Online music lessons pave the way for 1st place music festival win

Online music lessons pave the way for post-pandemic success and a 1st place music festival win for a young Canadian learner.

Like so many parents, Ms. Steller was watching her daughter’s “spark” die as the Covid pandemic shut down her young daughter’s activities and community. She watched as the lockdown broke Maria’s spirit. 

Desperate to cheer her, Maria’s mom signed her up for some online music classes, connecting her with Outschool educator Siobhan McGovern

Little did they know that Siobhan would not only help Maria survive Covid but also win competitions. With Siobhan’s help, Maria won the 1st place entry in her category for the Unionville Music Competition and will represent her home town at the Ontario Music Festival.

Check out Maria’s inspiring story and see her winning performance. 

1st place musical festival win for Canadian learner: Meet Maria

During the height of the pandemic, Maria started ukulele lessons on Outschool. At the encouragement of her talented instructor, she won 1st place entry in her category for the Unionville Music Competition. She’ll soon represent her hometown in a provincial-level competition, Ontario Music Festival

Check out the video to hear Maria’s story in her own words. 

Online music lessons pave the way for 1st place musical festival win - Meet Maria

Finding magical music lessons

Online music lessons pave the way for 1st place musical festival win - Siobhan McGovern.

Maria and her incredible teacher, Siobhan McGovern, have a special relationship that Maria’s mom describes as “magical.” 

Though they live in different cities, they connect virtually every week to help Maria work on her singing and ukulele skills. 

Dear Outschool: Ms. Steller’s letter

Maria’s mother expressed her gratitude to Siobhan and the Outschool learning community in a heartfelt letter. (This letter may or may not have made us cry.)

Dear Outschool,

I would like to let you know how much you have helped our daughter through the pandemic and the lasting relationship and success you have given her.

The pandemic struck our hometown on our daughter Maria's birthday. We had front-row tickets to see Disney on Ice, and everything shut down just moments before we left the house. Week after week, our little girl saw her school, dance school, and music schools all close, canceling end-of-school-year recitals. 

It left her heart broken, and a spark inside her just seemed to die. We bought her the purple ukulele she had been begging for to replace her birthday present, but it did not get much attention.

After weeks of trying to salvage her school year while teleworking full-time from home, we found Outschool. Suddenly, Maria had a community to connect with again, as well as extra-curricular activities to take on while we worked, ranging from learning to paint to help with mathematics. 

It was wonderful to have the chance to get to know instructors through their profiles and to read about the details of classes in real, published reviews that helped us better understand what classes would be a good fit for our daughter.

The best thing to come out of Outschool, though, was Siobhan’s early-summer ukulele workshop. Just four days of lessons brought something to life inside our daughter that we had not seen before and went beyond adding an instrument to her repertoire. 

The relationship between the music teacher and student is essential for success, and there is some sort of magic between them. We went back to Siobhan’s workshops again and again, even after the world around us reopened

Each time, we saw extraordinary change in Maria’s abilities and confidence as she integrated her ukulele and singing pop songs with her other musical training. Finally, we signed up for weekly lessons. This year, Siobhan recommended we enter Maria in a music festival here in Canada to give Maria the chance to perform virtually.

Thanks to Outschool, Maria placed first in her category, singing and accompanying herself on her ukulele! Siobhan’s instruction, delivered exclusively through the Outschool platform, has transformed Maria as a musician. 

We would never have connected with Siobhan without Outschool, since Maria and Siobhan live in different cities.

Thank you for bringing the best the world has to offer to our child. We look forward to watching Maria’s relationship with Siobhan continue to grow and thrive, and we’ll continue to look to Outschool for new, high-quality learning opportunities. 

- Ms. Steller

As cheesy as it sounds, stories like these make us excited to come to work. 

Watch her winning performance! 

You can watch Maria’s incredible, winning performance for yourself on YouTube.

Online music lessons pave the way for 1st place musical festival win - Maria's performance

We couldn’t be more impressed. Well done Maria! Thank you for sharing your story with us. We’re so inspired by you. 

Find the perfect music classes and private music lessons for your kids on Outschool today. Or try a free Outschool Learner Community class or group

Fernando TarangoFernando is the Learner Community Guy at Outschool and a homeschooling dad. He holds a postgraduate degree in Collaborative Online Learning and Leadership. Nothing makes him happier than helping kids connect and inspire each other.

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