The last time I posted here, COVID-19 was barely a blip on my radar. My family boarded a plane on March 5, and we spent the next 5 days in Marco Island, Florida. While we were there, we made sure to be very careful about washing our hands often, not touching our face, and wiping down surfaces with Clorox wipes…but otherwise, everything seemed normal.
It was when we arrived at the airport to go home on March 10 that we realized things were changing. We saw lots of people wearing masks in the airport, and there was a general feeling of caution all around us. That only grew once we got back into our regular routine, and by the end of the week, my children’s school was closed indefinitely and we were told to stay home.
That same week, my music therapy practice lost almost all of our contracts. We began working nonstop to transition our students and private clients to virtual services, and we salvaged our biggest contract by collaborating with teachers and administrators to offer ongoing indirect services and online resources.
One week later, the governor of Illinois issued a “Shelter in Place” order, meaning we are not to leave our homes other than for essential reasons. Since then, I’ve only left our house for Target drive-up orders, new schoolwork packet pick-up, and walks/bike rides around the neighborhood.
My days are split between homeschooling my first-grader and preschooler, teaching Listen & Learn music classes via Zoom, doing administrative work for Music Therapy Connections, and generally trying to control the chaos that is inevitable when your family is home together 24/7.
Both Parker and Mia Belle are continuing their music lessons virtually. Every week, they meet with their teachers using Zoom, just as most of the other students at MTC are doing. I was skeptical about virtual lessons and music therapy sessions in the beginning, but my team has blown me away with how well they’ve adapted and learned to make the technology work for themselves and their students/clients.
Our MTC families have blown me away, too. They have been incredibly supportive of our business throughout this time, not only with their flexibility moving to online services, but also with sharing photos and videos on social media. We’ve actually gained a few new students because of that, and continue to stay afloat despite our physical doors being closed.
I was also very skeptical about transitioning my music classes to be held online, but as it became clear that they wouldn’t be resuming in person anytime soon, I knew it was the only option. We had 60 families registered for spring classes, and holding classes over Zoom is certainly better than nothing.
I just wrapped up the 3rd week of morning classes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and it has gone so much better than I thought it would. It’s wonderful getting to see my little students, even if just through a screen, and their parents have appreciated having their children occupied for 45 minutes.
I haven’t felt very creative during this past month, nor have I had time for creating other than planning my weekly classes. I’ve tried so many times to write this post, and it has taken me this long just to sit down and do it. Words, song lyrics, and melodies are not coming easily right now.
I’m hopeful that will change soon, because I really miss expressing myself creatively. But for the time being, I’m giving myself grace and not forcing anything. I hope you are giving yourself grace during this time, as well. Nothing about this is easy or enjoyable, and while it’s great to remain positive and soak up the good moments, it’s important to feel and process ALL your feelings.
If you’re up for sharing your own experiences in the time of COVID-19, I’m here to listen. Feel free to do so in the comments or via email. From my home to yours, I’m sending lots of love, support and encouragement.