Coronavirus (COVID-19) F.A.Q. & CSM Updates:

In response to concerns surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to let you know how CSM is responding. As we continue to monitor the situation as it evolves, this page will serve as a central place for you to receive answers to commonly asked questions. We are committed to doing everything we can to provide a safe environment for all our students, families and staff while keeping music making alive through this challenging season. As we all work through any potential disruptions to our normal life and activities let us not forget the comforting power and strength we get through making music! Updates will be posted here if the situation evolves. See answers to frequently asked questions below:

IMPORTANT: STAY UP-TO-DATE! Please make sure your contact information in Studio Helper is up-to-date with your current email/phone contacts to ensure you receive important updates!

 CLICK HERE for the latest communication updates from CSM  




CSM is OPEN for all in-person lessons (with precautions as advised by local and state health guidance) and virtually, via Zoom. Contact us today to schedule your in-person or virtual lessons at studiomanager@csminspires.com!


Zoom is a FREE web-conferencing app that allows us to conduct live video lessons with minimal setup, at the click of a button! All studios and instructors at CSM are equipped and trained to conduct virtual lessons via Zoom! All you need is an internet-connected laptop (Zoom recommends using Google Chrome), tablet or phone with microphone and camera. Your teacher will simply email a clickable "Zoom" link and special meeting ID# (like a unique "phone number"). Click on the link at your lesson time and Zoom will automatically prompt you with instructions to join a live video lesson with your teacher! Point your camera, smile and begin your lesson remotely! Think of Zoom like an online video phone call. It’s easy to get started. If you're interested in video lessons, please contact your instructor directly to discuss scheduling a music lesson via Zoom! Below are links to Zoom's main website and a "Tips & Tricks" page with useful info. on getting the most out of Zoom:

Zoom Homepage Link:  www.zoom.us 

CSM Zoom "Tips & Tricks" CLICK HERE

More Zoom Tips Links:  Zoom Tips & Tricks: CLICK HERE

CSM lessons on ZOOM.png


(CLICK HERE for recent updates about upcoming Recitals!). We are excited to announce that we are resuming in-person recital options for students! Please visit our "Recitals" page for more information on dates, times and locations (we are hosting a couple outdoor performance options as well!). We continue to follow local, state and national health guidelines regarding precautions with gatherings and request that all in attendance adhere to safe social distancing practices, hand washing and wearing a mask while in venues.


Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes respiratory illness — an infection of the airways and lungs. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus. It is part of the same family of coronaviruses that includes the common cold. The coronavirus outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since then, the virus has spread to other countries.

The most common early symptoms appear between 2 and 14 days after infection. Symptoms can be mild to severe. They include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. Most people recover from the disease without needing special treatment.

Like many other viruses, the coronavirus (COVID-19) seems to spread from person-to-person through a cough, sneeze, or kiss. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will update risk status regularly on their website at cdc.gov/coronavirus. You can also find more information from the World Health Organization



Latest Updates from CSM:

Latest Update from CSM - Please read:

[Studio-wide Email,  Sun 9/5/2021 10:38 PM]
Hi everyone!
Just a quick note to let you know that your favorite CSM instructors are diligently continuing to make CSM a safe and enjoyable place to study music.
To that end we wanted to remind you of something:

Zoom lessons are a great solution for so many things!

  • Covid exposure: i. You quarantine when you might have been exposed to the virus. ii. You isolate when you have been infected with the virus, even if you don’t have symptoms.

  • You’re feeling sick

  • You’re traveling

  • The weather is not cooperating

  • The traffic is TERRIBLE! 🙃

Just let us know if you need to Zoom! Email Mr. Matt if it’s 24 hours or more in advance of the lesson you need to change. If it’s less than 24 hours email Mr. Matt and cc: your teacher, just so we know where to look for you. 😊
As teachers we’re so grateful to have Zoom as a resource! We hope you’ll integrate it into your bag of tricks too!

Be well!

- Jennene, Wayne and the faculty and staff of CSM 


[Studio-wide Email,  Mon 6/7/2021 11:11 PM]

CSM Reopening to in person lessons (Don’t worry Online Lessons are still offered too)!!!!
Welcome Back!
We are SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!! It’s finally happening.

Please read the following guidelines for in person music lessons at The Catoctin School of Music. We are excited to be making music in person again!

If you have agreed to receive face-to-face lessons, you accept that such an arrangement will never be entirely free of the risk of contracting COVID-19. Both music students and CSM agree to make efforts to assess risks accurately and to take steps to minimize risks where identified to the benefit of everyone! If you’d like to remain online that is totally fine too! Just email Mr. Matt at studiomanager@csminspires.com to let him know your wishes. These policies are of course subject to change. We stand ready to decrease or increase mitigation as time progresses.

Just a few housekeeping things to remind you of as we prepare to come back together for musicmaking:

Most important thing: We are all doing our very best. As we make our way through this transition, I’m sure, despite everyone’s best efforts, there will be some bumps. Let’s just take them in stride and work things out. A little improv here, a little tweak there…and in a couple of weeks CSM in person will be running like a well-oiled machine thanks to ALL our efforts!

2nd Most important thing: We are assuming that you are all coming back to in person. If you are not coming back to in person and wish to remain on Zoom that is perfectly fine, but we just need to hear from you. Please email Mr. Matt asap studiomanager@csminspires.com if you wish to remain on Zoom. We just want to make sure we know who to expect where.

3rd Most important thing: We do not want to give Mr. Matt a heart attack. ❤ He is doing his very best to accommodate everyone’s lesson day/time requests, but patience is appreciated. We have been completely flooded with emails requesting new lesson days/times, siblings requesting simultaneous lesson times, etc etc., it’s like solving a giant Rubic’s cube We know we can make it work, because it was all working pre pandemic, but having to do it all at once instead of over time has definitely provided a new wrinkle and even Mr. Matt’s magic has its limits.

General Policies:
♫ Stay home if you are experiencing symptoms. Online lessons can easily be provided. See below.
♫ Wash your hands, wear a mask, practice social distancing.

CSM procedures:
♫ Air purification has been provided for each teaching room.
♫ We are not placing gap time between lessons. There is simply no way to welcome everyone back and provide for gap time between lessons. Just not enough hours in the day. If you are not comfortable with this, you may always remain as an online student. We are happy to accommodate that. Just let Mr. Matt know studiomanager@csminspires.com
♫ We are requiring hand sanitizing upon entry and exit to and from the teaching rooms. Hand sanitizer will be provided.
♫ Teaching rooms are equipped with cleaning supplies which will be used on shared equipment as students enter/exit the teaching rooms.
♫ Masking is required for everyone, unless both teacher and student are vaccinated.
♫ Bathrooms are open and will be cleaned regularly.

Client procedures:
♫ Sanitize in/Sanitize out policy – hand sanitizer will be located in each teaching room. Please sanitize your hands on way into room and on way out of room.
♫ Follow the masking guidelines below for both your person and your instrument.
♫ Follow the social distancing guidelines below.

The rest…details:
♫ Wait rooms – for the foreseeable future wait rooms will be open only to students who are on premises for lessons. Parents/siblings, we love you, but in our effort to keep everyone safe, let’s wait outside, in car or somewhere else . If you need an exception made just let us know.
♫ Masking – it’s a thing. While the CSM faculty and staff have reached herd immunity, we do have students who are unvaccinated. To err on the side of safety, we’ll wear masks in wait areas and teaching rooms unless all in the teaching room are vaccinated.
♫ Hygiene – yep that’s a thing too! But really, it’s always been a thing. Just do what you would normally do. Hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial wipes, soap, water, handwashing….all the normal things we’ve always done/had available will still be available.
♫ New! – Air purifiers in all the rooms. We’ve gone oversized on this, so our air is probably the cleanest you’ll contact.

♫ Lesson cancellation/changes: 24-hour notice policy is still in effect, but you know us, we’re as accommodating as we can be with last minute requests.

  • Are you not feeling well? No problem anymore. Just stay home and Zoom your lesson. Email Mr. Matt if you need to do that. The more notice the better. And cc’s to your teacher  are  appreciated!

  • Are you uncomfortable traveling to lessons due to weather? No problem anymore…just stay home and Zoom your lesson. Just email Mr. Matt if you need to do that. The more notice the better. And cc’s to your teacher are appreciated!

  • Are you going out of town? No problem let’s Zoom your lesson!! Just notify Mr. Matt in advance please.

♫ Are you a student that onboarded into CSM during the pandemic? Do you have no idea how to get to us or which unit your teacher is in? Directions/picture of CSM are here: https://www.google.com/maps/place/The+Catoctin+School+of+Music/@39.105787,-77.566663,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xe5df31172485fd24!8m2!3d39.105787!4d-77.566663 If you’re not sure what unit your teacher is in, just email Mr. Matt at studiomanager@csminspires.com

Specific Discipline Masking – In person lesson guidelines:
Brass and Woodwinds:
(Lowest risk) Tuba produces fewer aerosols than normal breathing, while the concentrations from (intermediate risk) bassoon, piccolo, flute, bass clarinet, French horn, sax and clarinet stay within the range of normal breathing and speaking. (Highest risk) Trumpet, oboe, and bass trombone tend to generate more aerosols than speaking. So….where does that leave us?

♫ Lowest risk: 3 feet of distancing & face mask with slit
♫ Intermediate risk: 5 feet of distancing & face mask with slit, minimal dynamics and articulations
♫ Highest risk: 5 feet of distancing, face mask and bell mask, minimal dynamics and articulations

Other disciplines:
String players, guitarists, bassists, percussionists – 3 feet of distancing and face mask
Vocalists – 5 feet of distancing and face mask, minimal dynamics and articulations
All other students (theory, composition…) – 3 feet of distancing and face mask

Now for the fun stuff!!!!!!
1. Senior recital is happening!!! Saturday July 17, 2021 at Hamilton Baptist Church! We are so excited!! Largest senior class ever at CSM!!! Yay!!!!! Keep your eyes peeled for details as we get closer!

2. CSM Summer Music Fest (this is in place of our usual Spring recitals)! We are holding an outdoor music extravaganza at Leesburg SDA Church on Dry Mill Rd near LCHS https://www.google.com/maps/place/Leesburg+Seventh-Day+Adventist+Church/@39.1082952,-77.5861549,15z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x0:0x6d2fda0ed1fcfe4!2sLeesburg+Seventh-Day+Adventist+Church!8m2!3d39.1082124!4d-77.5861571!3m4!1s0x0:0x6d2fda0ed1fcfe4!8m2!3d39.1082124!4d-77.5861571 Keep your eyes peeled for details forthcoming. This will be a wonderful time of music, plus you can bring a picnic and hang out on the lawn and enjoy family and friends. As we get a bit closer, we’ll be sending out a link to sign up! It’s going to be tons of fun! There might even be a few faculty performances thrown in there and if you need an accompanist Ms. Ina will be with us too. Can’t wait to hear everyone’s pandemic progress!!

- Wayne, Jennene and the faculty and staff of CSM

Update from CSM:
[Studio-wide Email,  Fri 5/28/2021 8:34 PM]

Hi everyone!

We can't believe it's finally happening. We're reopening!!!
Keep an eye out over the next few days for more specifics, but it's official, we're coming back to in person lessons starting Monday 6/14/21!!!!
Not to worry though, if you'd like to stay virtual that option will still be offered.

There are no words to express the gratitude we feel to have been able to continue music making with each of you. Thank you for the outpouring of encouragement and support over this last 14 months. We are beyond thankful.

Be well!

- Wayne, Jennene and the faculty and staff of CSM

Update from CSM:

[Studio-wide Email, Saturday, 4/3/2021 2:13 PM]

Hello everyone,

Wanted to give you a quick update on a couple of things here at CSM.

1.      We are so close to reopening! By the end of April, we will have about half of our faculty/staff fully vaccinated and we anticipate by about halfway through May or end of May at the latest we will be able to give you a date for reopening. By then we anticipate having just about everyone vaccinated!! Yay!!!!!

2.      We are all prepped with air purifiers and PPE, and we’ve loaded up on cleaning supplies!

3.      Spring recitals! We are holding off on scheduling spring recitals with the hopes that we can hold some form of “live/outdoor” performances as vaccinations continue and warm weather takes hold! Stay tuned for more info on that.

We can’t thank you enough for your past and continued patience and support. And for your perseverance in keeping the music alive. We are forever grateful.

And… if you don’t have a church for Easter, you are welcome at ours! Wayne and Jennene will both be helping to bring the contemporary worship at Leesburg Community Church https://leesburgcc.org/  (Jennene singing and Mr. Wayne playing bass) 8:30am and 10am in English and 11:30am in Spanish. It’s going to be a wonderful day of services with lots of great music! We will be in-person for all our services tomorrow, but if you’re not comfy with in person yet, we will also be live streaming the 8:30am service. This service will be re-broadcast at 10am as well. If you would like to attend any of the services in person please make sure you register now at leesburgcc.org. Catch the livestream here https://leesburgcc.org/  or here https://www.facebook.com/LeesburgCC

Be well everyone. Stay the course. Wear the mask. Wash your hands. Love each other.

Easter blessings and Happy Spring!!!

- Wayne, Jennene and the faculty and staff of CSM

Update from CSM:
[Studio-wide Email, Posted Wednesday, 1/6/21 11:17 PM]

Hello everyone,

Wanted to give you a quick update on a couple of things here at CSM.

1.     We have decided to remain all virtual through at least March 31, 2021. We will be reviewing the situation as we get closer to that date and then we'll update you on plans for the rest of the school year. We were holding out hope that Covid would have settled down some, but that just doesn’t seem to be the case right now. We miss and love each of you, and while we’d love to make music with you in person, we also want to preserve that right for each of us post Covid. Let’s all just keep Zooming: learning, creating and inspiring each other.

2.     Speaking of that….If you haven’t listened/watched the CSMJOY YouTube channel then you are really, absolutely missing out on a blessing. And let’s face it…after a day like today we could each use a little extra blessing. As such, we are extending the viewing/listening period through January 31, 2021. And if you’ve listened through already, listen again. I’m doing it right now as I type. I already feel calmer. Music heals.

Be well everyone. Stay the course. Wear the mask. Wash your hands. Love each other.

Praying for our nation

- Wayne, Jennene and the faculty and staff of CSM

Update from CSM:

[Posted Thursday, 9/8/20 2:19 PM]

Hi everyone! Hope your first day of school (or first week or two of school) has been great! We know it is a lot to get used to, but we’re hoping you are finding your way through.

We have completed coding and review of our CSM survey results and our exhaustive review of the U.S. studies of Covid and its relationship with music. We want to thank everyone for participating in the survey and bringing to our attention lots of great ideas for moving forward, where we have room for improvement and what we’re doing well. We are grateful to be able to provide music instruction in times such as these.

It is our utmost priority to keep all our music makers safely making the music they love. Students, teachers, families and CSM administration have been doing such an amazing job since March! Kudos to each of you!

After reviewing all the available information, we have decided that lessons will temporarily remain online through Zoom, Skype, Facetime…through 12/31/20. In December we will take another look at where things are and make decisions for moving forward.

But….there’s always a but right??

Rest assured we have heard your requests and are working hard to bring them to fruition!

Here are some things we have been working on:

Consistent times (both start times and stop times) – we’re all getting our sea legs here, but each teacher will make a strong effort to be prompt! Thanks for your grace on this as we’re learning how to enter and exit Zoom rooms and balance interaction with students. Bonds with students are so important during this time.

Feedback to parents – Each teacher and student are keeping notes, they are just not all doing it the same way 😊 Some teachers are making it the student’s responsibility and some are keeping their own notes in a word doc and sharing it each week with their students via email or google doc. If you think you or your student is not getting what they need, please let your teacher or me know.

Access to music and other materials – we have instituted a contactless pick up at CSM for books and sheet music and we also have an online PDF library which teachers have access to and can share music with their students until the student can secure their own personal copy. Teachers are also sharing Amazon or other links where students can purchase books directly.

Connection issues/audio issues – CSM has upgraded its internet speeds and teachers are constantly reviewing their own set ups for audio/video/internet and Zoom improvements. Zoom recently also upgraded their audio offerings as well. We will be coming out shortly with an “upgrade list” in case anyone has a birthday or holiday coming up soon that they’d like to celebrate!  

Demonstrating tone/technique – Teachers and students are recording themselves and sharing those recordings with each other. This gives another way for both to evaluate tone/technique.

Student engagement – Teachers are varying material, assignments and enlisting parental support to help keep students engaged. We’ve been especially proud of how you parents have stepped up with this for our younger students! Way to go!


Additionally, we have some fun things upcoming to keep students motivated and learning!

Please be on the lookout for:

1.       More virtual theory, songwriting and composition classes!

2.       Bucket Drumming in the CSM parking lot! (this is going to be offered FREE!!!! – just need 2 buckets and a pair of drumsticks 😊)

3.       Virtual Recitals Fall 2020 Edition!

4.       Salvation Army Kettle Bell Ringing Musicians!

5.       Virtual Jazz Lab!


Please feel free to reach out if you are having any technical issues with your online lessons or you need us to help you change anything that is being delivered with your student musician. Our CSM teachers and admin have been working triple time to make sure each student is receiving the absolute best music instruction possible, tailored to the individual student. The platform may have changed temporarily but our commitment to you has not.

Be well everyone!!!


Musically yours,

Wayne and Jennene & The CSM Faculty and Staff


Update from CSM:

[Posted Thursday, 6/18/20 6:15 PM]

Hello everyone!!!

Just wanted to reach out and give you an update on CSM’s Covid-19 plans. We are carefully watching the down trend in our Northern Virginia area and are hopeful it continues. We have a couple of benchmarks that we are eyeing to help us evaluate when it is the right time to return to face to face lessons. And of course, we are working within the phased system here in Virginia as well.

We are watching for:

·   A trend of positive infection rate of 5% or lower for 14 days here in our area/state- we’re using the Johns Hopkins site for tracking this.

·   Data comes out every two weeks on Sundays/Mondays.

·   There was a spike in VA on 6/12 and it was high, so the data that comes out on 6/21 (the next set) will probably not show us below 5% for a 14-day trend.

·   But we are trending down – good news!!!

·   So the next set that comes out on 7/5 will likely show us below the 5% for 14 days….it’ll probably be about 20 days at that point that’ll be below 5% if all holds the same.

·   Below 5% for 14 days is good. Below 2% is ideal. We’re shooting for something in between!

·   The data from the first U.S. studies on instrument aerosolization are due in about two weeks, we'll review that as well.

We have prepared for:

·   Social distancing within our lesson rooms to include some sort of movable barrier like at the grocery checkout or a personal mask or some sort of shielding, depending on the instrument

·   Air purification: we have just installed 14 new air purifiers, one in each teaching room

·   Additional cleaning – teachers have always cleaned shared items between students, but we have also recently had all the carpets cleaned at CSM and will have our professional cleaners on site more often.

·   Increased internet speed – We worked with our internet provider to upgrade and give us 6 times the internet speed we previously had. This should accommodate all our daily teachers "zooming" at once if necessary.

·   Keeping all face to face lessons/classes/ensemble rehearsals under 1 hour

We are not precisely sure at this moment when we will return to face to face lessons, but it should not be too much longer. Keep your fingers crossed. 

We are also looking at offering alternative plans:

·   Some sort of hybrid Zoom/In person sort of plan - if we need to lower the number of students/faculty/staff in the building at once.

·   Continued Zoom lessons for families that are not quite ready to return to face to face lessons

All of these are viable ways to teach music and our teachers are prepared to do any/all. As always, we will strive to give the utmost power and choice to our families by offering options that we think not only keep us each safe but will work for the varied CSM community.  Additionally, we may be temporarily eliminating our waiting rooms to encourage good social distancing practices.

If you have any questions, please feel free to let us know.

Thanks so much for your continued patronage of the arts in general, but especially for the investment in our CSM community. We are eternally grateful for your support. We hope that your music making with us has created a source of light, hope and love within yourself and your family during these ever changing and challenging times. Let the music rise!!!

Be well and we hope to see you in person soon!!!


Wayne, Jennene & The CSM Faculty and Staff


CSM Update: CSM switching ALL lessons to virtual via Zoom
[Studio-wide Email sent Sat 4/25/2020 12:36 PM]

VIRTUAL RECITALS! For those of you with students who will be performing in the first of CSM's "Virtual Recitals" this weekend, those live watch parties will be starting very soon this afternoon! If your student is performing, you should have received an email from Mr Wayne with the details on the timing of those recitals and how to tune in. We've received wonderful submissions and we are so excited to embark on this new format for our Spring Recitals!

For those who are performing in subsequent recitals, please see below for deadlines to submit your videos (a more detailed email will be circulated with Dropbox links and other details) --

  1. Strings, Woodwinds, Brass Recital 5/2 – have your recording to Mr. Wayne by Sunday 4/26 if you haven't submitted it yet

  2. Voice, Guitar, Percussion 5/16 – have your recording to Mr. Wayne by Friday 5/8

  3. Strings, Woodwinds, Brass Recital 6/6 – have your recording to Mr. Wayne by Friday 5/29

  4. Senior Recital (new date 6/27) – this will tentatively be an “in-person” recital, if all goes well, so no video submissions needed at this time


Online Promotional: CSM has rolled out an online promotional in which we will be offering two free lessons for any new online student. This is a great opportunity for neighbors, siblings, or maybe even a parent who wants to start lessons! Please see here for more details: https://www.thecatoctinschoolofmusic.com/onlinelessons

New Alumni Limelight Series – This past Thursday, CSM inaugurated our new Alumni Limelight series with a wonderful performance by CSM alum Elliot Bernard. Thank you Elliot! Keep an eye out for more upcoming performances in this wonderful online concert series! We will be posting updates on our upcoming events page: https://www.thecatoctinschoolofmusic.com/events

If you need to schedule a make-up lesson or an extra lesson for this week, please follow the links below to view your instructor's openings:
This week's opens: OPENS PAGE for THIS WEEK!
Next week's opens: OPENS PAGE for NEXT WEEK!

For upcoming events and other announcements from CSM, check us out on Facebook!

Thank you, and be well!



CSM Operation ZOOM: CSM switching ALL lessons to virtual via Zoom

[Posted Monday, 3/23/2020 11:31 PM]

Hey everyone!

With the announcement today from our Governor of VA, Operation CSM Zoom is fully launching on Wed 3/25/2020. Tomorrow, Tuesday 3/24/2020 will be our last day of teaching in person lessons until non-essential businesses can re-open in person to the public. Most of the studio is already up on Zoom, so it will be an easy transition for those who still need to move over to the platform. We’ve got lots of good experience to make things go smoothly.

If you haven’t connected with your teacher or Mr. Matt yet please do so. They’ll be able to provide you with a Zoom invite and answer any technical questions you might have. Those who haven’t switched to the platform yet are in for a surprise. It’s super fun and engaging! We are all learning so much! If you’re on the fence and thinking you’ll just take makeups later, I would encourage you to at least give it a try!

Remember our Covid-19 page is up and running on the CSM Website and has lots of great info. https://www.thecatoctinschoolofmusic.com/covid

And, last night I sent tips and tricks for students/families to help make the setup at home a breeze!

If you have any questions, or there’s anything we can do to help you just holler.

Musicians were made for times like these! We hope you’ll use your music as the great grounding tool that it is. It will keep you connected to the things that are important in life at a time like this.

Play on CSMrs! Let the music rise!

CSM Updates and ZOOM Tips & Tricks for CSM Students/Families:

[Posted Sunday, 3/22/2020 12:04 PM]

Hello everyone!

Just wanted to send a quick video message from Wayne, myself and all the staff and faculty at CSM. We are so grateful for your continued support during this difficult time. We are open, here for you and will continue making the music we all love! We're in this together for the long haul if necessary! 

Click here for the video https://youtu.be/SS23HIwZJXk

Below and attached are the Tips and Tricks we think may help you make the most of your music lessons!

Tips/Tricks & Things for Students/Parents!

Now that we’ve begun to transition many of you to Zoom lessons, we thought we’d give you some ideas that might make things a little easier.

These are in no particular order, just a brain dump from the hive (Thank you hive!). Maybe you’ll find something useful or think of something else to share with us! Questions/Comments/ideas…send them to me!

1.      Make sure all your devices are plugged in/charged often.

2.      Consider using Zoom with more than one device for different angles. We’d like to see your face and both your hands.

3.      I’m using a music stand turned flat to put my laptop on. It’s a great height for me when I’m at piano or cello. Maybe it would work for you?

4.      Some teachers are using lighting behind their laptop to shine on their faces to improve the look of the video. Consider your room lighting as you set your student up for lessons.

5.      Help your students practice by setting up a practice schedule. Give the days of the week names…Chamber music Monday, Technical Tuesdays….or my personal favorite…Weeping Wednesday – where you play everything you avoid on the other days! Make it fun!

6.      Have your students send in videos of one piece or etude or scale that they really rocked this week. We’d love to see and hear what they’re most proud of.

7.      Do a hangout on Zoom/google… with your music friends just saying hi and having fun…maybe a listening party or something?

8.      Make sure you have all your materials ready before you start your Zoom lessons. I keep finding myself running for a book or something.

9.      Make sure you’re tuned up and ready to go before your Zoom lesson.

10.   If you have multiple students studying in your home by Zoom, we’re happy to move lesson times around to make that easier for you. Just contact Mr. Matt. Studiomanager@csminspires.com

11.   If you’re looking for a webcam check out Logitech 920 or 922.

12.   If you can go ethernet straight into your laptop, try it. It’ll make a difference rather than going wireless through a router.

13.   Utilize notation programs. Finale Notepad, Flat.io, musescore…Having students try their hand at writing music can be fun!

14.   Use apps like musictheory.net, Staff Wars…ask your teacher for recommendations specific to your instrument.

15.   Have makeups to do? Use them as Zoom lessons! Play the clarinet but want some help on your sightsinging? We can Zoom you with a vocal teacher. Think outside the box!

16.   Don’t forget students are not practicing during school band/orchestra/choir class. Their embouchures/stamina/good habits will be fading so we must help them play every day!

17.   Zoom in music mode https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=50NoWIiYECA – make sure you have the right things selected in the audio settings

18.   Can you connect your laptop, tablet or phone to better speakers? Bluetooth or hardwire to a stereo or something similar?

19.   External mics are awesome! I’m using a little USB mic that’s making a difference: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001R76D42/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

20.   We’re now getting to see our student’s home practice setups. It’s a great time to make sure pianists don’t look like TRex’s (sitting too close, short arms) or string players aren’t reading their music off their beds…. We may ask you to make some changes

21.   Just fyi we might use the share screen function to look at a piece of music/sight-reading example/etc. Or we might share a white board with you to draw something.

22.   Teachers may send drum loops home to your students to practice with. It’s way more fun than the metronome. 

23.   If you have satellite internet, let us know. We have options for rainy days and houses between the beams!

24.   Laptops allow the most resources from Zoom to be used, tablets and phones seem to have the better sound.

25.   We may experiment with where your student stands in relationship to the mic to get the best sound.

26.   Help your student with the lighting in their practice space and with background noise. Close the blinds or have Mom/Dad be quieter in the kitchen.

27.   Have your students email their teacher with their theory/written assignments ahead of their lesson time.

28.   If your student(s) need books, we have alternatives. If it’s something we own at CSM we can scan pages for you until you can get your own. I’ve been sending my students pdfs and Amazon links. Or if you can drive by, we’d be happy to run the book to the curb if it’s something we have in stock at CSM. Your teacher will help direct you on this.

29.   Make sure you know how to use the chat, screenshare and recording features in Zoom.

30.   Keep Mr. Matt updated with all scheduling things. So super important to keep us all chugging along.


Most of all…Make MUSIC!!!

As always, if you need anything we are here. Just holler. We are so happy to support you in any way we can.

Be well!

Jennene, Wayne & CSM Faculty and Staff

A Message to our CSM family from Jennene & Wayne Estes (Owners):
[Posted Thursday, 3/12/2020 2:50 PM]
Hello CSM’rs!

We are writing to let you know that we are diligently working to refine our plans for the upcoming weeks as the situation with Covid-19 develops. Honestly, musicians were made for times like these! Our training in performing under pressure, sight-reading and improvisational skills are all well suited for today’s changing environment.

For now, we are focusing on being well! Eat well, get enough rest, try some exercise and PLAY SOME MUSIC!!!

We’re doing the things we always do during influenza season: disinfecting shared instruments and spaces, door handles, bathrooms, music stands…all the things we regularly take care of during the season.

We are also prepared as always to accommodate students that fall ill or who themselves and/or their family members are immunocompromised or who would just prefer an online lesson. We have online lessons with your teacher or a makeup teacher, group classes, makeup lessons, flipped classroom…all kinds of things to keep positive music integrated into your lives!

As always if you need a makeup lesson, (you’re sick, or have conflict or just need to switch things around) just let Mr. Matt know. We’re happy to provide makeups. We will of course be extending the time you have to do that in, perhaps even all the way through summer!

If you currently need to access any of the above, please just email Mr. Matt at studiomanager@csminspires.com. Matt will be happy to help you get set up. Teachers are ready to roll! Some teachers may be contacting you directly to help make sure everyone gets what they need.

For the rest of you, we’ll just have lessons, classes and ensembles as usual for the time being. We are not closing at this time but may reconsider this option as things develop. We’ll keep you updated! If the current guidelines for our area change, we will respond immediately.

Looking to the future, none of us have a crystal ball, but we are prepared to take all CSM students to online delivery of private lessons. We’re hoping it doesn’t come to this, but if it does, rest assured the music making will continue uninterrupted. 21st century musicians and teachers are already accessing and delivering online content. It’s really nothing new to us. We’ll be able to lead you easily into online learning, live with your very own teacher. 

Here’s what we know. Music is important to our well-being. In times of uncertainty, music is a powerful tool. We know that continuing to be active, to learn new things, to give, to practice mindfulness and to connect with others is essential for thriving.

That’s what we’re focusing on! I think Merle Haggard said it well…

“We need to have music that contributes to the well-being of the spirit. Music that cradles people’s lives and makes things a little easier. That’s what I try to do, and what I want to do. You don’t want to close the door on hope.”

Be like Merle!

Thanks everyone for your confidence and cooperation. CSM is committed to music education, students and families, and faculty and staff. Each decision we make is with the utmost care and concern for all.

Be well friends!!

-- Jennene & Wayne Estes (CSM Owners)