I went completely to Zoom teaching on March 13, 2020, with a few students starting online lessons even before that. It was a rocky start, just as it was for all other music instructors who had yet to move to online teaching. I had actually done a few FaceTime lessons in the past, because I had a couple of students who went to boarding school, but it was so infrequent and we just ignored the sound issues. But moving to ALL online lessons issues (sound, frozen screens, glitches in time) became rather painful. At this point we’ve learned how to make things work, and I do believe Zoom has improved much at their end as well.

Sound is so much better. Most of us use headphones of some sort (I have only a few students who continue to resist that for some reason). I have to remind some to turn “original sound” back on, but most now remember that prior to the start of their lessons. Lighting can sometimes be an issue (back lighting is a no-no!), and I frequently have to ask students to move their devices in a way that allows me to see their heads AND then hands. (Again, a few STILL resist doing that and I can’t see the right hand at all … why they fight this is beyond me!)

BUT … here’s what I really wanted to write about … I’m so very grateful to the students who have stuck with me. I lost three, but everyone else has stayed, and I even gained two new students. This has been good for my heart, and of course good for my finances. While colleagues have gone on unemployment I’ve avoided that.

It’s also caused me to teach differently and to see and hear things in a new way. I think my teaching has improved because of it, believe it or not.

We are all living in difficult times, but when I think of the kids my heart hurts for them. I try, because of that, to keep things a bit lighter. I know I’m considered strict by many (a former adult student told a colleague “She’s good, but she’s very strict!” Not something that bothered me since I AM strict!), but for now I’m relaxing a bit. These students need to learn, and they need to work, but I also need to cut them some slack. So I do.

I have no clue when I will have students in my house again. I will only accept Covid-vaccinated students. I will only teach live and in person when I have also been vaccinated. Things are moving along, and some are now getting those vaccinations, but I’m not in an age group that is allowed the vaccine yet, so I am somewhat patiently waiting. I do wonder how it will feel to have someone other than Dan in this house with me. It’s been close to a year now with just the two of us.

Yes, one more (But where is “video #1”?!):

Scot Hostetler on all instruments

Quarantine video #2
May 2020
Trio for Oboe, Horn, and Piano by Carl Reinecke (first movement)
This is just an experiment to see what the piece would sound like with English horn instead of French horn.

Just WOW …

Scot Hostetler on all instruments

Quarantine video #3
June 2020
Brahms Chorale Prelude #5 “Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele” op 122
Originally for organ, I play this on the oboe d’amore, English horn, and bassoon. I love this piece especially for the gorgeous last bar.

My friend and colleague, Pam Hakl, brought this to my attention. It’s wonderful!

From the YouTube page:
Quarantine video #4
Feb 2021
Just discovered this piece (“A Summer’s Tale” by Josef Suk) thanks to a recent Berlin Philharmonic broadcast! One of the biggest orchestral English horn parts, and it’s for TWO English horns! This is the complete third movement, subtitled “Blind Musicians”
Scott Hostetler

I was quite moved by this: these doctors, working on the front lines of this pandemic, making music … and sending us messages along the way. I hope you enjoy it as well. They KNOW. They’ve SEEN. They continue to work hard and fight this awful virus. They risk their lives to save others. I am grateful.

I must thank oboist Andrea Plesnarski for bringing this to my attention!

I just finished watching “The Making of THREE DECEMBERS” and I must say even that is mighty impressive, so I’m pretty darn sure the video of the opera itself will be great.

You can purchase your ticket here.

26. November 2020 · Comments Off on Happy Thanksgiving to Those in the USofA · Categories: Can't Stop the Music!, CovidTimes

And happy day to everyone else! Every day is a day to give thanks.

The Promise of Living by Aaron Copland
Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church Virtual Choir with Ryan Jackson and Patrick Kreeger, Piano

22. November 2020 · Comments Off on Sunday Evening Music · Categories: Can't Stop the Music!, CovidTimes, Sunday Hymn Sing · Tags: , , ,

Greg Gilpin: For the Beauty of the Earth.
Virtual Choir including Grand Cities Children’s Choir and more; Greg Gilpin, Conductor

01. November 2020 · Comments Off on Sunday Morning Music · Categories: BachTrac™, Can't Stop the Music!, CovidTimes, Sunday Morning Music · Tags: , ,

J. S. Bach: Jesus bleibet meine Freude
CONSORT SW1; Richard McVeigh, Director and Organist

25. October 2020 · Comments Off on Sunday Evening Music · Categories: Can't Stop the Music!, CovidTimes, Sunday Evening Music · Tags: , , ,

Our God, Our Help in Ages Past
Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church Choir