides services for adults with developmental disabilities,” she said. “We will look forward to revisiting all of this.”

In the meantime, NCMS will be rolling out virtual classrooms on Monday.

And since they also had to cancel their winter recital (they hope to have a recital in May), Caruso said that while they haven’t officially discussed it, they could stream that performance live.

“We are open to everything” she said. “Right now on our Instagram and Facebook, we are asking our students to send us videos of them performing the songs they were going to perform at the winter recital last weekend. We post them on our stories and our feeds to give people something to brighten up their social media, which they think is very dark right now.

Caruso said the private music lesson schedule will be designed as close to what students are used to as possible.

“We encourage our teachers to keep their normal class hours,” she said. “But we also understand that with the changes in the school this might not be possible. Ultimately we give everyone the option to change their schedules if they wish. But most of our teachers teach several lessons a day, so they will have a few lessons to work on each day.”

The goal of getting students to go “inhabit” with their instructor will allow each teacher to critique – and reward – their students’ lessons.

“The video conference is live, although there is a slight delay”, said Caruso. “But for all intents and purposes it’s live and while the student is playing the teacher can stop them and start them and help them with their fingerings, or the way they hold their mouth or the way they stand . It will be as close as possible in real life. »

Teachers will use Zoom, a free and simple software for virtual lessons.

For more information, visit Facebook, nashuacms.org or Instagram at nashuacms.

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