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Challenge: Inspired by Music

May the Force of Music be with your family during this quarantine!

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My daughters look forward to their weekly Ballet and Piano classes via Zoom a lot. True, they’re not the most conventional weekly classes they’ve had—one is held on the pink rug in their bedroom, next to her toddler bed and stuffed animals; while the other is held in our basement office, next to our computer and boxes of books I’ve still yet to remember to put away. But they’re both one of the highlights of their week. It’s a chance to have fun, but also to keep some previous normalcy and organization amongst the ever changing chaos in our lives. A little taste of something we had before, and a chance for them to still see their friends and music teachers.

I’ll be honest and say a small part of me kind of enjoys the at-home lessons. A small part—the part that hated searching for parking spots with the other participating parents, or having to come back home and pick up forgotten music books, or who bumped her head on said toddler bed multiple times crawling under it to look for lost ballet shoes. While they still need these things for their Zoom classes, being able to conduct them from home has given me more time to find these lost items, and things can’t really be considered “forgotten” if they’re in the same dwelling the lesson is taking place in, right?

To make up for the apparent and slightly depressing differences these home classes via Zoom have, their teachers have been amazing about adding in fun modifications and moments. A ritual in my younger daughter’s class is “Freeze Dance Time” at the end which the girls do together, but now that they’re taking the class alone the teacher tells them to grab a doll or stuffed animal and dance with them. And there’s something so heartwarming about watching her in her ballet tutu breaking it down around the room with her stuffed Fancy Nancy doll. Now she looks forward to choosing which doll is going to be allowed to join her ballet class.

As for the older one’s piano lesson, her teacher has also been inventive and amazing at keeping the fun. She knows how much my daughter loves Star Wars, so almost immediately once quarantine started she found an easy-to-learn Star Wars piano theme song, and that has become their weekly lesson. Of course no Star Wars piano lesson is complete without full Star Wars costume, which we happen to have many of. So during her lesson the teacher allows her to don her favorite one, and not only does it put her in the mood to play, but her excitement and encouragement to practice (something we struggled with before) has gone up ten octaves.

Knowing that many kids are struggling with finding fun activities to do at home right now, many Dance and Music companies are offering classes online via Zoom, and they don’t even have to have prior musical knowledge or experience. Many of the girls in my daughters ballet class are newcomers, having started just during this quarantine. I encourage all of you to find a class your kids will love, as it not only gives them something fun to look forward to, but a new skill to possibly learn .Yes, quarantine has taken a lot from us. But it’s also given us a bit too, one of those being the added beat and harmony to their weekly music lessons, which has added an upbeat crescendo to our weekly activities.

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