Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

Staying Essential and Alive!

Overcoming the realization that what I do for a living was inessential during this pandemic was difficult enough, but discovering that actually continuing to work in the same mode was suddenly life- threatening, put my resiliency to the test.

I am a voice teacher. Most people are familiar with the airborne transmission of COVID-19 among choir members, even those socially distancing, and the ban in Germany on choirs getting together to, well, sing. The science is a little complex, but bottom line, it is not safe or advisable for singing teachers to be giving face to face voice lessons (unless maybe you are outside in which case either your neighbors or your piano will complain). Suddenly I was thrust into the online world, scrabbling to find an online platform that would work the best for teaching singers. Luckily, many of us are having to take a sharp right turn from our preferred in person teaching method so support webinars have proliferated, highlighting that technology has not quite kept pace with our particular needs. Sound quality problems and lag time issues abound on basic platforms meant for speaking not singing. While some adjustments are becoming available, the quality of the internet or phone service of our students is highly variable. Between frozen screens and dropped sounds, teachers strive to consistently and accurately carry out instruction. And the occasional interruption by family members, including the dog.

I have a home studio, so I will not be returning anywhere. With my studio physically shuttered and few students interested in online lessons (and the usual summer apathy), I am left to my own devices to speed up the learning curve when it comes to not only keeping my business going, but figuring out how to reinvent it.

While I have faith that eventually I will be teaching in person lessons again, the timeline is blurred and masked by uncertainties. In the meantime, I will do my best to remain essential and stay alive.

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