Mulerider Band members continue to share their sound and skills with other aspiring high school musicians during this world-wide pandemic. SAU music majors are offering 25-minute lessons to 9th-12thgraders via Skype, Facetime, or Zoom at no cost.
The student-teachers in the Music Education program are reaching out to these students and providing online instruction aimed at keeping up instrumentation as well as their teaching skills.
“We know this is a difficult time in the world, and we are offering assistance to those who would like to continue their efforts as musicians,” said J.P. Wilson, director of the Southern Arkansas University Band program.
Students that are interested in participating in a music lesson can sign up using the Google Form sign-up here https://bit.ly/2xlPQVk. Once the student fills out the form, a Mulerider Band lesson instructor will reach out to the interested students via email to set the lesson time and discuss what they want to achieve in their lesson.
“Any student, anywhere who can access our Google sign-up form, can take advantage of these lessons,” Wilson said. Online lessons will be maintained through the summer and have already reached students in Bentonville, Arkansas, East Texas and Paragould.
Student-teachers Nina Martinez, a sophomore from Greenbrier, Arkansas, and Derik Camp, from Elkins, Arkansas, are organizing and preparing the service. They are working together with other Mulerider Band members to help provide the music lessons.
“When Mr. Wilson brought up this idea, I knew I wanted to start immediately,” Martinez said. “Derik and I came up with a list of music majors who we knew were willing and available to give these virtual lessons, developed the Google form for students to sign up, a YouTube channel for future instructional videos, and the details about how the lessons were going to be taught.”
“Once we started to share the service with high schools and advertising, students were signing up daily,” Martinez said. Providing these lessons to students would not be possible without the time that dedication from our other Mulerider Band members.
“I can’t thank the lesson instructors enough for giving up their time to help these students,” Martinez said. “Being able to share my passion for music with younger students, whether it be in person or over a Zoom call is incredible. I love seeing how students still want to push themselves as musicians even during this difficult time and I’m happy that I’m able to help with that.”
The interaction between the Mulerider Band members and high school musicians restores hope in everyone. It encourages both students to continue sharing and perfecting their sound during their time at home.