In March, our team adapted our program to embrace distance learning and launched JQOP Online to provide a sense of community and support to our youth and families during the COVID-19 school closure. The need to pivot our programming during this crisis has allowed us to find new ways to deliver high-quality creative youth development programming. Part of our adaptive process ensured that our students and their caregivers had a voice in reimagining our virtual learning environment.
Over the past three months, we created multiple opportunities for students and families to share their thoughts on the best way to support them from a distance. From the start of the school closure, families shared foreseeable challenges with facilitating remote learning and the need for structure at home.
As a result, JQOP made the decision to deliver weekly private lessons along with synchronized 'Morning Music Huddles' every weekday from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. online. Our vision was to retain our community’s daily sense of connection, help maintain routines, and give caregivers 5.5 hours to themselves every week. After week one of JQOP Online, family surveys were sent out and our parents responded with overwhelming positivity and gratitude. In fact, parents and students alike shared that our Morning Music Huddles were the reason they woke up each morning.
“Having our morning music huddle be a part of our daily routine has saved us. Not only has it preserved some sense of normalcy and helped to keep our child connected and engaged in music studies, but it's the thing that starts our day on track.” - BPS Parent
Another parent at the Quincy Elementary shared how our listening projects and expanded music literacy and theory lessons are supporting more than just musical excellence. “We are so very grateful for the JQOP teaching artists. We love the thoughtful music education lessons, from reading music, to learning about professional musicians, and listening to music from around the world. It has tied in well with the academic school day goals and is shaping our child to become a good global citizen.”
As we hit our stride in online teaching, our team has been practicing more student-directed learning, facilitating creative composition projects and introducing virtual peer mentoring.
“Seeing my friends and playing for each other makes me feel happy” - JQOP student
Nearly 86% of students agreed that they feel more connected with their friends as a result of their Morning Music Huddles.
Additionally, 92% of our students agreed that their weekly private lessons are helping improve their instrumental skills. One student shared that “it is very fun to interact with our teachers,” and many others noting that private lessons are one of their favorite things about JQOP Online.
Around this time of year, concerts and public performances provide the opportunity to see and hear the benefits of our work. However, as we forge ahead in this new virtual landscape, we will continue to ensure that students and families play an active role in helping our team make informed decisions around the best ways to support our entire community.
Click below to hear more from our students and families on the impact of JQOP Online!