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"The show will go on" local theatre and music studios offering online classes

Posted: 6:10 AM, Mar 26, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-26 06:22:13-04

BUFFALO.N.Y. (WKBW) — Everything students love about their theatre and music classes-- right on their devices.

Academy of Theater Arts in Williamsville and Matt's Music in North Tonawanda have gone digital. Both the theatre and music companies have moved all of their lessons to the web.

Anna Conway is a 17-year-old theater coach for ATA. She has filmed her classes and has had video chats with her students.
With all the uncertainty in her world today, Anna says having digital classes has helped her, and many students find a sense of normalcy.

"It's so nice to get back into that routine and feel safe because I feel like there's a lot of unknown," Anna said. "I can escape that world and come back to this theater world where everything feels safe and has a reason. There's a timeline, and I just think that's so important to have."

ATA has all sorts of videos for students to check out right from their living room, from voice performance to games to play.

Owner Dina Slawson and Education Director Lauren Baker said when Governor Andrew Cuomo announced businesses needed to limit employees, they immediately started making videos for their students.

"You look where people are finding comfort, and it is still through the arts," Dina said. "I don't think we have ever realized how important they were going to become."

Students also have the opportunity to learn from the professionals on Broadway! The stars are jumping in on the video chats via Zoom and Google Hangout to keep a smile on students faces.
ATA is currently enrolling students, and you can join the classes by visiting their website.

Matt's Music in North Tonawanda is rolling with their online classes.

"We are seeing vocal lessons, drum lessons, piano lessons... even banjo lessons," Zach Carr, the Vocal Director, and Kathy Carr the Owner of Matt's Music said.

They say instructors and students have switched to FaceTime instead of face-to-face teaching. The Carr's say one of their 70-year-old instructors has figured out how to have digital sessions with students.

"It's a way of connecting all of us, showing love for each other through music," Zach said. "I think it is a reminder that music is a universal language." He says right now most of the classes are individual but hopes to add group master classes soon.

Matt's Music is also enrolling students of any age to join in on the virtual concert. You can visit their website to check them out.