The new academic year has started, and we are slowly making our way out of the COVID lockdown. Students and teachers are enjoying the prospect of interacting with one another on an in-person basis.

For private music teachers, the opportunity to hear and teach their students live and in person is a godsend.

For over 35 years, the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts (MCMA) have been providing top notch music education to Manitobans of all ages and skill levels. For the majority of this past year however, the Conservatory’s teaching studios have been silenced due to COVID restrictions. Thankfully the halls of the Conservatory are noisy once again since in person lessons have resumed for this academic year; and MCMA teachers could not be happier to welcome students back!

For MCMA guitar teacher Ian Hodges, the return to in person lessons has been just great. “To be able to hear students be able to play together in real time…to be able to see the whole picture easily without saying to your student ‘can you move your camera to the left, can you tilt your camera because I can’t see your left hand’… to be able to see everything and interact in real time is a treat!”

For MCMA voice teacher Sarah Witiuk the in person lesson creates a totally different vibe. “Nothing beats having your student in the room and being able to hear their voice for real.”

The Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts is certainly excited to have students return to in person lessons, but that does not mean online platforms such as Zoom are going away. The MCMA offers both

online private lessons and online group classes, in everything from music theory, to ukulele, to music appreciation. For the MCMA online lessons have created a world of new possibilities. “We’ve actually found that we have been able to reach people all across the Province, by being able to deliver these courses on Zoom,” states Witiuk.

The MCM has also taken great steps to ensure that both students and teachers are safe. Newly installed ventilation systems in the building, the acquisition of shields for voice, winds and brass, the use of hepa- filters in every one of the studios; these are just some of the measures that the MCMA has taken to ensure a safe environment. In addition, all of the usual COVID protocols are in use, such as hand sanitizing stations, social distancing measures and showing proof of vaccination are all in full effect at the MCMA.

The renewed zeal of MCMA teachers to provide quality music instruction for Manitobans, both in person and online has re-kindled the flame that was dimmed due to COVID.

To find out more about the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts click here:

To see Classic 107 host Chris Wolf’s conversation with MCMA voice teacher Sarah Witiuk and guitar teacher Ian Hodges click here