The Surprising Success of Making Music Online During COVID-19

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In mid-March, the world changed due to COVID-19. While adapting to this period of new “normal,” The NAMM Foundation is offering resources to make music online, including webinars.

On March 25, The NAMM Foundation presented "Making Music Online: How To's for Private and Group Lessons,” a webinar to discover online group lessons and therapeutic music-making for children and adults, and business models to move in-store music lessons online to keep students connected and making music.

Guests included Myrna Sislen, Owner of Middle C Music and Miriam and Mike Risko, Owners of Risko Music. Both retailers have adapted their business models to move in-store music lessons online to keep their students connected and making music.

“I have found [teaching music online] to be surprisingly successful,” said Sislen. “It offers structure and brings joy.

Sislen said teachers are free to use platforms they feel most comfortable with. They have been using everything from Facetime, Zoom, Whats App and Skype to connect with students in the D.C. area.

Mike and Miriam Risko made the early decision to stop in-house music lessons because they wanted to do their part in flattening the curve in New York. 75% of their students currently take virtual music lessons.

“We are doing everything remotely. We can pop into lessons at any given time,” said Mike Risko. “I help teachers and students with technical [needs] to make lessons the best experiences possible.”

Making Music

This webinar also featured Lindsay Zehren, director of program development and neurologic music therapist from Resounding Joy, Inc. and Stephanie Lamond, Little Bear's director and marketing manager from Blue Bear School of Music.

Lamond said she had virtual music lessons up-and-running for San Francisco families within 24 hours.

“I over-communicated [with parents] and we were super transparent,” said Lamond. “It was a smooth transition.”

According to Zehren, online gatherings opened new doors for their San Diego organization.

“We do group and individuals sessions," said Zehren. "More people are getting the opportunity to experience music therapy at a time when they need it the most.” 

“Making Music Online: How To's for Private and Group Lessons,” was hosted by NAMM Foundation executive director Mary Luehrsen.

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