Despite Phoenix Conservatory of Music (PCM) closing its doors temporarily due to COVID-19 and not re-opening its facilities until this summer, PCM’s music education lessons and classes haven’t missed a beat. PCM staff and teaching artists got to work immediately setting up and using Zoom for all students enrolled in private lessons and College Prep Program classes, with no disruption in services.
Thunderbirds Charities has helped make it possible for these students to continue their learning online, thanks to a $10,000 grant to support PCM’s College Prep Program during the 2019-2020 school year. In the last two months, PCM provided students in the College Prep Program over 300 hours of online ensembles, music theory classes and enrichment classes, as well as over 200 hours of private music lessons; all online.
PCM serves more than 2,000 students annually, mostly from low-income families and Title 1 schools. Music lessons are typically up close and personal, with teaching artists and students sitting in close proximity. Offering professional development to teaching artists so they can continue to provide high-quality music education using new technology and embrace remote learning was the first step.
Nearly 90 percent of families have remained enrolled in PCM music lessons and students are now logging in on their tablets, smart phones and computers to keep their music education alive. Hundreds of remote private lessons in piano, guitar, voice, violin and other instruments are being joined by more than 30 classes a week in music theory, songwriting and PCM’s award-winning College Prep Program.
PCM is committed to serving its students with remote learning throughout these circumstances and beyond. “Young people use technology all the time and they are very comfortable with these mediums,” says Regina Nixon. “The new technical skills our teaching artists are learning are showing us efficiencies and techniques that will serve us well and enhance all of our programs even after this crisis is over. We feel we are on the cutting edge of creative youth development and high-quality music instruction through technology and our already rock-solid curricula.”
Thunderbirds Charities is proud to support Phoenix Conservatory of Music and their efforts to continue providing these classes to students.
This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees.