By: Renee Bordner
NWE Music Studio Director
If you are reading this blog you more than likely already have a connection of some sort to Note-worthy Experiences Music Studio. You probably enjoy live music and more than likely know a musician who has been negatively impacted by the coronavirus. If any of these resonate with you, please keep reading. If not, please visit another one of our blog articles.
I have been playing music for over 40 years. I LOVE music and the artists who create the music. I have a passion for teaching music and I have a passion for helping musicians. I believe that the world truly needs music more now than ever. I know that music has helped humans through countless difficult times since the first music was ever composed.
This past March as restaurants, bars, churches and large performance venues closed, so did performance opportunities for musicians. As weddings and other religious ceremonies were postponed, so were gigs for musicians. This summer and early fall as restaurants, bars and worship spaces slowly reopened, many performing opportunities for musicians did not resume. As people started having small weddings (and other religious ceremonies) many musicians were not rehired to perform. (While it is frustrating, I certainly understand that if I were getting married and only allowed 10 people present at the wedding, I would have selected my spouse, the officiant, our parents and siblings to attend.) Unfortunately, some of the restaurants, bars and even a local church are no longer open. For the places that have reopened they are not able to open at their full capacity. Most do not have the same budgets for live musicians. As a result, many musicians are looking for alternative venues and income sources in the interim since it can take years of work for a musician and or group of musicians to develop a fan base at a venue.
I know that this pandemic has affected absolutely everyone in very different ways. I want to be sensitive to all those who have and are suffering. These challenges that musicians and small business owners are facing have been weighing heavily on my heart since early March. I sprung into action this spring with many creative ways to encourage people to support small businesses and musicians. As we settle into the fall routines and prepare for winter knowing that COVID 19 is still present and will be for a little while longer, I am attempting to find additional creative ways to support these people who are so very important to us. The very people who bring the music we love into our lives. In searching for creative ways to support musicians, I found many articles on the internet that stated to purchase their merchandise and songs. I am biased but I also believe that registering for lessons is a fantastic way to support a musician. But I was searching for something with a little more to share with all of you. I discovered this blog post by Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers that I thought was helpful as his suggestions are all FREE! I know that not all of his ideas apply to helping our music instructors at our studio, but there are some great tips here. Take a moment to read his blog and then take a few more moments to do a few! Your favorite musicians will appreciate you.
Thank you for your continued support of our Note-worthy Experiences Family.
By Rachel Stroia
Many of us probably remember the headlines in late February highlighting the moving yet distant story of quarantined Italians coming together in song from their balconies. “How touching,” we said. “What a way to find beauty in suffering,” we said. “But that will never be us,” we said. This was merely an opportunity for us Americans to find some solace in the solidarity of another country, looking at the faded stone and wrought iron railings in the Italian sun. “How nice it is that they can find some community in their quarantine. But what a shame that Italy has it so bad.”
Yet two months later, we found ourselves in almost the same position. The idea of quarantine was no longer a distant and foggy fear, but our new reality. I hesitate to say “new norm” because that seems to suggest that this is the reality that is here to stay. But we all know that everything is temporary. Yes, this is going to change things, but it is not going to last forever. But maybe we should evaluate some aspects of our past few months of isolation and distancing and think about what in fact should become the “new norm.”
At the beginning of our quarantine a few months ago, I am sure many of us began to see self-help articles circulated in our news feeds. How to create a stable routine during quarantine. 10 habits to beat the quarantine blues. How to take advantage of your extra time in quarantine. While it is easy to cast these off and say “I’m not one of those people who needs to be concerned with mental health right now” or “I won’t be affected by this,” many of us have found ourselves to be in grave need of our lost routines and habits. With the stability of our lives crumbling, it is only natural that our interior lives fall apart with them. However, in this place of vulnerability and crisis, we are given the challenge of discovering ourselves and realizing our true priorities.
I would like to take a moment to address those of us who have found ourselves with the new task of living almost entirely at home, even though I know this is not the case for many people, especially essential workers who have been affected by the pandemic in the totally opposite way, overworked and even exploited. We have been forced to schedule our own lives and to really face ourselves with many of the distractions of our everyday life taken away. I believe that the reason for all of the articles about staying sane during the quarantine is not just that we are “bored” but that we are faced with a new king of freedom that many of us have not experienced previously in our everyday lives. We are living during a time when many of us have to ask ourselves who we are when all the things that we normally do are taken away from us. We have been forced “to be” not just “to do” and must decide what sort of person we are within that being. This is what we found so touching about the Italians singing on their balconies—we see that these people, stuck in their homes and separated from their loved ones, used their forced isolation as a way to create a new sort of community and connection through sharing music.
Music possesses this special quality that draws people together. We find ourselves doing this now: our neighbors are having porch and lawn concerts, the North End residents are recreating the Italian singers scene, adults who learned to play music as children are picking up their instruments again. I would like to posit that it is not just because we “have time” for more music in our lives now, but it is that those who have turned to music have rediscovered the power that it possesses to channel emotion, expression, and community. We have been stripped of so much else during this time—our sports are canceled, our theaters are closed, and our daily activities are interrupted. But music has found a way to stick around and even grow stronger.
Many of us are going back to work and our States are beginning to reopen, so as we begin to reshape our daily lives, we can either sigh in relief that our quarantine is finally ending and hastily put it out of our minds, or we can examine the challenging reality of asking ourselves what we learned from it. What did we look like when all our routine was stripped away, and what kind of people are we when we have time to self-reflect?
Rachel Stroia is the Office Manager at Note-worthy Experiences Music Studio. She recently completed her degree in English Literature, is an amateur writer, and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
The COVID-19 Pandemic certainly has affected all of us in many aspects of our lives. We hope that you are safe and healthy.
During this pandemic we have both converted to online lessons for many of our students and placed lessons on hold for others. We are all looking forward to the moment in which we can resume in-person lessons and life in our new normal routines. We appreciate your patience and understanding during our transitions. In the coming weeks, we will create individual plans with each family who chooses to resume in person lessons when they are ready. We will not begin the transition back to in-person lessons until Governor Baker lifts the order for non-essential workers to stay at home.
We are blessed to have many Note-worthy Experiences parents who have been working on the front lines of the pandemic to keep all of us safe and healthy. We appreciate each of you.
Thank you for your continued support of our studio and our instructors.
We are looking forward to brighter days ahead full of music.
Renee K. Bordner
By Renee Bordner
Dear Note-worthy Experiences Family,
Thank you for your patience in these very uncertain times.
As a small business owner and a musician, I have been overwhelmed with your support. Thank you.
Our mission today is the same as when we started and that mission is to provide our students with meaningful musical learning opportunities. However, these opportunities are now occurring with social distancing.
Below are some thoughts on how we can improve our students' musical experiences during the COVID-19 crisis.
Our instructor, Leonardo, suggests calling the practice sessions "rehearsals".
We are discovering that if a lot of people are using the home wifi the more issues we have. I am asking my family to limit their wifi use when I am teaching in hopes to help our lessons go more smoothly (and to encourage them to take a screen break).
If you are using a free version of Zoom, the time limit is 40 minutes. For our students who have lessons longer than 40 minutes, we are able to work around this by having two separate sessions with a 5 minute snack and water break in between.
For younger and beginner students, it is useful if a helper is nearby to help spot incorrect notes, hand position, etc.
We are trying hard to keep our families up to date through our mass email distribution list (Constant Contact) and social media. Please refer to these sources for updates.
If your family has an Apple product - encourage your child(ren) to try GarageBand.
Please encourage your kids to go back and play their favorite songs.
Encourage your child(ren) to put together family recitals and family sing alongs. Make movies of your children playing to send to those who you are socially distant from.
Encourage your child(ren) to write music. They can start with a topic, lyrics or just their favorite note combinations and rhythms. Here is a link to free printable staff paper https://www.printablepaper.net/category/music
If your child(ren) are bored with their same music and would like some fresh fun music to try, check out supplemental library at the bottom of their home page. Many of these books can be ordered on Amazon too. https://pianoadventures.com/
Did you know that there is an app for your children's Piano Adventures Books? https://pianoadventures.com/resources/piano-adventures-player-app/
This is my favorite link for printing free piano and guitar music at each level.
This game is highly recommended by several students and our instructor, Kailey
Our instructor, Maria, suggests http://www.themusicinteractive.com/. It’s GREAT for practicing note reading, and fun too! It has all 4 clefs. Makes “drilling” music notation fun. Only available for Apple devices.
Sheet Music Direct is offering a free for one month promotion (however I hear that you need to pay to be able to print music and it is not free after one month.)
Stay tuned to our group emails and social media as we have added enrichment classes for our students. We are offering Advanced Theory with Daniel, Songwriting with Kailey (both are good for students in level 1 or up, and fun for kids to do in online groups). We are also offering Practice Hotline Tips with Jay and Audition Prep with Nina.
If your family would like extra lessons with your current instructor, or another instructor, just let us know. All of our instructors have additional scheduling flexibility currently. Unfortunately, all of our instructors' rehearsals and performances have been cancelled. Some events have been cancelled through September.
The vendor that I use for the Practice Club Trophies is currently closed due to COVID-19. When they reopen, I am optimistic that I will be placing a large order of customized trophies for our 100 Consecutive Days of Practice Club Winners. I also will order trophies for our students who complete 200, 300, etc. consecutive days of practice. These students will also be invited to a VIP Ice Cream Party at my home (when we are allowed to socialize again). To make tracking our students' practice easier, you can use this tracking sheet: Download PDF.
We have a FREE music trivia family fun night scheduled for next Thursday! Think Disney name that tune!
Please stay tuned for more information about a FREE Faculty Recital or maybe even Recitals to raise money for a local relief fund.
The April Youth Open Mic Night at Serendipity has been cancelled.
Our Final/Round 2 of the Scholarship Competition will occur with modifications.
Our Honors & Senior Recital is cancelled.
I have a message out to Piano Guild Headquarters on their status of our 2020 Auditions. I also have a message out to our Judge. Auditions will occur with modifications.
Thank you for your support during these uncertain times!
What people are saying about online lessons with Note-worthy:
"I'm surprised how well the technology worked--not just from a logistical point of view, but for delivering a very constructive lesson. I didn't have doubts about the ability to teach, but I thought perhaps on our end it wouldn't feel 'real.' But it certainly did!"
-Jeanette from Natick
At Note-worthy Experiences, the health and safety of our students, families, and teachers is our utmost priority. We are aware of the current global health concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are carefully monitoring the situation. Please see the following video from Renee about studio changes during this time:
In order to maintain the regularity of lessons for our students while prioritizing their health and safety, we are offering online lessons (via Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime) for students and families who do not wish to have in-person lessons. Tuition rates remain the same for online and in-person lessons.
We have successfully offered online lessons for many years for students due to inclement weather, transportation issues, etc.
The following event will be held with modifications:
The following events will be rescheduled with dates TBD:
Sanitizing Musical Instruments
Did you know that the best way to sanitize piano keys is with over-the-counter hydrogen peroxide and cotton balls/pads?
Here are some additional resources for cleaning and disinfecting your instrument:
Visit our blog for more information on musical instrument hygiene.
This time is an excellent chance to focus on practicing. While everyone is off, don't forget to log every day that you practice to become a member of our 100 Consecutive Days of Practice Club!
We will continue to keep you updated through email communications and social media. Please check back for more information in the upcoming days.
If you have any questions or concerns at any time, please contact Renee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-443-0480.
At Note-worthy Experiences, the health and safety of our students, families, and teachers is our utmost priority. We are aware of the current global health concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are carefully monitoring the situation. In order to maintain the regularity of lessons for our students while prioritizing their health and safety, we are offering online lessons for students and families who do not wish to have in-person lessons. More information will be posted about this shortly. Please also watch for updates on our blog and social media regarding rescheduling/modifications for upcoming studio events.
During this time we are surrounded by literature about the best ways to wash hands and to sanitize our devices, however, resources on how to sanitize our musical instruments is less available.
Did you know that the best way to sanitize piano keys is with over-the-counter hydrogen peroxide and cotton balls/pads? Thank you to M. Steinert & Sons for sharing this valuable information and the below graphic! Here are some additional resources for cleaning and disinfecting your instrument:
Please contact Renee at email@example.com or 978.443.0480 with any additional questions or concerns.