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By Rhys Lett

ESSM March 30th 2020 Update

Hello students, parents and families. I hope everyone is well, safe and staying that way!  I am humbled by the support the ESSM community through this difficult time. It is greatly appreciated by myself and the teachers of our great school.

For the foreseeable future, lessons will be held online. We continue on. Our teachers look forward to the challenge of delivering music lessons in a different learning environment for the time being. Please understand the following as to how lessons will operate during this period:

  • All lessons conducted through video call. We will use the program that is best and easiest for you, our teachers will be flexible with what to use for your lessons. If no preference is provided to teacher they will let you know the program to use.
  • Term 1 Catch Up Lessons period – Monday 30th March to Sunday 11th April. This is what would have been our term holidays break, as usual where all catch up lessons are held. Term 1 lessons must be completed by Sunday 11th April (end of “school holidays”) or be forfeited as has been standard in our terms and conditions prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Lessons continue on immediately following completion of remaining lessons from term 1. No need to wait for the start of term 2.
  • Payments of $100 for 4 lessons will replace the term fees structure while we are using the online lessons method.
  • We will continue lessons without term breaks until we are able to move back onsite to our ESSM premises in Boronia and Carrum Downs.
  • All terms and conditions relating to lesson cancelations will still apply at all times.

Video Lesson Preparation and Ideas

This is a new adventure for all of us. Some tips to be mindful of in setting up for video lessons:

  • the first lesson will be quite different for student and teacher. We will establish the new learning environment as quickly as possible and gain understanding of how we can best instruct our students in the new conditions.
  • I have recommended teachers send work ahead of time so there may be printing of music or preparation for the playing of music tracks required to make lessons most effective. Be prepared!
  • Teachers will be unable to accompany or play along with students due to latency or lag time.
  • Make sure student is set up in an area that will limit interruptions to the lesson and to the household.
  • See that the area is well lit, with the light source facing the student rather than coming from behind the student.
  • Exam boards remain open through this period so preparation for grades can continue without interruption. Guidelines have been sent out as to how they will conduct exams during this time.

Teachers will be able to also take on new students through this time. We can take additional family members. If you know someone that would like to try lessons with us please recommend us. Our teachers need your support as many of us have lost income outside of our ESSM teaching.

We are lucky to have a pastime such as music to invest in and study during this period. Look after yourself and each other. We look forward to seeing you all online!!!