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. We are monitoring 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:
IS CSM OPEN? [Updated 3.25.20]
CSM is open virtually for lessons (via Zoom), however, our building is closed to the public for the immediate future. We are reassessing daily and will make the decision to reopen the building as soon as it’s safe to do so and we appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation during this time! With the announcement from Virginia Governor Ralph Northram on 3/23/20, CSM switched ALL on-site lessons across ALL studios to online virtual lessons via Zoom. All lessons at this time will be conducted virtually, online 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! As always, please make sure your Studio Helper contact info. is up-to-date and accurate! Be on the lookout for updates from CSM and your lessons instructor about any potential changes to lessons format whenever non-essential businesses are allowed to reopen on-site business following this period. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) as we shift our operations online digitally during this time!
ONLINE LEARNING: "ZOOM" VIRTUAL LESSONS!
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's Students & Parents "Zoom Tips & Tricks": CSM Zoom "Tips & Tricks" CLICK HERE
ARE CSM GROUP CLASSES & ENSEMBLES STILL MEETING? [Updated 3.25.20]
Though CSM facilities will be closed during this period, several CSM instructors and groups have opted to meet "virtually" via Zoom or alternate conferencing methods to continue rehearsals or conduct remote classes online. Some groups may opt to pause until the current health crisis is over. Instructors will inform their classes and ensembles as to the status of their group and class/ensemble schedule moving forward. If you are uncertain as to the status of your current group class or CSM Ensemble, please contact your group class or ensemble instructor immediately about the status of your group.
WHAT IS THE STATUS OF SPRING RECITALS? [Updated 3.25.20]
Spring Recitals are currently scheduled throughout the coming months, however, we are closely monitoring latest local and national guideline regarding assembly. We’ll keep you updated if anything changes, however, dates and times are scheduled as is at this time. This is a a very fluid situation and local/national guidance continues to evolve with the ever evolving situation on the ground. Once again, if the current guidelines for our area change, we will respond immediately and notify everyone of any changes to the time or format to our upcoming Spring Recitals schedule.
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
CSM Operation ZOOM: CSM switching ALL lessons to virtual via Zoom
[Posted Monday, 3/23/2020 11:31 PM]
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]
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.
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]
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 . 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)