ELLSWORTH — One local music institute has adapted to changes caused by the pandemic.
“We come into their home, they come into ours,” said Nancy Colter, executive artistic director at the Ellsworth Community Music Institute, or ECMI. “We’re able to share this great gift of music, which of course, is a language everybody understands.”
ECMI has been operating remotely since last March when COVID-19 shut down in-person events.
“We are offering online lessons,” Colter said. “Our faculty has been fabulously flexible, and we have a series of professional concerts that we’ve been able to post online for the world to see.”
Instructors have been teaching music to people of all ages through video calls.
“It’s just been an amazing boon to us and to the students and the teachers,” said Vivian Pyle, co-president of the ECMI board of directors. “The parents are so thrilled that their students, that their children, can keep studying. The teachers are thrilled to be able to continue teaching.”
Because people have been isolated throughout the pandemic, Colter said music is so important.
“Children and adults say that sometimes, their music lessons are the high point of their week,” Colter said.
According to Colter, online teaching comes with challenges.
“The sound isn’t perfect. Sometimes there are glitches,” Colter said. “Some people are more comfortable taking lessons online than others, and so it’s been an adjustment.”
The school is also providing monthly prerecorded online concerts.
“It’s so important for the students to see the example of the professional musicians, and it’s just a wonderful sharing that people can do even while they’re stuck at home,” Pyle said. “It’s an opportunity for the musicians also to feel that they have a valuable role to play during this pandemic.”
January’s concert is available for viewing on YouTube through Feb. 1. The next concert will be posted for a week beginning Feb. 22.
For lesson information, visit ellsworthcommunitymusic.org.