Bravo! Vail continues kids' music education virtually during COVID-19 |

Bravo! Vail continues kids’ music education virtually during COVID-19

When the social distancing guidelines were set for the coronavirus pandemic, Bravo! Vail swiftly transferred its kids’ music education programs to a digital format. It recently capped off a scholastic year of instrument instruction with virtual recitals for the school-age musicians showing off 27 weeks’ worth of hard work.

“Over 700 people from across the country and the world tuned in to one of the eight recitals, and we even had a student give a shout out in Spanish to their grandparents watching from Argentina. Students invited their school teachers and friends, and Bravo staff and donors also tuned in,” said Brooklynn Phillips, director of education and engagement.

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Bravo! Vail is most known for staging the annual classical music festival over the summer, which brings such players as the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra to the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater and other venues across the Vail Valley. However, Bravo!’s efforts to enrich lives through classical music is a year-round affair, and one of the ways the organization fulfills that mission is by bringing music education to more than 200 students.

Students in Eagle and Lake Counties can sign up for piano and violin lessons with one of Bravo!’s nine teachers. When the pandemic forced Bravo! to find a virtual alternative to in-person lessons kids aged 5-14 received lessons virtually in their last month of instruction. Teachers uploaded YouTube videos explaining concepts and demonstrating techniques, and each young musician got personalized instruction via video chat ahead of the recital.

“Our students spend 27 weeks of every scholastic year intensely studying their instruments, and the last month is when it all comes together for the recitals, so our goal was to continue with a sense of normalcy during this unprecedented time,” said Phillips.

While no digital substitute can replicate the true feeling of in-person interaction, parents were still amazed to see their kids’ progress.

“There is no greater learning that I can facilitate to our daughters than the education of music. The evolution of their ability to read and play music is phenomenal. To hear my youngest daughter playing and singing along to her assignment bring happiness into our home. Thank you, Bravo! Piano,” said parent Theresa Anders.

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