On Thursday, March, 19, Los Angeles residents were asked to stay in their residences and limit all activities outside of their homes beyond what is necessary for essential tasks. Days later, PCM adapted its lessons and programs and launched a “distance learning” spring quarter.
For this series, we’re checking in with students, instructors, and staff members to see how they’re managing and how distance learning (and teaching) is working for them.
PCM: Where are you right now and who are you with?
SW: I am in a townhouse in San Gabriel with my husband, Tim, 9 year old daughter, Lily, and 4 year old son, Silas.
PCM: How are you feeling and how have you adjusted to life at home?
SW: Some days I feel happy and focus on the positive things. Other days I feel a range of mixed emotions and worry about a million things I have no control over. But everyday I feel thankful and fortunate for what I do have. Being able to work from home has been nice. We have a room that we set up as our dedicated workspace where I teach my group classes and private lessons. The kids have been really good about not disturbing me while I am teaching. Although, every once in a while, someone will poke his or her little head in to check out what’s going on.
PCM: What does a typical day look like for you right now?
SW: Breakfast and at least two cups of coffee are essential to start off my day because at any given moment, someone will yell, “The floor is lava!” and I will have to be ready to make my swift move. Tim and I take turns throughout the day using the room for teaching, meetings, and working on recording projects. While one of us is in there, the other one is hanging out with the kids. We have been taking advantage of the beautiful weather and eating dinner outside on our patio. After dinner, the kids ride their bikes and scooters and play outside until it gets dark. Whenever I get a chance during the day, I play my accordion.
PCM: In what ways (large and small) has the current situation impacted your lessons, practice schedule, and music education experience in general?
SW: I feel so lucky to work with an amazing bunch of ladies in the Young Musicians department. Since the end of March, we have been meeting every Tuesday morning on zoom to catch up, collaborate, share ideas, and be there for each other to show support and encouragement. I love you Rachael, Mary, Lindsay, and Elizabeth! I was really nervous about teaching live online zoom classes to a group of one to four year olds, but to my surprise, many of them are engaged and actively participate alongside their parents. It brings me so much joy to be able to sing, dance, and play instruments with the little ones while seeing their smiley faces. I’ve also been having fun creating slideshows, videos, and fun visuals to go along with our songs and activities.
PCM: What are you most looking forward to when everyone returns to campus? What, if anything, will you miss?
I just can’t wait to see everyone in person again. I miss you all so much! Just thinking about it makes my eyes tear up.