Dear Colleagues,

It’s almost two months since shutdown here in North Carolina and we are moving slowly toward reopening and going “off-line.”  I hope you have had the same stability of income and success as I have had, as my studio remained intact and steady throughout this ordeal.  What did not remain uneventful is how Covid-19 impacted my personal life.  My mother, a resident in a nursing home in Maryland hardest hit by the virus, contracted the virus 5 weeks ago and died April 22nd.  Given the home closed on March 10th I had hoped they could keep the virus out of the resident halls.  Such was not the case.  This brings me to my point for this post.  The past weeks and the coming months and likely year or more ahead will have an impact on us as humans, not just teachers.  I’m sure you will agree that teaching online can work successfully but it IS more work.  Even keeping the proper books and music in the hands of our students takes pickup or delivery to homes (or theirs to yours).

As we move slowly to Phase II in June (or whatever your state or country allows) it is importnat to plan now for the HOW.  Many teachers were caught off-guard when the schools closed.  I know some teachers had to shutdown their studios for a few weeks while they planned and learned new platform skills.  Now we know–and we can be more pro-active.  Those of you who belong to MTNA or similar organizations here in the United States have likely received suggeted guidelines.  It’s best you convey the HOW to your parents prior to the opening of your area.  You will have already informed them of your plans weeks in advance of announcements.  They will know you are on top of it and have thought things through.

How will you sanitize daily or between students?

Will you wear a mask–state that.  It will make them feel safer and more comfortable.  How about the students–mask mandatory or optional?

Where will students wait–if you have a waiting room will that be open with widely spaced chairs or should students wait in their cars until the appointed lesson time?

The more we lay out our plans and expectations the more secure your business model will remain.  For myself, I am following every guidline any other small business is following in North Carolina.  Remember as you layout new studio policies for next fall this MUST now be included in your policy.  “If the public schools close, we will……”.  We need to color inside the lines.

I hope everyone can have some semblance of a year end recital–even if it’s on Zoom!  I know teachers here are using it with success.

Musically yours,

Carol Ann