SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – With so much uncertainty in the world right now amid the coronavirus outbreak, Brady Davies wanted to make sure that people could still have one constant in their life…music in their homes.
Davies and his wife, Sarah, own ‘The Piano Place’, a music studio where piano, voice, guitar and other musical instrument’s are taught. While in-person music lessons were halted mid-March, virtual lessons kept the music playing in their student’s lives.
“That is our core mission. We want to bring music into people’s homes. We want to make our students more than musicians and help them realize that music is so much more than just playing an instrument. It is a way to escape depression, trials, difficulties, hardships, it is a great way to overcome those things and music is powerful in that regard.”
Cami Jones, who teaches at one of the three Piano Place locations says that being able to teach through the pandemic has been inspiring because for some students, it’s the only thing that is normal in their life anymore, “(My student’s) parents told me that (music lessons) are the only thing that has stayed the same in their daughter’s life.”
Davies says that as soon as he and his wife heard of schools possibly closing, they began to prepare to take their music lessons online so it was a quick and smooth transition for their business.
“As soon as we heard of school closures, we started preparing,” says Davies. “We ended up buying tripods and different materials that we would need for remote lessons, we bought some digital books so we could share screens with people. and then it happened, they closed schools on a Friday and by that Monday we had gone almost 100 percent remote.”
While Jones recalls the first few weeks of virtual music lessons having a ‘steep learning curve’, it has worked out well. Davies says that some families are opting to stay with their remote music lessons even after the Piano Place’s soft reopening on Monday.
“It has been funny, there has been some families that have enjoyed it and have opted to stay with remote lessons,” says Davies. “They like that it can be flexible and be from the convenience of their own home.”
And while music lessons through Zoom and Facetime can be tough, the Piano Place used this unique coronavirus time to expand their clientele.
“We immediately changed some of our advertising to be targeted on a more national basis for remote lessons and we have students that are taking lessons remotely and for them, us going back to in-person lessons isn’t going to change their lessons at all,” says Davies. “They still have their time slots. So it is kind of fun that we have had to have a bit of a national presence through this.”
Davies and Jones said they have clients from all over the country including Georgia, Florida, California, New York and others from the east coast.
While the Piano Place has been one of the lucky small businesses that has been able to adapt during the coronavirus, Davies says that he is grateful that the Piano Place has still been able to provide the gift of music into people’s homes.
“To take music out of your home is a tough thing. A lot of our students are school aged right now and they have had some trials…and to take music out of the equation has been difficult. But, we have received a lot of great feedback from families,” says Davies. “One of them said today that they heard their kid play ‘Amazing Grace’ and that was the just the thing they needed to get through the day.”
Jones notes that being able to continue to teach remote music lessons at the Piano Place has been her saving grace for her and her students during this time, “Creative outlets are so important to keep someone’s mental sanity and it is like a productive hobby,” says Jones. “It is something that you can do that brings joy and fun but allows you to feel a sense of growth and progression.”
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