Dear Rock U. rockers, parents, friends, fans, and families:
In the immortal words of rock and roll prophet Neil Young:
Hey hey, my my
Rock and roll can never die
Once again, we miss you all! And once again we send our hopes that you and your loved ones are in good health and comfortable during this period of confinement.
Three weeks ago, I contacted you to let you know how we planned to keep the spirit of rock and roll alive for our Rock U. community. We told you that we would keep bands and lessons going online until the confinement came to an end, which we hoped would be mid-April. Then we’d hit the ground running with no time lost once that day arrived. Now, of course, we know that we will have to wait out confinement until at least mid-May, and that it seems increasingly unlikely that we’ll be able to stage any concerts for a very long time.
Don’t worry. We got this.
In the past weeks, as we’ve figured out how to keep things going online, we’ve made, learned, and discovered some amazing things together. Many of our bands are on the verge of releasing their first made-at-home music videos. Others are writing original songs. Still others are learning advanced recording and mixing techniques. Others are exploring new sounds, resources, and a deeper understanding of how music is made. And all of them have learned and progressed on both new and familiar musical and creative paths. We are committed to continuing that, and it’s only going to get easier and better every day.
So what happens next?
Kids’ and teen bands
- All Rock U. bands will continue to meet online at their usual meeting times (or at an alternate time if agreed on by the band and instructor) to carry out these musical projects. Videos, recordings, and other creations will be shared on Rock U.’s YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram accounts, and our new SoundCloud platform for audio recordings.
- As soon as we’re permitted to reopen the Rock U. studio, we’ll resume in-person band practices, observing all appropriate precautions as instructed by public health authorities.
- In the event that we’re unable to hold a concert at the end of the Spring Session, we’ll perform the songs we learn by livestream from the Rock U. studio, and as video and audio projects on our social media channels. We may even hold a live viewing party (like a Film Festival! Traptin Quarantino presents… get it?) with the capacity for thousands of people worldwide to view the videos and other content we create, hosted by our students.
- Adult band teachers will be in touch with their bands to discuss goals and plans for the period until the confinement is lifted, with the goal of resuming activities online next week, and extending the term to make up for the weeks we’ve missed. We realize that, just like with our youth bands, each band will have its own set of circumstances, and there is no one right way to go forward that will work for everyone. We intend to do everything we can to deliver a rich, rewarding musical performance experience, as much as circumstances possibly allow.
- As soon as we’re permitted to do so, adult band practices will also resume at Rock U. and Studio Bleu, with the same performance options as the youth bands.
- Most Rock U. private lessons have already resumed online. Any student who was already taking lessons will have the opportunity to continue, if they have not already done so. We do have some limited availability for new students who would like to start private lessons – now’s a great time to learn!
- We will continue to offer free online content via Facebook and YouTube. Check out the YouTube playlist of our daily videos. We’ll be coming out next week with a revised schedule for this, featuring some new activities, lessons, quizzes, and even prizes
- We’ve successfully introduced some new online courses this week, and will continue to bring you new special online offerings as the weeks of confinement continue.
As you know, we have not yet requested any payment for the Spring Session of our youth bands. All band members have been welcome to continue participating in our online sessions with no payment due. As we said three weeks ago, there were too many unknowns.
Now we know more. At best, we will reopen the Rock U. studio fully on Monday 11 May and have our spring Rock U. En Seine festival as scheduled on 14, 20, and 21 June. At worst, it’s possible that we won’t be able to reopen at all this spring, or hold a public concert, in which case we will complete the Spring Session online, and the bands will share their performances via livestreams and releases on our social media channels. The reality is likely to be somewhere between these extremes.
We realize this isn’t what anyone expected out of this very promising spring, but we’re all in the same situation. We remain committed to helping our rockers learn and progress musically, creatively, socially, and in all the other ways you have come to value from the Rock U. experience. Our teachers are working harder than ever to make this happen, even while faced with a steeping learning curve of new challenges, technologies and skills. We hope you’ll all continue to rock with us.
Rock U. is a non-profit Association loi 1901, and all of our teachers and staff are independent contractors. Your participation and support is critical to our efforts to sustain this wonderful community. We can’t do it without you. We’ll be sending invoices for the Spring Session of our youth bands and private lessons, plus the long-overdue invoices for Semester 2 of our adult bands, starting next week. Yes, I know I told you that three weeks ago. But I hate asking for money in the best of times, and even though I said I would send the invoices and many of you were extremely supportive in response, I couldn’t bring myself to do it with so much still uncertain. (Also, I just don’t like making the invoices. Making music is more fun.)
If you decide this experience won’t meet your needs, we understand. In that case, you can just pay for the lessons or adult band sessions you’ve already had (youth bands have been open for no charge up until now), and we would welcome you back in the future when we can return to our normal (or new normal) operations.
If you have any questions, as always, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take us out, Neil:
My my, hey hey
Rock and roll is here to stay