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How to Keep Your Music Going During the COVID-19 ShutDown

The COVID-19 crisis may have shut down concerts, but that’s no reason to press pause on continuing to grow your musicianship. The support of your instructor(s), virtual technology, and the musical community at large means you can keep up with your studies on a daily basis.

The following tips are designed to support your musicianship while weathering the shelter-in-place mandates without missing a beat!

Respect the mandates

First and foremost, please respect all the mandates. In addition to protecting yourself, honoring them protects others, including your loved ones, in the off-chance you're a “silent carrier.” Among other standard hygiene practices, as a musician: don’t share your instruments with anyone. Read our post, How to Protect You and Your String Instrument During Flu Season for more on that topic.

Leverage social distancing with video chat and jam solutions

If you have a tech-savvy music instructor, lucky you! In many cases, teachers are scrambling to take advantage of technology to continue your music education. Be positive, support their efforts, and offer to lend a hand or some advice if they need help learning how to use collaborative solutions such as Zoom or GoToMeeting to provide online instruction.

Speaking of social media…there’s no reason why sheltering-in-place should stop you from playing along or jamming with peers and classmates. There are so many video platforms out there for you to try. Some well-known examples include Facebook's Live feature, Zoom, Microsoft's Skype, Apple's FaceTime, Alexa Echo, and Google Home.

However, there are some exciting online options dedicated specifically to musicians who want to jam or practice together via the internet. These include:

And, don’t forget about awesome recording apps, like GarageBand, which allow you to lay down tracks to share with friends. Then, they can lay their tracks over yours – and the beat goes on.

Participate in #MusicIsMyRefuge

How would you like to reach more than 150,000 people with your performance? You would?

Then get ready to wow the world!! Be sure you warm up well, look great, then record and upload your best musical performance to your Facebook page with the hashtag: #MusicIsMyRefuge. Tell us the name of the composition, the performers (if it's more than just you), and why this music moves you.

Starting today, and every day, we’ll do a search to find everyone’s videos through that hashtag, and then do three things*:

  • Share your video(s) on our different social media pages (once a day)
  • Share them with StringOvation Magazine’s subscribers (weekly)
  • Advertise #MusicIsMyRefuge (daily) to encourage new people to come watch your performances.

This is our way of helping everyone come together during this challenging time. Let’s all bring joy and love into one another’s lives — much as the quarantined residents in Italy and Spain did by sharing their music with each other from their balconies.

Remember: record/upload your performance to Facebook with the hashtag #MusicIsMyRefuge. Individuals and groups are both welcome. Upload as many performances as you like. The world awaits you!

* We reserve the right to make sure videos submitted are appropriate for our audience (music students, their parents, professional and amateur musicians, and music educators). This activity is not affiliated with or endorsed by Facebook in any way.

Design a practice schedule that works for you

Ideally, students should maintain their current practice schedule and augment that with additional tutorials or instruction provided by their music teacher(s). It may be time to reevaluate your practice schedule and ramp it up as needed to optimize learning/growth potential.

Visit How to Create a Fun Music Practice Schedule That Doesn’t Feel Like Work. If you’re a parent or an older student, read How to Create a Balanced Practice Schedule, written in honor of summer break but equally relevant for a homeschool-style schedule.

Take advantage of technology

Special Note: Multiple internet providers around the nation are offering free internet access for 30-, 60-, and 90+ days for those who don’t have access at home. If you do not have access at home, or you need to upgrade your plan to accommodate instructional streaming, visit highspeedinternet.com to find a collaborative internet provider near you.

We have posted heaps of articles dedicated to apps and technology for string musicians. Use these liberally to support your practice and playing habits. From free lessons and tutorials on YouTube to online apps that support tuning, scales, practicing, and composition, the internet places musicianship at your fingertips.

Here is a list of recent posts containing online resources for string musicians:

With the wealth of online resources available to string musicians, we should all come out of the COVID-19 pandemic playing better than ever.

Attend a live streaming concert

Exposure to “live” music performances is a delicious way to expand your knowledge and cultivate greater awareness about musicians, composers, and musical works you’ve never heard before. While group concerts are ix-nayed at the moment, many professional musicians and orchestras are transforming canceled concerts into live-streamed events.

Check NPR’s List of Virtual Concerts to Watch During the Corona Shutdown and be inspired.

Catch up on StringOvation posts

The team here at StringOvation is dedicated to posting current information about string instruments and musicianship. There’s never been a better time to visit our website and subscribe to keep up with our latest blogs. We wish you and your family well, and we look forward to “seeing you” on Facebook. Until then, continue to take good care and practice often!