Group Classes have been a great success at the Mike Risko Music Virtual Music School. Many said it couldn't be done because people can't sing or play together on Zoom, but this challenge made it even more exciting to set up this virtual program. During the stay at home orders, we wanted to be able to bring people together to sing and make music and so we re-invented our group program to work under these circumstances. There are challenges to setting up multiple people on a virtual platform but with a little creativity and some innovation, we made it work. As people are able to come together more in some capacity, we are adding some in-person options for those who want it.
Mike Risko Music Virtual Music School offers group lessons on all instruments and voice and virtual Rock Band Classes. How does it work? Classes are kept small so that the instructor can focus on each participant. The lessons are taught using the same principles as private lessons in which students are all working from the same curriculum. Students log in from home and meet their virtual classmates and teacher in their virutal group studio, just like they would in real life. These synchronous classes allows the instructors and students to gather and learn skills in real time and to also engage, review and discuss materials and assignments.
As different skills are covered during the lesson, class or workshop, they can mute their mic to try it and then unmute to demonstrate what they have just worked on. The ability to mute the mic and try something actually enables group classes to be much less distracting than in-person classes since the students don't have to hear multiple students playing until the teacher asks each one demonstrate. During virtual classes, students have the opportunity to learn from each other as well as the teacher which can be very inspiring. They are also learning from the comfort of their own home using their own instruments. They get to meet other musicians and can even set up times to meet outside of class to practice together on a virtual platform. Group classes are 45 minutes and meet once each week for a session of 6-8 classes.
Our Rock Band Classes have also transitioned smoothly to the virtual platform. Just like our in-person rock bands, bands are formed either by us or you can come to us with your band. Bands are usually made up of guitar, bass, drums, keyboard and vocals but any instruments are welcome to register. Bands are scheduled to meet for a session virtually. Parts of songs are taught by the band leader and by muting the mic, students are able to try different things along with other members of the band. Each week they work on learning their part and demonstrating for each other. While the weather is nice, we schedule one in-person outside rehearsal and then we record the show. We schedule a watch party for the band and their friends and family to enjoy thus enabling bands to make music, connect, grow and perform in a safe environment. During the cold weather bands will continue to meet and we will find new and innovative ways for them to perform. For more information, fill out the feedback form here or call us at 914-762-8757.