A Letter to the Glauser School Community from Director Kent McWilliams
Dear School of Music Community and Friends,
Greetings to everyone from a distance! As musicians, we are accustomed to working together on musical projects. We regularly listen intently to one another, we pick up on musical cues from everyone in our vicinity, and we thrive on reacting to one another with sensitivity and cooperation. Our current students, alumni and faculty have all refined these skills through advanced musical study.
Live performance defines a large part of each of our inner souls, and I am certain that many of us are struggling with profound grief at losing this personal connection with each other. I am painfully aware that our new reality has created a fracture in the ways we have traditionally communicated with one another, since we love to be face-to-face while making music together and communicating at a personal level.
I, too, find myself struggling because I realize that I won’t be hearing the many excellent performances on our concert series this term and I also won’t have the chance to run into any of our students in person or hear them play in the rehearsal rooms; however, I truly believe our collective creativity and energy will propel us forward into meeting these challenges with success and grace.
With the move to remote learning, I have been excited to see the enthusiasm of many of our faculty and students to find ways to meet learning goals in new and unexpected ways. We will certainly experience some bumps along the way, but I wish to thank everyone for their cumulative wisdom and energy in making this transition easier for everyone.
Below are a few things that you can consider as we find ourselves under these unprecedented circumstances:
Perform - With ours and many other performances cancelled, I urge you to find ways to keep sharing your music and artistry with the world. Live stream your practice sessions, create Instagram stories showcasing your teaching, or engage with the greater music community on Twitter. We have set-up a Google Drive folder for our current students, faculty and alumni to share their videos with us so we can share them with our global community across our Glauser School social channels. Submit your short video clips at http://bit.ly/SOM-Performances.
Innovate - Use this time to engage in self-directed learning as well. Build your website. Re-write or write your bios for the first time. Keep listening to great music and discovering what is out there. Many music organizations are offering free live streams, some of which are available at http://bit.ly/Free-Live-Streams.
Reach out - Know that I, along with our incredibly talented faculty and staff, are here for you. Although we are no longer able to be on-campus, we are always accessible by email. If you have any questions, concerns or ideas, please reach out to any of us. Additionally, like ourselves, many artists and arts organizations have needed to cancel performances, losing much-needed income. We continue to keep them in our hearts and minds, and we ask that you continue to support them in any way that you can through this uniquely challenging time. Only through continued support will musicians and arts organizations emerge from this situation in a strong position.
Stay tuned for updates - Finally, we have started to assemble important information regarding our current and continually evolving circumstances all into one place on the School of Music website. There, we will have resources to help answer some of your questions and help you navigate this new mode of working. We will continue to add this page, which can be found at www.kent.edu/music/success. Regular email updates for students and faculty will continue as well.
I am proud of our community. Stay healthy and take care of yourselves. We will see each other again very soon!