Updated: Apr 8, 2020
Late last year, I decided that this year we would start summer registration two weeks earlier than usual. The decision was made to help families better coordinate their busy summer schedules (a lot of summer activities start their sign-ups quite early).
Of course, none of us could have predicted that the world would be so different by the time registration week came. But, we said we'd open registration to current families on April 1, all our teachers had submitted their availability, and everything was in the system, so there was no reason not to go ahead as planned.
Last week, when it was time to flip the switch to open registration I happened to be at the building getting a music book delivery ready. I opened registration, saw that it was working, and left to give a newly-leveled-up student their new books.
By the time I got home, there were TWENTY registrations. For those who may not know, that's a really good number for hour one in a NORMAL year, and it surprised me even more with the current state of things.
But let me back up a bit.
Due to the recommendations from government and health officials, on March 16, 2020, Academy of Sound enacted a 100% a video chat lesson model.
It's a model we had in place already, and thankfully most of our teachers and students already had a good amount of practice using it.
Our method involves using a video chat app with cameras set and pointed properly in almost the exact positioning we use during in-person lessons. Teacher and student get into the video call and take turns teaching, demonstrating, sight-reading, playing flashcards and other music games, drilling challenge spots in songs, learning new music, and more -- just like our in-person model.
With all of the unknowns, not the least of which is how long is this pandemic going to last, one thing is for sure -- Academy of Sound is alive and well. Everybody here is still employed, and as of the time of this writing NO STUDENTS HAVE QUIT.
When June 15 comes, our summer lessons will go on as scheduled regardless of the status of the pandemic. If in-person lessons are still not permitted or recommended, we will continue with our online/video-chat format. If conditions permit, we may be able to go back to in-person lessons then.
You'll have the choice to stay online then too, or do a hybrid version with a combination of in-person and video chat lessons. In fact, this is an option we've offered for years. We're just talking about it more now.
Please don't hesitate to enroll or re-enroll with us. We are here...and there... and honestly now we're everywhere!😂
While our programs may look and feel different for a while, we are in this for the long haul with the same dedication to our students, teachers, and AOS families that you've come to know and expect.