It was a year ago this month that the Academy of Music for the first time in the existence of the school made a decision to only offer virtual music lessons for what we expected would be a few weeks of lockdown to “flatten the curve.” We did not know what the following weeks and months would look like, but only knew that the work we do matters and needed to continue in the best way we could offer it. The students who love the Academy of Music, who choose to enrich their lives with the creativity of learning and performing music, and value the personal relationships they develop with instructors and staff at our school, are the heart and soul of this school. And our teachers and staff are key to helping us offer them the best music lesson experience in the community. So we worked hard to find a way to move forward and honor our commitments to our students, teachers, and staff through that first month and every month that followed.
Today we are above all grateful. Throughout the year, our school director Matt Camp and office team members personally walked students and their instructors through every change and challenge along the way – an introduction to Zoom, then Breakout Rooms, a new Student Resource Center, a Safe Music School to welcome students and teachers back, a new option for a missed lesson (personal, custom recorded lesson from your teacher), Practice Champ Challenges, new ways to offer performance opportunities, and more! Our amazing teachers spent time learning how to manage new technology, reinvent their teaching for virtual instruction, and deal with the requirements of providing a safe in-person lesson. With passion, skill, and love, they continued to nurture Academy musicians one lesson at a time in ways they never imagined possible. Many of our students chose to stick with lessons and rose to the challenge of adjusting their learning and practice routines. When in-person recitals were not an option, dedicated and determined students continued to achieve and meet the challenges of performing virtually, on stage in the summer sun, and some even traveling to the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for a unique experience. Today we honor and celebrate everyone who has endured this past year with grace and fortitude – Academy of Music dreamers, believers, and achievers, shining stars of today and beyond.
Know that we are expecting a very busy spring and summer season for a variety of reasons. Even though 70-80% of our students have been back in-person for a while now, we are also seeing an increase of new students who have been cooped up and are ready to come back and sign up for in-person lessons. Our March registrations – the highest in the history of the school for this particular month – are a signal of what’s to come for the rest of 2021. What does that mean to you? Even though we do have some availability at each of our two locations, we want you to understand that some of our teachers are full. It’s important to remember that when you make your summer plans. What we do not want you to experience is to leave for the summer and then try to call us back in August only to discover that we do not have spots for you. If you are a current student or if you want to join us, the best option right now is to register for or continue with summer lessons so that you can keep your day and time with your favorite teacher in the fall.
As a reminder, there are four great options for missed lessons in the summer:
1. Zoom in for your lesson.
2. Get a pre-recorded make-up lesson with advanced notice.
3. Take advantage of our group make-up options.
4. Sub-lease your spot to a family member or friend.
Most importantly, get ready to enjoy your summer. Spend time at the lake, travel, enjoy family and friends you have not seen for months, have a great time. Just don’t lose your spot with your teacher by withdrawing because you will want that spot in August, especially if it’s a prime spot between 3:30 and 7:30, the ones in the most demand. Instead, take advantage of our summer make-up options. Feel free to call the office for more information.
Barbara Hendricks, Owner