By Beth Horton
There’s a common meme popping up in teaching groups this year - showing Bart Simpson and his pal Milhouse entering a cave together with the caption “veteran teachers mentoring first-year teachers during pandemic teaching ” and it is very clear that neither really knows what is in store for them. This image at first is cute and clever as all good memes tend to be but it really does encapsulate so many of the challenges that have faced teachers and students over the past 12 months. Although we don’t have any idea what is in that cave and what is coming next from week to week, we are going forward together. It is an encouraging image in a sense - because these two explorers are facing their future challenges together.
So much of our daily lives have become “at a distance” and while many have been able to resume more face-to-face activities many others are still in isolation. We are all starved for the feeling of “together.” Truthfully though, even before the pandemic, it might also be that you could be surrounded by people and still feel terribly alone, so ending social distancing practices still might not resolve this feeling of isolation for some. So, what is the antidote?
Just a few months ago, we at Tonara organized the InspirED Music Expo. Informative sessions were presented by top-notch speakers and educators. But the BEST thing to come from those two days were the interactions between our speakers and attendees in the discussions in the chats during sessions, the breakout zoom sessions, and the Facebook group. We were all united and communicating and interacting together. For a few short weeks, we built a community. We are doing it again - this March 13th from 10 AM-2 PM EST we’ve designed a half-day of sessions all centered around community. Join us for the InspirED Spring Summit for a day of “together” where we learn about and explore how to build community within our studio for our students and their families and how to build community with our colleagues.
“Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone.” — Margaret Wheatley
Connecting Through the Cables: How to Build a Strong Community Online
Our first session will be presented by Nicola Cantan.
When asked about the focus of her session, Nicola says; “Building a community with your studio families and colleagues in an online world means being willing to show up and show your cards. It's scary to be this honest and open when you're talking into a camera lens but the humans on the other ends of the cables will reward your honesty and vulnerability in ways you can't even imagine. Learn how to take that leap.”
Celebrating and Enjoying the Students in Your Studio
Julie Duda is a superstar teacher at engaging and encouraging her students.
She will share how lesson time in your studio can be the most anticipated event of the week! She has “found success in my studio by not only focusing on the BIG things like learning the music at hand but also the challenge of finding those little things that will keep my students engaged in their learning and having fun too! In this session, you'll learn about those little things that you can easily do, to make your studio a special place to learn music.”
The Community That Creativity Built
Our third session is brought to you by Tonara’s very own Lou Ann Pope.
Any Tonara teacher knows how creatively Lou Ann encourages her students to make music, but more importantly how to make music in their studio or classroom community. She’s focused on the impact of social distancing and isolation on our students and will share with you “how to create a SYNERGISTIC, dynamic alliance in your studio by using colorful challenges, a Performance Room for students to share their love of music, and other ways to connect students... so [students] will keep coming back for more!”
But Wait There’s More!
We cannot spend an entire day exploring how to build community with students, parents, and colleagues without sharing and engaging as a community together. Hosted by Beth Horton, this session is sure to be a ridiculous and thorough recap of the day that will rely strongly on audience participation. Get ready for a “grab your coffee, throw on those slippers, pump up the tunes, anything goes” breakdown and rundown of the day’s sessions and what WE attendees are most excited about implementing in our businesses, classrooms, and lives to bring our own little communities together as we approach the end of the semester and “Finish Strong.”
Let's Do It Together!
This past year has been the longest, most challenging, and, at some times, overwhelming year for many music educators. But we have faced it together. Now as we hurl closer and closer to the end of the semester, we have one final chance to bring our students, their parents, and our teaching community together. Let’s start together at the InspirED Spring Summit. Three dynamic speakers in engaging and interactive sessions followed by a chance to put it all together in a group discussion.
Please join us by registering today!