A word from the Director
Well I didn't expect that things would come so far so quickly but they have. We face a challenge that is unequalled in living experience. This letter is my explanation about what we've assessed and how we are going to go forward and why. In response to the COVID19 situation we have arrived at the following conclusions:
1. Music lessons in person are generally unsafe for the time being. While the region has few cases of COVID at the moment this can change quickly and we want to be part of the solution not a part of the problem. Turning one's living room or office space into a contact hotspot for youth traffic is quite simply the product of some ill advised and very wishful thinking. An outbreak in the region at some point is probable and while employment is important we don't think that it is worth aggravating the situation or helping the virus claim lives in our large retired community. But don't worry we've found a way to make things work and to share what NCM and our network can offer with all of Northern Ontario.
2. The spaces where the majority of music lessons take place in school are generally unventilated and not sufficiently large enough to ensure distancing is effective even if they are ventilated. Then there is the issue of contact surfaces (pianos) and distribution of droplets within a confined space. Most models have students remaining in place with teachers circulating.
3. The schools are no longer going to have space or the resources to accommodate visitors during school hours. We should not be burdening the school administration during this period with requests for exemptions. They will have their own challenges and adaptations to make. We owe them the respect to do so without the encumbrances of organizing our presence physically. We owe teachers and administrators as well as students the right to make a safe environment.
4. Dwelling on what we can't provide is a recipe for failure and sadness. Instead we will focus on providing a larger team with more options than ever before and we will reach new markets. More about that later...
5. The Zoom video conferencing platform with the audio settings correctly configured can provide a realistic enough presence to have effective teaching. In certain ways it can actually increase concentration in a one on one setting.
6. We are uniquely equipped to recruit the highest quality team of teachers the region has ever seen. We will of course happily include any qualified Northerners who want to be a part of the team. You'll see many familiar faces are back.
7. The challenge for us as a business in the old model has always been that high quality professionals are difficult to relocate to the North from the urban centers. Often they have performing lives and other urban needs. This has always resulted in considerable compromise with notable exceptions. Now we can provide the quality of service that we are truly comfortable with to the entire Northern region.
8. The new service will give you more choices than ever before. While the cost is somewhat higher (about three bucks for a half hour lesson) we feel you will see that the presence of the new team is worth a small investment per lesson. Additionally, we are pleased to announce that those clients that continued lessons online during the confinement period will keep to the old pricing for the upcoming year if they stay with their existing teachers. Actually, some clients may actually prefer the new rate due to cancellation flexibility. We thank you profoundly for supporting us online when many clients couldn't and we acknowledge your support. We thank our legacy teachers for being willing to continue this initiative.
9. We look forward to informing you about some new service possibilities as well. These will include parent/child lesson formats and a streamlined cancellation and billing process. In the new system you can cancel any lesson with 24 hours notice.
While this crisis has created a transformation for us I am confident that putting our attention on new possibilities will be beneficial to everyone. If you've ever wanted flute, drums, sax or even accordion lessons now you can. If you've wanted an advanced teacher it is now possible with every instrument.
This is not a situation I would ever have asked for but I can say with certainty that this is the teaching team that Northern Ontario deserves. We are ready to meet the challenge.
I am excited to tell you about the possibilities.
We’d love to hear from you!
PO Box 1809 | New Liskeard, ON | P0J 1P0 |
Tel: 1-800-966-9043 |