It's been quite the rollercoaster since we went on lockdown on March 13th. We have been navigating this strange chapter in world history by focusing on one simple motto: "Isolation breeds innovation" (which is just a fancy way of saying "it's time to make some lemonade"!)
Here's what we have been up to since March:
STUDENT SPOTLIGHT CAMPAIGN
For 18 days, we ran our exciting #StudentSpotlight campaign on Instagram and Facebook. We have so many amazing, hard working and talented students here at CBY Music, it seemed only right to show them off to the world!
Every student that was included was working towards a big goal at the time - RCM exams, OFMA virtual festival and our virtual concerts to name just a few.
But all of our students have been achieving big things during lockdown, which is why phase 2 of Student Spotlight will return this summer, ready to celebrate the ongoing awesomeness of our students! There will be new faces, graduations and artist launches that will all serve to proudly promote our amazing kids.
MUSICAL THEATRE NERD CHALLENGE
There is an ongoing question among our senior students at CBY Music: "Who is the biggest musical theatre nerd?"; it is a hotly debated title, and one that we finally decided to answer with the Musical Theatre Nerd Challenge.
Every day for 2 weeks, our seniors were given a different research and performance challenge, which encouraged personal study, performance development and teamwork. These studies took them on a journey throughout the history of musical theatre, from Golden Age to Modern, and opened them up to composers and shows never before on their radar; enrichment ftw! Each student earned effort points for their participation and were motivated by each other to excel.
And we can FINALLY answer, with absolutely certainty, that WILLIAM is the biggest musical theatre nerd at CBY Music, coming in with the most points in the end. However, it was very close, and with the impressive work by all of our seniors over the 2 weeks, we actually think they are all the biggest musical theatre nerds...and we're so proud of them for that!
Our first foray into online concerts came in early April, when we hosted a "mid term concert" on our Facebook page. We had 35 video submissions from our students and streamed them live to an online audience of 85 people. A fantastic experience!
Our second online concert was a student Miscast concert, where students performed songs in roles that they would never be cast in. Another fantastic show with entertaining, creative student performances and an engaged audience on our Facebook page.
THE CBY MUSIC ENRICHMENT PROGRAM
Our six week program of extra music enrichment kicked off at the start of May and featured weekly classes that any enrolled CBY Music student could join, at no extra cost to our families. The aim was to promote motivation, enrichment and the encouragement of their musical growth during COVID-19.
The Learn Lab was a weekly course for students to learn something new or improve upon something that they were already studying. Every Monday morning, the Audition Bootcamp program taught students the ins and outs of professional auditioning, with a final mock self-taped audition challenge for them to submit. Every Wednesday afternoon, the Theory Clinic program focused on a different music theory concept, both rudimentary and advanced, giving junior and senior students the opportunity to keep advancing their theory goals.
The Aspire Series was by far our most popular feature of the Enrichment Program. Every Sunday at 12pm, we hosted an insightful masterclass with a different professional from the music and theatre industries. Each guest talked about their journeys, gave exclusive advice and inspired our young performers. A very special thank you to all of our masterclass guests: Matt Canny (Downtown Abbey), Kieran Sutcliffe (West End), Elle Exxe (British popstar), Dr. Vicki St. Pierre (Voice Professor), Jonny Fines (West End) and Vanessa Sears (Stratford/Mirvish).
Along with extra daytime lessons, new enrollments and plans to roll out our first summer program, this has been the busiest period in our history. We innovated as much as we could given the circumstances and found ways to add as much value as possible to the student experience; we made lemonade - lots and lots and LOTS of lemonade! But it was all driven by the desire to keep our students healthy, happy and hungry for continued music enrichment in the face of troubling, turbulent times.
Lockdown has been hard on everyone, and if we have been able to lessen the load, even just a little, of the unpredictable daily transitions of the last 3 months, then our work is done.
...and we have so much more to come!
Thank you for continuing to entrust and support us.