CMS Using Virtual Lessons to Teach Students

During this time of social distancing, masks, and handwashingJulia McMains, local music educators at The Community Music School (CMS) at Southwestern College are continuing to reach and teach young musicians through virtual lessons.

Julia McMains, a senior at Southwestern College and majoring in music education and violin performance, currently teaches private piano and violin lessons through the CMS. She is finding success through virtual music lessons.

“Even though private music lessons have been moved online, lessons have continued to benefit the students tremendously,” says McMains. “My students have commented on how they feel more focused and have seen growth in their skills as musicians since moving to virtual lessons.”

She has seen an improvement in students’ retention and attendance too. McMains says other advantages to offering virtual lessons include the students’ ability to learn on a singular instrument instead of one in the studio and another at home.

“Virtual lessons also allow for more adaptive and flexible scheduling,” McMains says.  “Families do not have to travel to the school and I am able to teach mornings, afternoons, or in the evening to align with students’ regular schooling.”

Michelle Zakharov, director of the CMS, is thrilled that lessons can continue during the pandemic.

“Our CMS students need a creative outlet during these uncertain times and what better way than to continue with their music lessons?” Zakharov says.  “Music is healing to the soul and a huge component of emotional well-being. I am proud of our teachers for finding a way to connect with their students on a new level and I think our parents truly appreciate that their children are able to continue learning in a different way.”

The Community Music School at Southwestern College offers a wide range of private lessons and classes for all ages. Private lessons are ongoing. Currently, the CMS has openings for piano, violin, viola, cello, and voice with a wide range of lesson times available. If you are interested in learning more about the Community Music School and what it offers, please call Michelle Zakharov, Director, at (620) 229-6188, email or visit the CMS website at

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