The New England Conservatory of Music (NEC) works with more than 40 senior service organizations around Boston to welcome approximately 75 older adult learners onto their campus each week. When the pandemic initially hit, NEC knew they had to quickly adapt to a virtual world and maintain the connection between their older adult students, faculty, college students and community partners. Faculty and staff transitioned their one-on-one lessons to a virtual format and creating innovative and responsive virtual programs for large groups of senior participants.
Since March 2020, the San Francisco Community Music Center (CMC) has developed several new ways to adapt their Older Adult Choir Program (OACP), which serves nearly 400 older adults in senior centers throughout San Francisco, to a successful online learning platform. To keep their dynamic choir communities connected during COVID-19, the CMC worked with their senior center partners, where brick and mortar choirs take place, to create instructional videos on their YouTube Channel, which led to implementing sessions on Zoom.
In this interview with classical flute player, Tamara Keshecki, she talks about how she began working as a teaching artist in elementary and intermediate schools, with developmentally disabled adults and through a non-profit arts organization, Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble, Inc. This led her to teaching Creative Aging programs through Lifetime Arts. Through Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble, Inc., she has taught almost 100 Creative Aging classes of the Roaring Chorus. Tamara also talks about her experience in this work and serving older adults.
Since the fall of 2018, the Pasadena Conservatory of Music, part of the National Guild for Community Art Education’s Catalyzing Creative Aging Initiative, has continued to see an enrollment increase due to its adult 55+ programs, with offerings like Ukulele Jam, Adult Musical Theater Stage Presence Workshop, Glee Club and more. At the Conservatory, the Creative Aging programming is rolled into the Adult Department, fostering intergenerational learning and performance. The photo gallery includes Conservatory’s recital from spring of 2019 and features their growing student body of 55+ Creative Aging learners.