In areas around the world where COVID-19 cases are decreasing and vaccination rates are increasing, suddenly "in-person" activities have become more feasible, both in terms of government regulations and personal comfort levels.
For music students, teachers, professionals and amateurs - this likely means a return to in-person musical activities, such as lessons, orchestra, chamber music and live concerts.
Are you in an area where things are opening up? And what does it mean for your own musical activities?
As a teacher, player and performer myself, I'm looking at this from a number of angles. First, I've been teaching via Zoom for more than a year and actually have not seen my 18 students in person for as long! Many are quite young and will seem a foot taller when I see them. Now that my entire family is fully vaccinated, I'm looking forward to summer as a transitional period when I'll see them more and more in person, starting next week. Basically, I'm working with everyone's comfort levels, as well as the fact that it will be a logistical transition to start showing up again every week. With younger unvaccinated children, we may still be wearing masks for a while.
As far as playing is concerned, I was really thrilled to play quartets a number of weeks ago with friends (thanks Paul Stein!), and we'll do so again in a few weeks. SO nice to play with other people again, and it gives me an excuse to practice (especially when Paul kicks me off my second-violin comfy chair and makes me play first violin!)
When it comes to performing in orchestra, this will take longer. Those local orchestras that are giving concerts still tend to be playing with reduced ranks. Also many churches are still not open for in-person services, so church gigs are rather scarce. Still, I'm feeling enthusiastic and more in the mood to practice these days, knowing that at least some possibilities exist!
Have you started reengaging with live music, and how so? Have you started taking or teaching lessons in-person again? Have you started playing chamber music? Has your professional or amateur orchestra started up again? Have you attended or played in any live concerts? Or are you waiting for things to start up in your area? Please choose the answer that best matches your situation, then tell us about it in the comments. Has it been easy, getting back to "normal," or is it slow-going?
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