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Lafayette’s Center for Musical is offering remote programs and opportunities for the community while people are unable to visit the center because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Center for Musical Arts provides creative music-making opportunities for more than 500 students and features 13 teaching studios and two performance spaces.

Lafayette’s Center for Musical Arts student, Charlotte Lang and teacher, Joy Witherow (on the iPhone) have a virtual lesson. (Photo courtesy of Center for Musical Arts)

The center focuses on providing access to music education to the entire community. It achieves this, in part, with its Heartstring Program that consists of an instrument bank to provide low-cost instrument rentals and tuition assistance.

While the center is closed to the public, its staff has been holding online lessons and using Facebook to connect with the community.

“We have had many conversations about what services look like now,” said Education Director Kathy Kucsan. “We know music isn’t going to kill the virus, it’s not going to cure people, but it can help us emotionally. We wanted to make it available to people.”

Staff members are recording Facebook Live videos at night for childhood lullabies, and singing songs of the world.

“People are starting to catch on to the songs and really enjoy it,” Kucsan said.

She said while the social media content is free, the center also is offering pay-what-you-can classes to the community.

“We’re here, people are making music in really bad times,” Kucsan said. “We just want to make that available for people. If you can’t pay for the class, come anyway.”

It’s been rewarding to see the staff come together to make online offerings happen so quickly, Kucsan said.

“Everyone has been amazing. The kids are really adapting and the teachers were totally enthusiastic,” she said.

For more information, visit centerformusicalarts.org or facebook.com/Center.Musical.Arts.

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