Stay-at-Home Diaries | Erika Walczak, Violin and Viola Faculty

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 to distance learning formats.

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.

Erika Walczak sitting on piano bench with her violin in hand

PCM: Where are you right now and who are you with?
EW: I’m home in Beachwood Conyon with my brother Gregory and dog Kylie.

PCM: How are you feeling and how have you adjusted to life at home?
EW: I’m mostly feeling very fortunate to be healthy and to be able to work from home. Overall we’re all adjusting well to life at home, I’d say.

PCM: What does a typical day look like for you right now?
EW: I start out the morning with yoga and meditation and a hike in the canyon with Kylie. I then move to practicing violin, viola, piano, guitar, ukulele, singing and songwriting. In the afternoon, I get on Zoom and teach my students. Evenings typically include another dog walk and listening to jazz or podcasts.

PCM: In what ways (large and small) has the current situation impacted your lessons, practice schedule, and music education experience in general?
EW: I’m so fortunate that almost my whole class is continuing lessons on Zoom. It’s truly joyful for me to connect with them each week – plus it lends structure to my day. The limitations of internet lessons have catalyzed some creative problem solving as well as illuminated the importance of talking less and listening more.

In the absence of playing concerts and commuting to teach, I’d say I’m practicing A LOT! I am more convinced than ever that music is an ESSENTIAL part of life.

PCM: What are you most looking forward to when everyone returns to campus? What, if anything, will you miss?
EW: I truly look forward to seeing and hearing my students and colleagues in person. I also can’t wait to meet with the adult jazz ensemble (led by Sherry Luchette) and practice improvising live!