ISSUE NO. 14 | APRIL 2020
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF MODERN DAY MUSIC SCHOOL
Since transitioning into all online lessons, our students and coaches have tackled the learning curve together to make lessons as fun, productive, and uplifting as ever! Fiona F. (pictured above) practices a correct vowel shape with the help of her coach, Katie, in a Zoom lesson. “The whole Zoom experience is really smooth and exciting." Fiona said. "It’s so great of MDM to use this technology to allow students to have fun and continue to learn.”
And that’s exactly our goal.
BY LAURA BETH JOHNSON
Zoom refers to a remote conferencing services company, Zoom Video Communications, that developed a video service in 2011 that many schools, businesses, and companies have relied on during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Music schools have also turned to Zoom, much to the delight of their students stuck at home.
“Arts play a very important role in society, and bring joy to people of all ages and cultures,” a Zoom spokesperson shared. “We’re thrilled that Zoom can play a role in helping artists share their craft and bring communities together—particularly at a time like this.”
The shift from in-person lessons to online has presented some difficulties such as low audio gain and latency, but the MDM staff are finding that adjustments create an opportunity for growth.
The vocal coaches have found that it is best to do warm ups with very little piano. Nicole mentioned, “I've found that it really forces the student to listen to themselves and be confident in their tuning when they would otherwise rely on me. When tuning is an issue, I've been having the student listen to me play/sing the exercise then have them try it with me and going back and forth until it's in tune.”
Longtime MDM Coach Tony said, “Every student seemed really excited for lessons, a little more than usual, so I think they are getting pretty bored at home. The fact that I'm doing lessons over the internet isn't getting in the way of how I would normally do things.”
Laura explained that she’s taking this as an opportunity to be creative and try new things. “After warming up,” she said, “I’ve been playing an echo solfege game with my students and they had a lot of fun with it.” Elena noted that she is inspired by how students are motivated to continue working hard and use free time to practice.
A number of students have been writing songs. Many are doing acapella warm ups for the first time! Piano and guitar students are also learning to rely on their ear! Some look forward most to a distraction from current events and to see a friendly face. Others are excited to introduce coaches to a dog or cat lifted briefly into view. In a way, this whole experience is teaching us more of how to be together.
Teagan F. summed it up saying, "I’m so0oo0o happy I don’t have to stop lessons because of the quarantine!”
We are too.
Though we hope of course to see you soon, this time is not wasted. Our only option to get through this is doing it together -- so together we shall.
Elena Karpoff teaches piano, voice, composition, and ukulele at Modern Day Music with flair and compassion. She can often be found in brightly colored sweaters welcoming her students with a warm smile. She also leads groups in acapella and songwriting much to the delight of her students.
Elena was raised in Syracuse, New York by a pair of kind musicians. Her father is a concert pianist and her mother is a classically-trained soprano. “My parents taught me to how to teach," Elena explained. "My dad is a Professor of Piano at Syracuse, so when I first started teaching, I was calling him a lot for advice."
Elena started piano at the age of six. In her teen years, she spent her spare time learning her favorite songs from the likes of Queen, Radiohead, Stevie Wonder, and Joni Mitchell. She would learn them by ear at the piano, and arrange them for her high school, a skill which she uses now to lead and arrange for MDM's two acapella groups. She's currently arranging "Take On Me" for the 14 & up acapella group. It's got a great bassline, some creative liptrillling, and is so fun to sing.
Elena makes lessons fun too!
Although Elena technically teaches piano and voice, that's never stopped her from instructing students who have an interest in other things like songwriting or ukulele! “My favorite part is passing along this gift to others," Elena said of teaching. "Music means everything to me and it makes me so happy when my students achieve their goals.” Last year, one of Elena's big personal goals came to fruition in such a beautiful way.
In May of 2019, she released her debut album “Artifacts,” a project she wrote, arranged, recorded, mixed, and mastered during her time at The College of Saint Rose. She subsequently graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Music Industry. "Artifacts is built entirely on the concept of memories," she said. "Each song has two narrators -- the past self and the present self." The collection is a beautiful reflection on growing up, stretching out, and rewriting old patterns. Last month, she performed selections of the album at a show at Savoy Taproom that was exactly like her: passionate, sweet, curious, and thoughtful!
Just search "Artifacts" by Elena Karpoff to listen on Spotify and Apple Music!
This is a difficult time for everyone as we face new stresses and learn to navigate novel challenges. We are grateful for your patience and excitement as we've launched and continue to perfect our Zoom lessons. We believe that in times like these, music provides a space that is positive, uplifting, and comforting.
We hope to see you soon, but until then the music goes on and so do we.
Tips & tricks
Ways students can get the
most out of their Zoom lessons!
1. Come into the meeting exactly at your lesson time.
If you enter before your time, you'll interrupt
the lesson of the student before you.
2. Make sure your camera shows your instrument.
For voice students, this means setting your
camera up to see you while you're standing.
3. Have another device to play your karaoke/music.
Due to latency, your coach will hear you best
if you have any additional music on your end only.
4. Be in a quiet space free from distractions
Extra noise makes it hard for you to focus and for us to hear you, so a quiet room is best.
5. Have fun and practice in your extra free time!
Music is a great way to lift your spirit! Use the extra practice time so when we see you again, you'll be next level!
A ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR OUR NEW STUDENTS IN March!
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