Perspectives on music education. Have a point of view? Let us know. You're amongst friends.
By: Tom Baggott
Hey Everybody! It’s been a minute. Wait, it’s actually been four months…it’s weird how it feels like it flew by as I write this, yet March alone felt like a year or longer…
Let’s recap. On March 5 we launched the Music Empowers® Artist Ambassador program. We were planning to announce the first major North American tour from one of our ambassadors on March 12, then the second wave of ambassadors on March 19… then more tours, and more artists, and a whole season of wonderful community gatherings and festivals… but COVID.
So in mid-March, we launched our Virtual Connections initiative, to share resources as we collectively pivoted to virtual, and joined the chorus of voices asking “How do we deal with this new reality until something more like the old reality returns?!”
Now that we’re caught up, there is some good news to share!
It has been a long time since our big plans for the ambassador program went on ice, but we’re really excited about this channel, and wanted to share some positivity at a time when we can all use some good news! It’s true that if you look hard enough, and maybe squint and get low to the ground in some cases, there are some bright points of light to help us all deal with the ongoing crisis and the hard choices we are having to confront daily regarding our kids, our schools, our health, our jobs and our communities.
So we’re looking to shine a little light through the interwebs and will be updating our MUSIC EMPOWERS® YouTube channel weekly, posting a broad range of content to provide education, entertainment and insight on topics related to music, music education, the music business and the students and programs we serve. I’ll be interviewing artists, program leaders, educators and music industry pros, and we’ll be sharing content created by the programs we support and new, original music, videos and live shows from artists who support our mission.
We want to bring a little bit of the sublime and the absurd alike from the really small screen, and we think you may want to share your pride, joy, shock and disbelief with the world. So send us your most awe-inspiring or funniest home videos!
Did your 4-year-old walk across your camera’s line of sight—dragging your cat—during a virtual music education class or tutoring session?
Are the neighborhood kids forming a punk band in your garage?
Has your previously tuned-out child learned Rachmaninoff’s Sonata #2 in B-flat minor while stuck at home? (Side note, Andre Watts is one of my faves, just click and fast forward to 23:57!)
If any of that stuff actually happened, well, that would be crazy, because I made up these examples… but if there is anything I am certain of these days, it’s that reality is more incredible, strange and entertaining than this fiction, and if you managed to catch that lightning in a bottle, please send it our way!
Send us an email with your content to firstname.lastname@example.org, and if your file is too big to attach directly, please send your videos via a link from your favorite cloud or file transfer software: Google Drive, DropBox, or WeTransfer are all great options.
Yes, touring and in-person learning will return someday, and we’ll be able to grab a coffee or a beer in person… but until then, we’ll be building our Music Empowers community through YouTube. I really hope you will join us, subscribe and tune-in as we roll this out. Come play with us!
Tom Baggott joined the SpreadMusicNow team as Executive Director after being moved by both a personal connection to the mission and the impact of the Music Empowers brand. A music industry veteran, he brings his passion and support for youth culture, education and the community at large to the organization. Tom lives in Colchester, VT with his wife and two teenage daughters, two cats, and a rescue dog.
To learn more about Tom, visit our leadership page.