Arts & Culture
With safety protocols in place, students at the Richmond Music School are able to share their gifts.
Photos by Andrew Hung
The show goes on: Richmond Music School finds ways to make music during the pandemic
By Andrew Hung
Published 12:23 PDT, Thu May 13, 2021
Last Updated: 11:43 PDT, Wed June 9, 2021
Despite the challenges of the past year, the Richmond Music School, which is the largest and oldest non-profit music school in the city, has continued to share the joys of music with the community.
The school offers a wide variety of programs for musicians of all ages, including several new programs like Musical Theatre ABRSM and the Virtual Vocal Boot Camp.
“At RMS (Richmond Music School), we offer affordable lessons and music programs for the community at a high standard,” says principal Karrie Tam.
These programs include the beginner’s piano program and the beginner’s violin program, both of which are 10-lesson introductions to students without any previous experience on the instrument.
Currently, RMS offers both in-person and online lessons.
For in-person lessons, the school is maintaining numerous COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety and health of students, parents, and faculty, including using its large studios to maintain social distancing.
For those who want to learn music in an ensemble, the school has several group programs, including Group Guitar, Beginner Ukulele, and the Violin Outreach Program.
The Violin Outreach Program, which includes four different levels, gives young musicians a chance to learn fundamental violin skills in a collaborative group setting. The program is accepting new students for the next term, which will start in September.
The Richmond Music School is eager to inspire students of all ages. For the youngest learners, RMS is offering Music Together lessons, a lively and family-oriented program for babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers.
At the same time, RMS is also accepting adult students who are interested in learning instruments, music appreciation, or music composition.
Tam believes that music provides many benefits for both the individual and the society.
“Musical education provides individuals the opportunity to engage the mind, body, and emotions,” she says.
“Through performances in music, people discover their inner self and self-expression, and also learn how to develop confidence, empathy, and creativity. For society, art brings people together and gives them a chance to be part of a community. Concerts and musical activities bridge the gaps in our society.”
RMS has found creative new ways to connect with the community through music. The school has presented several online workshops and webinars on a range of topics, including composing for film and video games and performing in online concerts.
The school’s Christmas and Spring concerts were also held online via Richmond Music School’s YouTube Channel, which were shared with various retirement residences in Richmond.
Looking ahead, the School is hoping to introduce a Chamber Ensemble Group for smaller ensembles of string players. This chamber group is accepting incoming string players who are at or above Royal Conservatory of Music Level 3.
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