Group Classes have been a great success at the Mike Risko Music Virtual Music School. Many said it couldn't be done because people can't sing or play together on Zoom, but this challenge made it even more exciting to set up this virtual program. During the stay at home orders, we wanted to be able to bring people together to sing and make music and so we re-invented our group program to work in this new normal. There are some challenges to setting up groups on a virtual platform but with a little creativity and some innovation, anything is possible. When circustances allow, we now even bring the groups in to do some in-person work which gives it a nice hybrid approach.
Mike Risko Music Virtual Music School offers group lessons on all instruments and voice and virtual Rock Band Classes. How does it work? Classes are kept small so that the instructor can focus on each participant. The lessons are taught using the same principles as private lessons in which students are all working from the same curriculum. Students log in from home and meet their virtual classmates and teacher in their virutal group studio, just like they would in person. These synchronous classes allows the instructors and students to gather and learn skills in real time and to also engage, review and discuss materials and assignments.
As different skills are covered during the lesson, class or workshop, students can mute their mic to try it and then unmute to demonstrate what they have just worked on. The ability to mute the mic and try something actually enables group classes to be much less distracting than in-person classes since the students don't hear multiple students playing until the teacher asks each one demonstrate. During virtual classes, students also have the opportunity to learn from each other as well as the teacher which can be very inspiring. Students learning from the comfort of their own home using their own instruments is also an added bonus while still getting to meet other musicians. Group classes are 45 minutes and meet once each week for a session of 6-8 classes.
Our Rock Band Classes have also transitioned smoothly to the virtual platform and although we have resumed in-person classes, we can still offer rock bands in this format. Just like our in-person rock bands, bands are formed either by us or you can come to us with your band. Bands are usually made up of guitar, bass, drums, keyboard and vocals but any instruments are welcome to register. Bands are scheduled to meet for a session virtually. Parts of songs are taught by the band leader and by muting the mic, students are able to try different things along with other members of the band. Each week they work on learning their part and demonstrating for each other. When and if possible, we schedule one in-person outside rehearsal and then we record the show. We can also do a live show in a safe environment or we schedule a watch party for the band and their friends and family to enjoy thus enabling bands to make music, connect, grow and perform. During the cold weather bands continue to meet and we find new and innovative ways for them to perform. For more information, fill out the feedback form here or call us at 914-762-8757.
Virtual adult group guitar is lots of fun and very convenient since it can be taken from home.
Mike Risko Music working with the guitar students during the Rock Star Guitar Class for the Saturday Academy for the Ossining School District
Mike Risko Music working with the voice students during the Sing Like a Star Class for the Saturday Academy for the Ossining School District.
Virtual showcase opportunties held frequently are lots of fun for students in both the private lesson program and the virtual program. In-person students and virtual students can participate in the showcases.
Best Practices for Virtual Group Classes
Welcome to your virtual group class at Mike Risko Music. Please read through our best practices to ensure that you have the best possible lesson! Let us know if you have any questions.
Make sure you have your log-in code ready and log in at the exact time of the lesson. Do not log in early.
Be sure you are not using an old link when you log in. Always check the date of your log-in email. You will receive a log-in code from our virtual scheduling coordinator.
Have all your books, a pencil, and a notebook on your music stand. Have your instrument ready. Make sure instruments are out of the case and plugged in if needed. Good lighting is a must.
Set up your device prior to your lesson at a good angle that enables your teacher to see both you and your instrument.
Set up in an area with little or no distractions with a wall behind you.
Make sure that your camera and mic are both on and your child knows how to use these functions.
Parents please make sure that your child is set up before the class and that everything is working properly. Parents can check in at the end of the class for assignments or any notes.
Always leave the lesson when the lesson is completed. You leave the lesson by going to the red "leave" button.
Any questions should be directed to Mike Risko Music. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 914-762-8757. Do not contact the teacher directly. If you are going to miss a class, please let the office know so we can send you your assignment.
Make sure you are getting emails from email@example.com and that emails are not going into promotions or spam so we can keep you up to do date on what we are doing and send you log-in codes.
No pictures or video of the teacher, the class or the lesson.
If you need books or gear come by our music store during showroom hours or make arrangements with us to leave books curbside or deliver them to your home.