As you have probably heard, there will be no in-person learning in School District 27J for the rest of the school year.

I agree that this is the best decision, but I have to admit I was heartbroken because I was really hoping that we could still have our concert. I have been able to meet with so many students in the last couple of weeks and they have been practicing so hard.

Due to this extended time off, I am now allowing 2 more private lessons per student—4 lessons in total. Some have already signed up for some extra lessons, and some have not. I have included additional dates and time slots through May 8th.  Please be sure to only sign up for 4 lessons in total—there are 55 students in the Orchestra Academy and it is hard to make sure that everyone gets a chance.

Even though I am crushed that we can’t have our in-person concert, I would like to attempt to have an “online” concert. As you know, I have made practice videos for the Intermediate and Advanced Orchestras of their concert songs, and many students have been playing along with them to practice at home.

No one would be required to do this, but I think it would be fun if students can send in a video of them playing along with my recording. My hope is that I could then put all of the videos together — like I do for the practice videos — so that we can all play together even though we are apart.

Now, this is a tricky endeavor, to say the least. In order for this to be a success, we would need to ensure a few things:

  • Students would have to make sure that their instrument is in tune, using either a Snark tuner or an online tuner. I could also help tune via Zoom if necessary.
  • Students would have to be familiar enough with the music and with the tempo of the recording that they can play along at the correct time. This would require a lot of practice on their part.
  • Students should play along with the video that has all of the parts, not just their individual instrument’s. Some of the timing is different in the individual practice videos, so it would be harder to sync up.
  • Students would need a device to play the video on that they can listen to with headphones (so that only they can hear it) and also a device to record a video of themselves.
  • It would be ideal if students could have a quiet space to record without a lot of background noise.
  • Families would need to be okay with me posting a video including their child online.
  • All recordings would need to be sent to me by May 8th. It will take a lot of work to put all of these together, but I would hope to have them done and ready to post by May 15th.

I have not yet made recordings for the songs that the Beginning Orchestra would perform. Their songs are from the book and will be as follows:

  • Rolling Along (p. 8 #19)
  • Lightly Row (p. 9 #22)
  • Jingle Bells (p. 14 #41)
  • Old MacDonald Had a Farm (p. 14 #42)
  • A Mozart Melody (p. 15 #43)

I will work on creating practice videos for these songs so that Beginning Orchestra students can know what tempo they should play for their recording.

As I said, this would be quite the endeavor, and I understand that this would be difficult for many. No student should feel obligated to make a video to turn in, and even so, they can choose to just do a song or two as well. My hope is to simply give the students the opportunity to make their hard work pay off and be able to perform these songs that they have worked so hard to learn.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. And don’t forget, regardless of whether or not your student wants to send in videos for our “online concert,” they can have 4 total lessons via the SignUp Genius link below. Thank you all for your patience!

Sign Up!
April 4, 2020
  • 3


  1. by Susie April 5, 2020 3:56 am

    Thanks, Mrs. Badal! You’re amazing!!!

  2. by Bella April 7, 2020 10:32 pm

    I need your email, Mrs. Badal. So I can send practice videos

    • by Mrs. Badal April 7, 2020 11:01 pm

      Hi Bella! My email is lisa@orchestraacademy.co. Also, you haven’t signed up for any online lessons yet—you should do that at the signup genius link above!

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