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Not Fair!



Frustrated doesn’t begin to describe how I feel when each and every day another researched-based article comes out that simply states, “We’re not sure about this whole Covid-19 thing.” There is still so much uncertainty surrounding: **“Super-spreaders” (what are these, anyways?!) **The role of singing in the spread of virus-containing droplets (I’m sure you’ve read about that poor choir?) **The long-term implications on asymptomatic adults who contract the virus **The still unknown effects of gathering young children together in groups And the only certain thing I continue to read is: No gatherings of more than 10 in an enclosed, indoor space unless you can ensure 6 feet of distance and wear a face mask. Have you ever tried to keep your toddler on your lap when he/she didn’t want to be there? Cue the back-arching. I believe restricting free movement in class would result in one tantrum after another (after another). And in regards to the question of outdoor classes, there is one certainty I KNOW to be true about children: Bring them outside and they will not stay on a picnic blanket for more than 5 minutes…especially if their beloved music teacher is doing something fun 10 feet away from them. And when I think about in-person classes, I selfishly want things to be the way they’re supposed to be: With children freely roaming the room, choosing a lap to plop into at will. With hugs and laughter and visible smiles. Without fear. Without a waiver saying, “If we contract Covid-19, you are not liable.” My heart hurts when I think about opening up in-person classes any way other than “with gusto.” I want it to be like this again:

I miss the snuggles and the excellent quad exercise that comes from a full lap like this!


NO ONE wants to begin “business as usual” more than Ms. Kristen. I started this business

when my youngest was 17 months old. My only concrete goal was to keep

Look at how little he was during our first session!!

business “stewing” until he was 5 and all three of my children would be in school all day. At that point, I had hoped to have a small business to keep me busy (and distracted from the fact that my babies were all in school!). I had no idea my classes would fill as quickly as they did

– and I had no idea what passion I would feel for teaching these classes. This business became my fourth child. Things grew ALMOST beyond what I was capable of handling with a little one still in tow (and a little one who couldn’t be counted on to behave for his Music Teacher momma during class – LOL!) So, amid childcare and preschool pick up and squeezing in classes to meet demand, I counted down the semesters until Fall of 2020. I would tell myself, “One more year, Kristen, it’ll all be worth it!” Then…”3 more sessions - you’re almost there!” And then…COVID.


Now here I am, with all my customers ready…ALL the time in the world to offer as many classes as are necessary to accommodate demand. No more wait lists…no more scrambling to fit in 3 classes before some crazy 10:55am school pick-up and…COVID.

 

Maybe I’m sharing too much – but…I just feel utterly sad and disappointed. In the words I often hear coming from my 10-year old son (when I tell him he needs to behave like the oldest): “THAT’S NOT FAIR!” What do I usually respond with to my son? | “Well, that’s life, buddy. You are the oldest…it comes with some great perks, though, like staying up late, getting to ride your bike in the street, meeting friends on your own, and watching movies we’d never let your siblings watch.” He usually rolls his eyes (an action I didn’t think kicked in until at LEAST 12 years old, but…surprise!) and mutters an, “I guess.” So...what are MY, “That’s life, Kristen” consolation perks? What would I tell myself, if I was rolling my eyes and complaining about all of this?

Well – I’ve been able to continue to teach Music Together Online to so many beautiful

Virtual high-fives are better than NO high fives!

families.I have heard these families express, “We don’t know what we’d do without our weekly classes!” but the reality is…I don’t know what I would do without them.Being a Music Together teacher – being YOUR teacher – has become a defining role in my life – it makes me a better person in all aspects of my life. It brings me immeasurable joy. So – these online classes have saved ME.


All this quarantine time at home will probably result in a fresh crop of younger siblings, eager for music class by the time the world goes back to normal (ha ha). Am-I-Right?Anyone have some news to share?


I feel confident that the relationships I’ve built with all of you are authentic and meaningful enough that you’ll find your way back to my classroom when the time is right. And if word-of-mouth resulted in 11 full classes per week, I should be able to fill 11 classes again some day, right? Can I get an Amen?


And the value of these classes is REAL– not only the research-based fact that early music education positively affects all aspects of childhood development – but the social/emotional component of gathering weekly with other families. This is something necessary, and good, and true. And there will always be people seeking this out. And I will be there – because I LIVE to share it.


So…what’s my plan?


I take things one week at a time. I’ll be taking most of July off and will start up another online session for the month of August. A 5-week hybrid of live and pre-recorded classes while we wait and see what the world does for Fall. Will it spiral out of control again? Will we defy the odds and maintain some semblance of composure? I’m no expert, but in the words of all of those experts: “We just don’t know.”


I’m still here for you. I miss you and your families.

Radiating JOY during our online classes - can you tell how much I love you?

If your kiddo who doesn’t sit for online classes would like a quick Ms. Kristen zoom session, let me know! If you’d like a private family music session, let me know.If your missing your old friends from class, let’s get together on Zoom. If you think your kiddo could handle a “no hug” visit from me, I’ll happily stop by in a mask


and wave hello and sing a song or two from the front yard.




And if you have some miraculous creative idea of how we can safely meet in person, by all means, SHARE YOUR IDEA!



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