It’s a story of survival.
Determined not to be silent during the pandemic, the folks at Albany’s Music Studio organized virtual lessons for hundreds of young people during the first days of the pandemic.
âIt was really fun watching them work hard at home,â said Heather Ferlo, teacher and school alumnus.
But the virtual setting was not satisfactory.
âI think it’s important for them to come in and have a space to be creative and be themselves while improving on something that makes them happy,â she said.
The Music Studio staff therefore reinvented the school, which has been in existence for over four decades. It was not an easy task for Noel Liberty, who started it all.
âWe have medical grade air purifiers. We installed a UVC lighting system that turns on at night to sanitize things, âLiberty said. âAll of our teachers are vaccinated and we always wear masks. “
Without forgetting the cleaning protocol between each use of an instrument. The new standard does not come without its own challenges.
âIt’s a combination of a lot of fun and quite difficult,â said Brian Halliday, another teacher at the school. “For me, projecting and making everyone hear what I’m saying but also hearing what they’re saying and making sure they participate.”
Liberty and her staff say it’s worth it, because even through the masks, you can see smiles.
âIt’s one of the highlights of our week, every Saturday and learning music,â said Benoy Shah, whose daughter attends The Music Studio.
âIt was really like family to them,â said Vimala Thalodey, another parent. âMoral support and comfort. “
But perhaps the biggest smile in the room is Liberty’s.
âSo many kids were at home last year and going out again is a big step,â she said. “They are in a small, safe environment with their parents but with other children and the joy of making music, which is really wonderful.”