United Conservatory of Music - April 2020

APRIL 2020




How We Are Adapting to COVID-19

Greetings UCM Family, I don’t normally write these, our esteemed director Christopher Scherer generally gets to talk to you in this context, but I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few thoughts about what we are going through together as a community. No one suggests that this is an easy time. The challenge to our daily lives and lifestyles is unprecedented in most of our memories. In our most troubled days, our friends and neighbors were those we would reach out to for a kind gesture and encouragement. COVID-19 seems to make us fear those that would love us, it is an illness that hides within us, and we can’t control ourselves nor protect those we care about. I am pleased to say, that that idea is wrong, our friends, neighbors and families are still there, and they are still the people that we can reach out to for that kind gesture. “Social distancing” while not generally in the nature of our teachers, they are committed professionals. The staff care very much about our students and their families, the handshakes, and with many of your children, the offered hugs are warmly received. Although, the friendly smile and hand wave is very appreciated, it is not quite the same thing. We look forward to a time, when a handshake or a hug is not considered a means of transmission of a virus but what they are: a gesture of friendship, respect, care and love. In the coming months we may not go back to way things were before, I for one am not looking forward to always offering “a fist-bump of peace,” when in church! But until we discover what the “new normal” is, UCM is happy to serve you and continue to bring the gift of music into your homes.

Many musicians in our community make their living from public performance and in the current state of affairs, has taken many of those opportunities away from them, and it is not simply the financial aspects that they are suffering. Musicians are artists that are intended to be part of a community. A musician doesn’t simply play for themselves, although there is that aspect of that in their lives, music is intended to be shared. All of our teachers are professional musicians and they have great joy teaching your families. Many of you have transitioned into this period with our online lessons offered through Zoom, and we have had great success in teaching via this method. If you have not tried these lessons or have decided to hold off on lessons during this time, I would greatly encourage you to give us a call so you can give it a try! The past month permitted us to begin our Masterclass series and we are looking forward to our Chamber Music Festival Clinician Diana Wuli to be leading the Masterclass during the last week of April! As Diana is currently in Australia and will most likely be staying there throughout the month of April, this may also be our first international Masterclass. And speaking of Diana Wuli, we are still planning out our Summer Camp. It is still tentatively planned for July 20-24. As with all of our summer plans, they are still up in the air, but both Diana Wuli and Peter Kim are still scheduled to come out to be our guest clinicians.

We are offering more and more online group classes; in fact, every day of the week at 11am we will be hosting a free online class. You can even watch me if you are spectacularly bored, on Friday mornings. Be on the lookout as those classes will also be offering some of our giveaways. Gifts cards, guitar strings, possibly some Apple products that will make connecting to US easier! As I close this I wanted to note that most recently in a television interview on the local news NBC affiliate, our own Christopher Scherer was asked about the significance of our music lessons, they may be just a small part of our collective lives and we have read them here before. But somethings bear repeating, in a world that sometimes seems chaotic, and frustrating, “There is nothing better than music to calm you, to be able to express yourself and to learn.”

We at UCM, our teachers and staff, are blessed to be part of your community, and a part of your lives.

Please be Safe and Healthy!

559-869-8263 • 1 —Leo Kim


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