Updated March 14, 2020

Dear NBS Community,

As of Friday, March 13th, the Nelly Berman School will be closed until further notice in accordance with Governor Tom Wolf’s order that all schools in Montgomery School be closed for two weeks.

Remote Learning with the Nelly Berman School of Music

Starting from Friday, March 13th through Sunday, March 29nd, our teachers are going to be using remote learning, as will all of the schools in the area. They will be using Zoom, Skype, or Facetime. As our community is aware, last week, the office put together a plan for remote learning, if needed. The office confirmed with our faculty members that they are comfortable teaching through video – many of them do it already with students from in Boston, Bahrain, and elsewhere.

According to our teachers who have been teaching online for years, there are many benefits to online lessons, including that lessons can be recorded and students see their own posture and hands on the screen, which allows them to correct it better. Recording and listening back allows students to hear themselves from an audience perspective – they’ll hear the incorrect phrasings, issues with balance and tone, and will be able to refine their pieces, and give themselves suggestions, as they do to others in performance classes. 

It is our belief that students will benefit most from continued practice and a regular schedule of music education during this difficult time.

Learning Plan

Students and families may feel anxious and uneasy while being disconnected from their in-class learning environment. Regular, concrete, supportive communication between the Nelly Berman School, its faculty, and students is critical to continue the personalized in-class experience.

  • Stay in touch with students and families through email
  • Explicitly convey to students pertinent lesson information, such as class time
  • Ask students to scan (as a PDF) and email the music you plan to work on with them the evening before their lesson
  • Let students know what platform you plan to use; popular ones include Skype, Whatsapp, and Zoom.us. Make sure all of your students are comfortable and familiar with whichever platform you choose to use.
  • Encourage students to join and upload mobile phone videos of what they plan to work on in lesson the evening before the planned lesson; listen to the video beforehand so that you can formulate a lesson plan for them
  • Encourage students to listen to each other and leave comments of what they liked or what they think can be improved
  • Optional: consider keeping an assignment book with notes so that you can track progress from lesson to lesson and keep students updated with a continuous lesson plan
  • Let students know that if they experience technology difficulties, they can email office@nbsmusic.com for technical support.

Required Equipment

Students will need the following:

  1. A laptop, tablet (iPad), or cell phone.
  2. Speakers, microphones, and cameras (usually built into device)
  3. High speed internet access
  4. Optional: sound quality is much improved by the use of an external mic.

All teachers and parents will have received a tutorial about how to make remote learning as effective as possible. The office will also send out reminders throughout the week about steps parents and teachers can take to make their online lesson experience as successful as possible.

Upcoming Dates

The school hopes to reopen on Monday, March 30th.

The spring scholarship auditions – originally scheduled for Tuesday, March 31st – are postponed – the school will reach out next week with the new date.

Spring break remains unchanged: April 6th thru 12th. Makeups will be scheduled during this week.

The spring semester starts on Monday, April 13th.

If you need any assistance, please contact the office by email at office@nbsmusic.com.

Thank you for your support during this difficult time! We look forward to having everyone back at the school and hearing the sounds of music very soon.

Warmly,

Elena & the NBS Office