While many teachers and fellows are unable to travel to our classrooms due to the pandemic, they have been connecting with the children at El sistema Japan via the internet! Online lessons are often thought to be second-best to physical lessons, but with a little change of perspective and some creativity, one can see this as an opportunity to make new discoveries.
At Komagane, the children are taking virtual lessons with Ms. Yokota, who lives in Aichi prefecture. Seeing this as a perfect opportunity to return to the basics, Ms. Yokota encouraged the children to polish their bowing and pitch. Focusing on individual progress could build confidence within each child. We can’t wait to hear how it would sound like when each of their polished sounds are merged together in an ensemble.
The children of the Tokyo White Hand Chorus, on the other hand, have been practicing over ZOOM for the past three months. It seems that many of them have become quite used to this online platform. For technical reasons, the children’s voices must be muted during practice... but this has allowed each of them to listen more carefully to their own singing voice. When working in small groups, the children could listen to each other singing solo, which is not something they usually do in a normal rehearsal.
Even though we may be apart, the music does not stop. The online lessons have been helping our children at El sistema Japan to continue building their musicianship and, more importantly, enjoying music.