Australia, Mexico, China, oh my! Online music lessons have allowed Merit School of Music to expand the reach of our mission further than we ever thought imaginable. From continuing to work with students after they move to a different city, to engaging new families looking for an excellent music education, online lessons have enabled us to make music across borders, time zones, and even oceans.
Merit Strings Faculty Member Iris Wei works with a private violin student learning violin.
After her family moved to Mexico, violin student Mattie was able to continue studying with her private lesson teacher Mónica Lugo virtually. “I’m so happy to still have the opportunity to study with Ms. Lugo, and that I’m still learning and continuing to grow as a violinist. I’m lucky to still be connected to Merit, even if it’s a virtual connection,” Mattie reflects. Through her violin lessons her musical skills have been continuously progressing—she’s even received a medal at her new school in Mexico City for being one of their top musicians.
“She’s doing great!” Ms. Lugo proudly shares regarding Mattie’s remote learning progress. “Mattie has been my student for many years, so we know each other very well and I have a close relationship with her and her family. She had the choice to find a new teacher in Mexico but asked to continue with Merit instead.”
“I’m so happy to still have the opportunity to study with Ms. Lugo, and that I’m still learning and continuing to grow as a violinist..”
Mattie, violin student
Piano faculty Maya Galperin has had a similar experience with brothers Arman and Rohaan who started learning piano at Merit virtually during the shutdown. “They moved from Chicagoland to New Jersey shortly after and wanted to keep me as their teacher and continue to be part of Merit,” explains Ms. Galperin. “Both Arman and Rohaan are making great progress!”
Online music lessons aren’t just for students who live hundreds of miles away from Merit though. For some families, virtual lessons are about commuting and convenience. “Virtual lessons have been a great option for my student Nazeeh who lives in Naperville,” shares Dr. Elena Doubovitskaya on one of her local piano students whose parents opted for the online format. “Instead of spending 1.5 hours round trip driving to Merit, this student has time for his other extracurricular activities and additional time to practice piano.”
Nazeeh’s mother Jismy walked us through how she ended up choosing Merit over other music schools that might have been closer to them: “There were schools in Naperville offering virtual options, but after some of our friends shared good reviews on Merit and we heard about kids’ progress via virtual lessons, we chose Merit over the rest.” Even with the positive reviews, she was skeptical whether or not virtual piano lessons would be a good fit for her son. “But we have to tell you, we have been happy with online lessons! Nazeeh loves working with Ms. Elena and we’ve seen him progress with each lesson.”
Throughout the past two years, we’ve been amazed by the power of virtual music lessons and look forward to continuing to engage more online students, both locally and abroad.