SSSG Notes April 23,  2020

In This Issue:
Reimbursements for cancelled events   
Greetings from Carmen's home studio
Play it safe! Making music despite COVID-19
Showcase your creativity!
Enjoy free online events from around the world.  
Dear SSSG families,
This weekend I spent some (much enjoyed) time out and about delivering grocery cards to many of you.  
I'm originally from Guelph. I was born and raised here. I went to University here. My parents still live here. And after decades away, I moved back here a couple of years ago.   
So I would have said, with some confidence, that I was familiar with this city. But while out this weekend, I was delighted to be in neighbourhoods I had never seen, and lovely pockets of the city that, frankly, I had no idea existed.  
It made me realize how really interesting it is to take something you think you know well and look at it from a whole new perspective. I now have a new appreciation for the diversity and the beauty of the city I call home.  
They say travel broadens the mind. I agree. Even if it's in your own hometown!
Lynda Hester
Reimbursements for cancelled events co
Dear SSSG families,

We would like to reimburse all families for the cancelled Spring Concert; the reimbursement depends on the number of children your family has enrolled in the school, as follows: 1 student: $30.58; 2 students: $49.76; 3 students: $64.60, and 4 students: $73.84. Additionally, families with students in the Tanglewood or Concorde orchestras will be reimbursed for the two cancelled classes: $17.65 for Tanglewood and $18.45 for Concorde.

If you would like to donate your reimbursement to the School, please email Tracy Jewell ( by May 15, 2020; your donations will go to our Bursary Fund. You will receive a tax receipt for your donation.  Money will be refunded to you via direct deposit or cheque. You should receive your refund in June.

We look forward with optimism to 2020-21. We are expecting to be back to regular classes in September; the fees published in the registration package reflect this belief.  In the meantime, we will continue to monitor and respond to the global pandemic situation. We will let you know how we will implement any recommendations from the public health officials.

On behalf of the SSSG Board,
Marius Pop

I hope this finds you well. I am writing you from my living room, aka my current teaching space. There has never been a computer or an office chair in here before, but it's turned into a pretty nice place to work.
I am really looking forward to seeing those of you that I have in group classes this weekend during our group check-in. Though I will certainly miss Bakerini and everyone that I would normally see in the hallways, or upstairs during the snack breaks. Please consider this a friendly hello for now.

To the students and parents that I have seen regularly over the last few weeks, through zoom, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for all of your efforts.
Parents, to me, you are more than rising to the many challenges you are facing. You've managed to be there, to be ready, and to set us all up for success. Together I feel like we are finding new strategies to work as a team, and that is really exciting to me.
To the students, wow! It has been such a joy to see you, and I know you are all trying your very best. You are more responsible than ever before for careful self-evaluation, and I am inspired by your insightfulness.  
Musicians need to be able to listen to themselves, listen very deeply, and while this situation is difficult, I am optimistic that the way you are listening to yourselves now, so that you can tell me about your tone and your dynamics, is something that you will bring with you when we can have in-person lessons again.

It's also been nice to meet so many of your pets :)


Grocery Cards on the Move! 
Grocery cards are currently being delivered to your homes. We expect that they will all be in your hands by the end of the weekend. We try our best to make sure you are home and know they are delivered. But if you were expecting them and don't receive them, please let us know.

Many thanks to the volunteers to helped deliver cards and thank you to all of you for helping us co-ordinate our efforts. I enjoyed all the sidewalk chats I had! It was wonderful to start putting some faces with names.

Teen Mentoring moves to May 24 
The Teen Mentoring ("Practice Buddy") course originally scheduled for May 3 will now occur on Sun, May 24, 1pm-5:30pm. More information about this will be available in the next few weeks. Please let Elayne Ras know (  if you are interested in taking the course on that day.

Virtual Play-in with your Group Class begins this Saturday 
Due to the current social distancing situation, we have decided to offer our families two Virtual Play-in dates when each group class will meet online. This will provide our students a way to connect with each other and their group class teacher and break the social isolation in a musical way.

Please be ready for a Zoom meeting with your group class at your regular group class time on Saturday, April 25th and May 2nd. This will include all of our group classes and rhythmic reading classes but not Tanglewood orchestra or Concorde. You will receive an invitation from your teacher the night before each meeting.
In order to reduce the likelihood of a time conflict between classes for siblings, we are moving our rhythmic reading classes to the afternoon on those two same days:
1 pm: Rhythmic Reading 3
2 pm: Rhythmic Reading 1A
3 pm: Rhythmic Reading 1B
4 pm: Rhythmic Reading 2
Caroline will be emailing the invitation to your meeting the night before the class.

Rhythmic Reading: A message from Caroline 
Hello rhythmic reading families! I hope you are all doing well. When you have completed your homework from our last class, please scan it or take a picture of it and email it to me at:

Tips to improve your set-up for your online music lessons
As we complete our first month of online lessons, I'm sure many of you have been making adjustments to your technical set-up to get the most value out from your time with your teacher.
Here are a few tips to achieve this:  
  •  Use the largest screen you have available 
  •  If you use a computer, use an ethernet cable rather than WiFi if at all possible. 
  •  If you have an external microphone that can attach to your device, use it. It makes it much easier for your teacher  to hear the best sound.  
  •  If you use Zoom for your lessons, make the following sound adjustments to your settings as listed on our website. 
Show everyone how you're keeping the music going
Share the creative way you are making music while staying safe at home.
Send your pics to 
Ella Kleinschmidt's cat Jensen decided to participate in Ella's online lesson with Elayne Ras! One of the more interesting aspects of our online lessons is the ability to share important parts of our homes and lives with each other that we normally wouldn't see...Elayne's cats also show up from time to time to help her teach!  
Send your content for posting on FaceBook  
We have been posting lots of short videos on FaceBook that you can watch with your children and brighten your days.
Visit us on Facebook . Like our page, and you will see our posts in your newsfeed.   
Submit a performance for YouTube 
Calling all students to submit performances to be posted on the SSSG YouTube Channel. We want to hear how you are continuing your work on your instrument and sharing your music during this time of social distancing.
Performances can be accompanied or unaccompanied, family members playing together as a group, recordings of online lessons or practice sessions (playing a duet with your teacher or practice buddy). Let your imagination run wild! 
How to record your video: No need for fancy equipment! Just use your phone or your camera. Record at a lower resolution to ensure the file isn't too big: 1080p HD 30fps is a good video setting for this purpose.
How to submit your video:
  1. Fill out our submission form
  2. Upload your video to our COVID-19 Performance Dropbox

Organizations around the world are being wonderfully creative in offering new ways to enjoy all types of events online.
A joint effort between musicians of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, wishing health and care to the people of Alberta, and around the world.
The Georgian Bay Symphony have adapted and moved the last two concerts of their season online.