Owner Brenda Bedell said the music school is adjusting to the new virtual model. This year's camps are shorter and feature different musical electives, Bedell said.
Past camps, or "tours," as the studio calls them, were three hours long, but that is too much time for online camps, Bedell said.
Tours will begin June 15 with 30-minute, 1-hour and 1.5-hour options. Students will perform virtually on Fridays for the two longer tours.
Performances will be compiled into online videos, which have turned out to have benefits over in-person performances, Bedell said.
“We can see everybody's hands, and we're not having to look over anybody's heads,” she said.
Students will pick electives, such as instrument introductions; violin and fiddle; “I Write the Songs"; praise or folk rock band; and student-teacher training. Because of the virtual format, drums and group ensembles will not be part of this summer’s tours, Bedell said.
Dolce Music Studio, located at 1221 Leander Road, Georgetown, teaches lessons in piano, band instruments and orchestra instruments for mostly ages 6-12. The school has about 240 students on average and has 17 teachers.
Students and teachers switched from in-person to virtual lessons during the pandemic, and Bedell said remote learning has shown teachers how students practice at home. For example, teachers can now suggest adjustments for an at-home piano that differs from an in-school instrument.
“The [beautiful] part of that is you see things as an instructor of what they're doing at home that you might not see in the studio,” Bedell said. “They're playing on a different instrument.”
A dilemma with virtual tours is some students do not have the instruments at home or cannot try new instruments during the tour electives; as such, Bedell said she arranged low-cost instrument rentals for families without instruments at home.
Bedell said she is also considering a hybrid of online and in-person classes once the studio reopens for lessons because virtual lessons and tours give the studio another instructional dimension.
“It's not as though it replaces the in-person lesson,” Bedell said, "but it does have its place.”
The music studio reached its 10th anniversary this year, Bedell said, and she began teaching music, specializing in piano, when she was 16 years old. Music has been her life, she said.
“It’s just what I’ve always wanted to do,” she said.