• Michael Clark

Observations on the resilience of kids

So, here we are, a year-ish into the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Scores and scores of content has been written about how the pandemic has affected life for the world.

We all know how it is. A struggling economy, zoom fatigue, back pain, loss of human contact and connection. It's not a pretty picture, though things seem to be looking up for the coming year.

I want to talk, instead, about how amazed I've been by the students at Tacoma Music Lab through all of this madness.

So much about this year hasn't gone as planned. Normally, our students take field trips; they participate in classes with each other; they watch movies and analyze as a group the film music. So much of the TML mission is about connection, community, and growth.

And while we haven't been able to pursue these outcomes in exactly the ways we've wanted to this year, our students have indeed connected, built community, and grown. WOW, have they grown. They've done so even in the face of, like adults, having their entire lives playing out on Zoom. It's hard enough for me at age 30; I'm impressed at our kids, some of them just 7-8 years old.

One of my favorite ways we've managed to create an environment conducive to growth and community is through or weekly "open lesson" times, which happen 3 times each week. When a member joins TML, he/she of course is scheduled for their regular 1:1 lesson each week, but in addition may attend an unlimited number of group classes. These occur on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Saturdays, and function as hybrid "piano study hall" and "lesson time" with one of our teachers, who floats from zoom room to zoom room, teaching and answering questions in short little bursts. It's just one way we've managed to keep a sense of community going, and it works.

Interested in learning more? Visit us at

PS enjoy this fantastic performance from miss Caitlyn Fall :)

Caitlyn Fall plays "You've got a Friend in Me" from Toy Story!

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