SSSG Notes April 9,  2020

In This Issue:

Announcement about Carey Cheney
Zoom Security Assessed and Evaluated

Dear SSSG families,
In the past few weeks we have all been dealing with challenges that seem to change day-by-day. The daily routines and events we took for granted need to be re-evaluated and sometimes completely reinvented.
But it is also a time when priorities come into sharp focus. When being home and safe with your family is of paramount importance. Spending so much time together may be unusual with our busy, modern schedules. But it is also a rare opportunity to connect with our family on a much deeper level.
We are all very grateful that you've included making music as an essential service. We think so too! And we appreciate your willingness to adapt as we find creative ways to keep the music going.
We will get through this together. And thank you for making us a part of your family.
Lynda Hester
Virtual Play-in with your Group Class
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:
Grocery Cards  
To make it as convenient and as safe as possible for everyone, we have decided to bundle the grocery cards for April, May and June. These will be packaged and hand delivered to your home. We don't want them to be left unattended so keep your eye out for an email to set up a convenient time for someone to stop by - at a safe distance of course! 

Registration Time
We are coming to the end of the school year which means time to think about the next. We are proceeding with the regular registration process, planning for business as usual in the fall. If that changes we will, of course, keep you informed as we know more. You should be receiving registration information in the next couple of weeks. We are extending the deadline to mid-May.  
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 
Call for COVID-19 Performances
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.
Make a video of your child performing a polished piece that he or she would like to share with the world and we will share it on the SSSG YouTube channel. Some of the videos may also be shared on our social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).
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
Are you looking for free concerts to watch online?
Here are links to websites that list orchestras, concert series and opera houses who are offering free online concerts:


The best live-streamed classical music concerts available online


Opera Companies Offering Free Streaming

Announcement about Carey Cheney can
Dear cello parents,
It's with great sadness that we share the news that Carey Cheney and her husband Elliott have decided not to move to Guelph. With so many uncertainties around the COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of revenue from summer institutes and freelance performing, as well as the challenges of moving to another country, Carey doesn't feel able to meet her commitment to our school. 
SSSG is now working on finding another solution and we will have more information about this very soon. Your patience and support is very much appreciated. Please contact us with your thoughts, questions and comments if you have any.
Paule and Marius
Paule Barsalou

Zoom Security Assessed and Evaluated can
Many of you will have seen articles in the media about security issues on Zoom. SSSG is taking these issues very seriously and is taking every precaution to avoid security issues during our meetings with our families. We have asked Senior Principal Developer at Oracle NetSuite Jeremy Cook (Andrea's husband) to address these issues with us. Here are Jeremy's answers. 


Zoom bombing

  • The steps that Zoom have taken more than mitigate this.
  • As hosts, as long as the teachers configure zoom correctly there should be no risks. 

Here is what our teachers are doing:
    1. Set a password for all our meetings (personal meeting room)
    2. Make sure you only enable the screen sharing for the HOST, not the guests.
    3. Enable waiting room so no stranger can be allowed into the meeting
    4. Do not allow rejected people to join again automatically. 
    5. End to end encryption

End to End Encryption
This refers to the fact that only the sender and recipient can view information. With end to end encryption the information cannot be viewed while it is in transit, even as it passes through a company's servers. There are several reasons why this is not done by Zoom IMO.
  • End to end encryption could be very hard to implement with many participants in a call
  • It would also make it very hard to share video recordings if it was encrypted. 
  • Encryption/decryption adds overhead.
  • Zoom does not have this. Zoom instead encrypts data as it passes over the public internet, which is more than sufficient for our needs.
  • A hacker would need to break into Zoom's servers and then single out a single conference call to access information. The chances of this happening are minuscule.
  • End to end encryption is the gold standard but Zoom's encryption is more than good enough for our needs.

Safe to Use
Jeremy says: "In general, Zoom is a safe system to use. The fact that Oracle, the company I work for and one of the largest IT companies in the world with many government contracts uses it should speak to its effectiveness. Oracle security would not approve its use if they thought it was inherently insecure."
As we have said all along, if you are not comfortable using Zoom, our teachers are more than happy to use another platform that feels more comfortable to you. Just let us know. That goes for all our private lessons. We will be using Zoom for our Virtual Play-in meetings.  
Guelph MusicFest 2020 fest