Local music schools are helping their students in following their passion even during these tough times of COVID-19, while continuing to offer them virtual lessons.
Lynn Pigeon, a registered music teacher and the president of the Ontario Registered Music Teacher’s Association (ORMTA) in Timmins branch, said piano lessons are currently being taught virtually via FaceTime, Google duo and Zoom. Most teachers are teaching online until the Lockdown is lifted.
“It is important to continue studies for our mental, intellectual, emotional and physical well being,” she added. “The Royal Conservatory of Music Practical and Theoretical exams will take place virtually once again in June.”
Pigeon said that all the exams are also completed virtually in these situations. All students and teachers are looking forward to get back to in person lessons for social interaction.
Along with OMRTA, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, has also remained open during the pandemic except during lockdowns.
Josh Wood, with the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, said, “Our music school is making sure to abide by all local and provincial public health recommendations including masks, spacing, and hygiene. We have also opened a contactless studio, donated by Bercell Integrated Technologies, which has two separate rooms connected by cameras, microphones, and speakers, which allows for real-time, high-quality audio and video communication between teacher and student, without them ever having to be in the same room.”
He explained that during lockdowns, the majority of their students are continuing with online lessons. The teacher and student are connected via Zoom, FaceTime, or other meeting software. The lesson is treated the same as an in-person session where the student plays and the teacher alternates between demonstration and offering feedback.
Wood said, “Learning music is an important life skill, and its positive impact on student cognitive development is well-documented. It’s important for us to keep providing the service of music education to Timmins, in any way that we can.”