important updates from Powers

COVID-19 Messages & Instructions

Faculty, Families, and Friends,

Please check this page for our most recent updates about the COVID-19 virus and our temporary transition to remote instruction.

Update: May 19 (Summer)

Dear Parents and Students,

While the Baker-Polito administration did release their plan for phased reopening of businesses across the state, the guidance for schools, summer programs and childcare facilities was limited and remained highly uncertain. Thus, with no clear cut path toward resuming in-person activities in the coming weeks, we have made the decision to hold all classes, lessons and day programs online through the end of the summer. We hope to resume in-person teaching in some capacity beginning with the fall semester.

Summer Day Programs
Four of our summer day programs will be offered remotely this year. Updates to the curriculum, schedule and pricing of each program will be posted on our website as soon as possible. If you have already registered for a summer program we will contact you directly about your options, including refunds or credits for future classes and lessons.

Private Lessons
As the spring semester winds down over the coming weeks, please do speak with your teacher about summer lesson availability. As most summer travel plans have been curtailed, many teachers have extended availability and will be happy to keep a consistent schedule going through the summer months. You have the flexibility to register for as many or as few lessons as you choose and you can always add more if your late summer plans change.

Group Classes
To help with continuity, our summer group classes in early childhood, piano and ukulele will all start the first week of June. Additional classes with start dates later in the summer will be added as details are finalized. Click here for information about online offerings!

Thank you again for your patience, understanding and support!

 

Update: May 6 (Memorial Day Weekend)

No regular lessons and classes during Memorial Day Weekend (Saturday, May 23 – Monday, May 25). Individual teachers may opt to hold lessons or recitals during this break.

 

Update: April 22 (REmote Instruction Continues)

Spring – Originally, we had hoped to return onsite the week of April 27. With the decision of Governor Baker to keep schools closed for the remainder of the year, we anticipate remote instruction for all lessons and classes to continue until further guidance is given.

Recitals – In the meantime, your teachers will be in touch with you shortly about the opportunity for virtual spring recitals! We hope these events will provide something for you to work towards, and another way to celebrate your accomplishments this year.

Summer – We still plan to offer private lessons, group classes, and summer day programs, but at this point, it’s too early for us to know exactly where they will be offered (whether onsite or virtual).

Fall Pre-Registration – Pre-registration for continuing private lesson students will begin on May 1st. You’ll have until June 30th to re-enroll (or set up a payment plan, if applicable) and keep your existing lesson time.

Orchestra – Auditions for the Powers Youth Orchestra 2020-2021 season will be held online! All students hoping to join the orchestra should submit an audition form and a link to a video audition. Check the Powers Youth Orchestra page for audition requirements and information.

 

Update: April 8 (April Break and Virtual Classes)

Lessons and classes will continue through April Break Week (Saturday, April 18 – Friday, April 24).

We’re now offering special “pre-summer” virtual classes for 6 weeks! Running from April 23/24 – May 28/29, choose from Piano for Young Beginners (ages 4-5), Jazz and Blues Piano (ages 6-10), Ukulele for Beginners (ages 6+), Sight-Reading & Ear-Training (ages 7+), and Composition (ages 7+). Music Pups singalongs will continue on Sunday and Wednesday mornings at 10:30 am.

 

Update: March 30 (Mildred Freiberg Piano Festival Online)

We will be holding the 2020 Mildred Freiberg Piano Festival as a special virtual event on Wednesday, April 15 – Sunday, April 19. All 2020 festival applicants are encouraged to participate by signing up for an online recital slot. Click here for details!

 

Update: March 16 (MOTH Auditions & Online Resources)

Auditions for our 2020 Music on the Hill (MOTH) program will be happening via Skype – you can still sign up for the March 25, April 4, and May 2 auditions on the MOTH webpage.

Beyond remote instruction for private lessons and classes, our dedicated and talented instructors are sharing a wealth of tips, resources, and even performances online! Be sure to follow Powers on Facebook, follow on Instagram (@powersmusicschool and hashtag #powersmusicschool), and subscribe to our email list to learn about these great additional opportunities for learning and music enjoyment.

 

Update: March 12 (Transition to Remote Instruction)

In light of the Governor’s recent decision and the actions of many organizations in our proximity, we have made the decision to temporarily transition all onsite lessons and classes to a remote learning environment.

We will begin this transition Monday, March 16, and deliver instruction remotely as soon as possible.

Saturday Morning Music School and Suzuki classes in First Unitarian Church (404 Concord Avenue) will not meet Saturday, March 14. While we are still open for all other onsite teaching this Saturday, March 14, we strongly encourage anyone who is sick to stay home.

What does this transition mean for you?

Private lesson students – Your lesson teacher will reach out to you directly this coming week to communicate about the transition to online instruction. We know remote lessons will be new for many of you, and we ask for your cooperation and patience as you and your teacher work together to set up and test this new learning environment. Should you become sick and unable to participate remotely, we are still upholding our make-up policy of 1 make-up per semester due to student absence.

Music Pups families – No class on Saturday, March 14. Instructor Jennifer Choe will be in touch shortly with instructions for remote classes, beginning next week, March 16-21.

Saturday Morning Music School will not meet on March 14 or 21.

Group class students – All group classes with the exception of Music Pups will be cancelled for the week of March 16-21. Going forward, while we will not be able to meet onsite, our instructors are developing plans to teach online to continue your learning in new and creative ways, beginning the week of Monday, March 23.

Afro-Caribbean Drumming, Powers Youth Orchestra, viola da gamba, chamber ensembles, jazz ensemble, and other ensemble students – weekly meetings will be temporarily on hiatus until further notice.

We anticipate that remote instruction will continue through the last date of April break week, Saturday, April 24. Prior to April 24, we will notify you of our plans to continue remote learning or to transition back onsite on this webpage and via email.

Thank you for your unending patience and support during this unprecedented situation.

Should you have any questions or concerns that are not answered or addressed above, please email us at office@powersmusic.org and we will do our very best to respond in a timely manner.

 

Update: March 12 (Cancelled Events)

We have been monitoring the guidance and actions of local and national public health officials closely, including the decision of Belmont Public Schools and many local universities and organizations to cancel or postpone large public events to help control community spread of the virus.

Because of this, we have made the hard decision to cancel the following:

  • Mildred Freiberg Piano Festival & Friday Opening Concert
  • Spring Workshop Week
  • Saturday Morning Music School Spring Concert
  • All-School Recitals on April 4 and April 11

All 2020 Mildred Freiberg Piano Festival application fees and any tickets purchased to the March 27th concert will be refunded. We thank you for your patience as we work through the refund process.

 

Update: March 4

As news reports continue to warn of the spread of coronavirus, we wanted to take a moment to update you on how Powers is responding to the current situation.

First and foremost, we are not panicking, nor should you. Available evidence shows that while the virus is serious, its spread can be mitigated through precautions we take for any flu season. That said, music lessons are ideal places for germs to spread. Teachers may occasionally touch students’ hands or instruments to help with tuning or to demonstrate a technique or musical passage. Therefore, our being mindful about hand washing and cleaning surfaces will go a long way toward minimizing risks to yourself, your children, and those with whom you come into contact.

To that end, Powers is placing signs throughout both buildings asking students to wash their hands before their classes and lessons. We are also placing hand sanitizer in every studio and classroom. While effective, alcohol based sanitizers can be abrasive to instruments. For this reason, we don’t advise using them directly on your instrument. Instead we suggest wiping instruments with a cotton cloth or using a cleanser designed for use with your specific instrument.

Most importantly, if a student becomes sick, please stay home! Even if it’s just the common cold, staying home will eliminate the risk of spreading germs to your teacher and other students. As a reminder, every student enrolled in lessons receives one make-up lesson per semester for an absence, so in most cases you will incur no loss by taking a week off to recover.

We are developing contingency plans should circumstances warrant additional precautions. The health and safety of our students and employees are of prime importance. We assume that as long as you and your teachers are in good health, you will want to continue your work together, and we are looking at all the available ways that can happen should there be increased local concerns about the virus’ transmission.

For now, we’re hoping for the best and planning for the worst. We ask that you join us in taking the basic precautions that are effective at minimizing the transmission of viral infections.