September 17, 2020
On behalf of our teachers and the Board of Directors of MAESTRO Ensembles, Inc., I would like to offer our deepest gratitude for your continued support of The Bridges Program.
After the March 2020 COVID-19 school closures, The Bridges Program reorganized itself to offer virtual programming for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. During that time, we had a participation rate of 50% of students enrolled in our program at five schools. This participation rate is quite exceptional considering that larger peer organizations (engaging over 300 students) nationwide had participation rates of 15-30%. In addition to offering bi-weekly lessons, our teachers also produced educational content that can be utilized in the coming years.
The Bridges Program of MAESTRO ENSEMBLES, Inc. is excited to announce our 2020-2021 program. Our program will start in late October-early November 2020, consistent with the upcoming update on Baltimore City Public School’s “Closing the Distance” plan and in accordance to guidelines issued by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). CClasses will begin either in school or virtually. We have been working to create an exciting program that includes additional performance and learning content that will enhance the distance learning experience.
In preparation for either a virtual or in-person opening, we are preparing a new series of instruction for those who have not played stringed instruments. This introductory period will include classes in basic music theory, note reading, ear training, and instrument introduction, and after completion of this short period those students will be able to choose an instrument based on the offerings at their respective schools.
We sincerely look forward to returning to in-person learning as soon as we can do so safely. We will continue to monitor Baltimore and area guidelines, BCPS and other school system directives and actions, and CDC guidelines and recommendations, all of which evolve almost daily.
Deepest thanks to all of you for your continued interest in and support of The Bridges Program.
Samuel Thompson, Program Director