Tuning Up April 2020
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volume 58 no.7   PO Box 283, New City, NY 10956

Our April 1st Program Meeting with Youn-Hee Kim has been postponed until fall.

The Members Share Their Stories

In this confusing and fearful time, as many of us attempt to find ways to continue our work as teachers and establish a "new normal" for teacher-student interaction, we have reached out to our members and asked them to share how they are coping.

This issue is about all of you. Everyone who has sent us information is included here. 

We wish you all the very best. Take good care of yourselves and exercise caution. Stay well.

Your editor tried to get them all in here, and they are not in any particular order, apologies if she missed yours for any reason.
Also realize that these responses were made in the 3rd week of March and we are seeing rapid changes every day.

from Carole Tilson
This has been overwhelming but I have changed to teaching via FaceTime or Zoom. I’m finding Zoom has better audio so I’m going to try to switch my students to Zoom. I think I will lose some students due to parents losing their jobs,etc. It’s a little early still to see how that pans out. Teaching this way is not optimal but it is definitely better than not teaching at all. I had 1 parent who was reluctant to have the lessons this way because her young daughter was overwhelmed by the online schooling but after her cello lesson her Mom sent me a note thanking me. She said it was the first time her daughter had smiled and shown some joy since this whole thing started. 
I and my family are safe and healthy, which I’m grateful for. I hope all of RCMTG members are as well.

from Kikue Swenson 
No teaching for me…My husband has just gone through an operation where the operation was successful but ended with a hemmorage which created the problem.  Thank goodness, he came through okay.
I am sorry that so many teachers have been affected by these virus events….hopefully they are not infected.  I have heard that many teachers have  been teaching “electronically” and doing okay…..(my son is a violin teacher at S.F. Consevatory and has many violin students.)  I do not know how well this works with piano teachers.
p.s.  Wanna hear some great cello playing AND great piano accompanying…Look for YouTube performance of Jonathan Swensen from Merkin Hall on Mar. 3rd, 2020.  

from Shannon Boyce 
I am teaching online with Zoom.  I already had a set up with students who live away from the local area so it has been an easy transition for me.  All my students have switched to Zoom with no trouble.  Lessons are going even better because they have to rely on their own ear more. Some of my students pay as they go and others paid in advance for the whole year and they are grateful to be able to continue.  Both are making great progress.  One of my adult students may give it a try, but she is an older adult with a large family and it's too much for her right now.  I am also growing my group lessons online with students who have been part of the Uncovering the Voice program that I run.  So so far so good for me.  I am not offering discounts.  Same price plans as always.  This question keeps coming up on my facebook voice teacher forums and other forums and all are saying to keep your same rates.  It's not about the format but about the quality of teaching and the results that you get with your students.  That won't change just because of the format of being online.  I recommend you visit the facebook page of Grow Your Studio or web page  Daniel Petterson just did two live Q&A's this week and this keeps coming up.  I attended both live sessions and learned so much.  

from Barbara DeDeo 
I have closed my studio over a week ago. Through my iPhone I made a tape of vocalists and accompaniments of the students repertoire and sent them out so they can keep practicing. I also told them if they have any questions or problems they could FaceTime or Skype me free of charge.  Most of the parents appreciated that I closed the studio. One parent still wanted to bring her son for piano, but I told her she could FaceTime and she was OK with that. 
My husband and I are doing OK here, although I am worried about my 100 year old mother in a nursing home that I can’t go and visit and my kids living in the city. Hope all is well with you and yours.
from Jeffrey Lance
I'm offering free FaceTime lessons to friends (Clarinet, Saxophone, Flute) otherwise I'm a retired band teacher. Willing to help out someone who'd like a few free lessons.

from Steve Cohen 
I taught two lessons last night using FaceTime.
I'm inquiring about using Zoom going forward.
So far, about 11 students agreed to try virtual teaching. 
I few have said no and some I haven't heard from yet.
I'm curious if anyone offered discounts?
I was on with my yoga teacher last night just learning the tool. (Zoom)
My daughter was on at the same time on her laptop in another room.
We got shut down at 40 minutes.
My teacher said she took a class with an instructor 2 days ago who was in Calf. using zoom and there were 75 other people across the US also on at the same time.

from Victoria Persion 
I was supposed to be on vacation in Aruba from March 13 to 24. I canceled all the lessons for that reason.  I had to come back after 4 days of my vacation because the flights started to get canceled and I didn't want to get stuck in Aruba.
So far I didn't contact any of my students and plan to postpone teaching until the schools will be open again. 

from Lana Tonkoschkur 
So far I am doing quite well.  The best one can is keep your immune system strong.  I started to take extra Vit. C, zinc, turmeric, and many other natural supplements.  Thank God I am healthy and do not take any oral medications.  I try to stay at home as much as possible.  I also do the instructions from CDC and others.  You know what they are.
I have only one adult student and he called me and said that he was told to distance himself from elderly, meaning me.  He said he will keep in touch and will know in 2 weeks how things are and if it was a proper time to resume lessons.  We did not discuss any remake lessons or payments.  He did not have any lessons this month.

from Christine Renstrom:
Last week, the first week, I cancelled lessons onsite in my studio.  Since Monday, this week, I am teaching via FaceTime.  I am investigating Zoom and may offer that connection as well but so far all of my students are able and happy to have the lesson via FaceTime.  All of my students are continuing this way though our regular scheduling is different.  I am scheduling to the student's convenience but have been able to fit everyone in where I can teach back to back lessons for a few hours a few days a week. 
Parents were agreeable and enthusiastic when I made the proposal to continue this way. I charge a yearly tuition for the series of lessons from September to May or June and nothing has changed in my fees. I don't see why it should. I have given consideration to each of my students (at all levels from beginner to advanced) and devised lessons that are most effective while teaching this way.  I have left scores in my mailbox for pickup for some students and have also driven to students mailboxes to drop off materials just to get out of the house for a bit.  I have every reason to believe that I will continue this way throughout the time we are in social distancing. 

from Diana Hughes:
Right now I’m home because an extended spring break and trying to figure out how to teach group piano via online.
It is challenging!! I have 4 classes averaging 10-15 students in each class. For my private teaching, some parents are willing to try the lessons via either FaceTime or Skype. I have other tools from the colleges where I teach, such as Zoom, Google Class, WebEx.. (free app if you are students or faculty, otherwise you need to buy these apps).

from Stefani Starin: 
I have emailed all my students and invited them to participate in online lessons using FaceTime as I have been told that is the best sound quality for the flute.  I have two students who have elected to keep coming and I will keep 6 ft apart and not blow in their direction.  I have plenty of sanitizers that I will use as people come and go. I am not going to anyone's homes anymore during this time. I don't think I can conduct my adult group recorder classes during this time as I have been told that there aren't any platforms for syncronicity.

from Dennis Dougherty and Olga Dusheina 
All is well at our home studio.   Little J'Enya (Eugenia) was in pre-school which is now closed and Olga's teaching in Newburgh HS is also closed up for now.
Some students are not coming for lessons: mostly the ones who miss lessons anyway. We have had several performances cancelled and this has cost us more than a few missed lessons so far. We're not teaching via Skype, still one-on-one at home.

from Fei Gao: 
I didn’t stop teaching, and told students’ parents that we could continue our lesson through FaceTime or Skype.   20-30% of parents said that they want to stop until they can come to my home. Around 70% of parents said ok. So I am still teaching via FaceTime.

from Suji Jung:
Thank you for reaching out to me.
I am still trying to figure out what to do with this uncertain situation.
I've stopped teaching all my lessons and I plan on starting online in 1-2 weeks.

from Tedo Wyman: 
I offered Skype to my students and not one took me up on it. So, I'm not teaching now or for the foreseeable future. We'll see if anyone calls as this drags on. I can't teach at home anyway as we have our Brooklyn family living with us and it's just too complicated. We're glad to have them here, especially our 4 year old granddaughter. Life is utterly changed but it is sweet, I'm grateful for each day. Good health is my heart prayer for everyone in my family and in yours and especially for the health care workers.

from Ben Riley: 
So far I'm continuing to teach and utilitizing my time a little differently - more online lessons. A few student parents have told me no lessons at this time, though most are continuing. I'm teaching via Skype some. I'm still going to student's houses, but asking to re-schedule or cancel if anyone is feeling unwell in the house. So far no significant change in my teaching load.  

from Bette Glenn: 
I have been teaching but on Monday March 16th I sent an email offering the option of SKYPE or ZOOM lessons. Nine so far have agreed to that.  Several have said they don’t want to take online. A couple have jobs threatened or lost.  Others haven’t let me know.  As of this Sunday I’m going only online for safety sake both for them and me.  So I may only have a third of students.  We’ll see!
Take care and stay well!

from Marie Cowen:
I have cancelled all lessons as of March 16. I hope to set up lessons via the computer in the next few days. I am now self-quarantined with the exception of food shopping and walking in my neighborhood on clement days for exercise and fresh air. I can also use the deck for walking.

from Tammy Lum: 
No changes yet in my teaching schedule except I am teaching my college courses from home.
Young People's Auditions and Concerto Competition
We would like to know from teachers how many students were applying for SCHOLARSHIPS to see if we can still do this portion electronically. Please contact Christine Renstrom IMMEDIATELY if you have a student applying for Scholarship. or 358-6693

Any application fees for Concerto or Solo  we received will be reimbursed. 

We apologize to all of you and particularly to those students who were hoping to participate.

We will come back next year with renewed energy.


Dear Colleagues,
I have read all your responses to the survey that I sent
about teaching in these extraordinary times.
Thank you so much for your replies.
I'm sure you will find them extremely interesting pertaining to 
the way we are learning to survive, developing new ways using today's technologies to keep teaching.

I wish everyone good health and please stay safe.

- Steve

Upcoming Programs and Events

Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - Postponed until fall 2020
Pianist Youn-Hee Kim from Montclair State University - in a recital program of all the Chopin Etudes.
Wednesday, May 6, 2020 - May need to be postponed as well.
10:15 AM at RCM - Roundtable Discussion

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - ?
Board of Directors and Event Chairpersons
RCMTG  2019-2020

President: Steve Cohen

Vice President: 
Carole Tilson

Treasurer: Rosemary Waltzer

Recording Secretary:
Marti Sweet

Corresponding Secretary: Suzanne Coletta

Marathon: Carole Tilson

Auditions: Christine Renstrom

Membership: Suzanne Coletta

Website Manager: Ben Riley

Hospitality: Arlene Linke

"Tuning Up" Editor:
Tedo Wyman
Copyright © *2019, RCMTG*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 283, New City, NY 10956

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Rockland County Music Teachers Guild · PO Box 283 · New City, NY 10956 · USA

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