For the first time, Oakland University Community Music is offering virtual lessons for all ages in all instruments/voices.

“As we all adjust to being at home, many of us are missing our musical experiences,” said Katrina Van Maanen, a voice teacher with OU’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance. “While we can’t bring back rehearsals, we can bring music education to you. We’re currently offering virtual lessons in voice, piano, strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, even acting.”

The lessons are offered weekly and can be 30, 45 or 60 minutes in length, depending on the student’s level and the desired time commitment.

“We are always able to start a student from the beginning, but it’s also a great resource for kids who already play at school, but would like to devote more time to their instruments and get the personal attention one-on-one lessons can provide,” said OU Community Music Director Elizabeth Medvinsky. “Certainly now, if there are students who are missing extra rehearsals they typically had when school buildings were open, online lessons can help fill that void.”

The virtual lessons are also open to children and adults.

“This could be a great time to start a new instrument or dust off an instrument that hasn’t been played in years,” Medvinsky said.

While a new session is expected to begin in May, Medvinsky said that the schedule can be adjusted if anyone is interested in starting earlier.

“With all the changes and uncertainty that children, as well as families, are facing right now, consistency and personal connections are so important,” she said. “For so many children, music was an essential part of their day that they received when school buildings were open.

“School music teachers are doing an amazing job of keeping music education strong online, but there is still a decrease in contact time. Extra personal music time can be so valuable to so many children. It can also help them feel like they are personally doing something to help move forward. They can practice and work at their instruments now, so they can make the music at their schools be better than ever when the doors reopen.”

When the decision is made to resume face-to-face contact on campus, Medvinsky said that in-person lessons would resume, as well.

“Although, if there is a student who lives too far from campus or has other accessibility issues that prevent them from being able to come to us, online lessons are a perfect fit, especially now that our teachers are so good at it,” she said.

For more information, visit oakland.edu/smtd/community-engagement/communitymusic.