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The spring 2020 semester’s abrupt shift to online education provided real opportunities for learning and innovation, particularly for those of us working in higher education for the performing arts. The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University is collaborating with academic leadership of peer conservatories across the country to present a Lunch and Learn series spotlighting excellent teaching and innovative pedagogy in remote instruction.

New sessions in the series will be held every other Tuesday at 12:00 noon ET between September 8 and December 1 on Zoom. Each session includes subject matter experts, instructional designers, and others to provide insights and make recommendations for remote educational delivery.

Upcoming Sessions

November 3: The Recital at a Distance: Rethinking the Capstone Project

A recital – a public performance of music studied during a term of instruction – has always been an axiomatic component of a conservatory education. This session will explore opportunities for creative approaches to utilizing technology and alternative options in order to fulfill recital requirements.

November 17: Learn, Unlearn, and Relearn: The Artist's Path to the 21st Century

A discussion that focuses on the disruption of traditional models of work now impacting performing artists, conservatories, and arts organizations.

How do we move forward?
Where are the jobs?
What are the opportunities?
What are the necessary skills artists need to thrive, and how do we embrace uncertainty?

December 1: Leading With Science: An Update

Join us as we revisit the science behind the challenges of music instruction and performance in the time of COVID-19. The original presenters who joined us for this very important webinar in June will be back to provide updates to the virus, its transmission, treatments, protocols, and even progress on a vaccine.

Past Sessions

October 20: Moving Away from ‘No Pain, No Gain': Performance Science and Therapeutic Care in Conservatory Training

This presentation demonstrates the ways in which conservatories and music schools have partnered with medical providers to build comprehensive performing arts health programming, including diagnostic screening protocols, new student orientation modules, academic classes and policies, drop-in advising, onsite clinical care and referral networks, return-to-play guidelines, and research studies. Panelists discuss how they established and developed programs within their institutions, reflect on the challenges of creating a culture of wellness and self-advocacy in performing arts training, and share how they have adapted programs in response to COVID-19.

October 6: Current Trends in Admissions, Recruitment, and Enrollment Management in the Performing Arts

A panel of enrollment management professionals discuss admissions, recruitment and retention and student support in these unprecedented times.

Presenters: Robert Borden (Best Fit Education), Laura Hoffman (University of Michigan School of Music), John Huling (Peabody Institute), Fred Peterbark (Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University), and Townsend Plant (Peabody Institute)

September 22: Technology for Online Music Teaching

Explore technology options for synchronous and asynchronous online applied music teaching. Transform how lessons work by mixing up modalities and understanding which tools work best for which situations. Learn how to optimize your hardware and software setup to get the best audio and video for recording and conferencing scenarios required for online lessons. We touch on the use of software tools such as VoiceThread, Panopto, SoundTrap, and Zoom and the configuration and placement of hardware such as audio interfaces and USB microphones commonly used in online teaching scenarios.

Presenters: Theron Feist (Peabody Institute), Elizabeth Futral (Peabody Institute), Matt Morgan (Curtis Institute), David Spencer (University of Memphis), and Justin Trieger (New World Symphony)

September 8: Optimizing the Sound of Your Instrument or Voice Over Zoom

Join us as we discuss tips for selecting the best location for you and your microphone, ways you can treat your room acoustically with items you probably already have around your house, and suggestions on how to place your microphone to best reproduce your instrument or voice while still making it possible for the person on the other end of the call to hear you speaking.

Presenters: Scott Metcalfe (Peabody Institute) and Ed Tetreault (Peabody Institute)

July 28: Applied Instruction in a Remote Learning Environment Panel Discussion

Faculty from the United States and the United Kingdom will discuss their approaches to applied instruction in a remote format.

Presenters: Denyce Graves (Peabody Institute), Jeff Hellmer (University of Texas at Austin), Jonathan Bailey Holland (Boston Conservatory at Berklee), Robert van Sice (Peabody Institute), Aleksander Szram (Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance)

July 21: Chamber Music and Instrumental Ensembles in a Remote Learning Environment Panel Discussion

Conductors and Chamber Musicians discuss their approaches and ideas about ensembles in a remote format.

Presenters: Marin Alsop (Peabody Institute), Claire Chase (Harvard University), Jerry Junkin (The University of Texas at Austin), and Michael Kannen (Peabody Institute)

July 14: Music and Health in the Time of COVID-19

As performing arts programs and music schools cope with lost revenue, layoffs, and uncertain futures, the role of the arts in the midst of crisis has become more clear: throughout the country, music is being used as a powerful source of support for patients, healthcare workers, and communities as we struggle to recover from an unprecedented pandemic. This webinar will explore how artists are responding creatively to the need for healing and the opportunities that Covid-19 presents. Co-led by Dr. Sarah Hoover, Peabody’s Associate Dean for Innovation, Interdisciplinary Partnerships, and Community Initiatives and leader of Peabody’s musical programs at Johns Hopkins Medicine; and Jill Sonke, director of the Center for the Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida (UF) and Assistant Director of UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine.

Presenters: Sarah Hoover (Peabody Institute) and Jill Sonke (University of Florida)

July 8: Leading with Science: Returning to Music Instruction and Performance in the Time of COVID-19

A special extended topic, please join the members of the leadership team at Johns Hopkins University focused on a return to campus for the fall 2020 semester as they discuss the science behind the challenges of music instruction and performance in the time of COVID-19.

Presenters: Stephen Gange (Johns Hopkins), Jonathan Links (Johns Hopkins), and Aaron Milstone (Johns Hopkins)

July 7: Recording and Electronic Tools for Musicians

A discussion of tools and techniques for musicians working and teaching remotely:


  • Zoom: recommendations of microphones for capturing voice or instrument, optimizing placement of the microphone and camera, and ways of best configuring your available space for acoustical considerations.

  • Remote Critical Listening: Solutions for streaming full-resolution audio from Digital Audio Workstations

  • Asynchronous solutions: using video to capture a lesson, share between instructor and student, and annotate with comments at specific times within the recording.



Presenters: Scott Metcalfe (Peabody Institute), Dan Rorke (Manhattan School of Music), and Ed Tetreault (Peabody Institute)

June 30: English as a Second Language Instruction in the Time of COVID-19

Three seasoned conservatory ESL professionals share best practices and new ideas for leveraging the remote learning environment to keep ESL students engaged in developing the communication skills they will need to be successful in their conservatory studies. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels are addressed with a focus on verbal presentations, social learning, and research writing.

Presenters: Louise Borden (Colburn School), Larissa Fekete (Oberlin College), and Amy Moniot (Mandalay University)

June 23: Teaching Ear Training in a Remote Format

A presentation on teaching ear training in an online format. Topics include remote teaching and assessment of singing (prepared and at sight), transcription, and dictation.

Presenters: Dr. Jenine Brown (Peabody Institute) and Dr. Gary Karpinski (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

June 16: Instructional Design Basics: Migrating an In-person Course to a Remote Course

Presenters share an overview of remote teaching best practices and course design at scale, the advantages of a hybrid remote model, and the basics of student-centered backward course design. The conversation focuses on how faculty can remain flexible as the scenarios change in the coming months, and how the skills learned are valuable independent of delivery mode.

Presenters: Valerie Hartman (Peabody Institute) and Joseph Montcalmo (Peabody Institute)

June 9: Technology to Teach Keyboard Remotely

Discover methods for effective online piano and keyboard instruction. The presenters will discuss and demonstrate technology and strategies for synchronous and asynchronous keyboard instruction to engage students in meaningful ways.


Presenters: Mario Ajero (Stephen F. Austin State University) and Alejandro Cremaschi (University of Colorado Boulder)

June 2: Reimagining the Music Library in a Time of Crisis

Presenters will share an overview of the current landscape for digital collections in music libraries and the challenges presented when campuses moved to remote instruction in Spring 2020. The conversation will focus on supporting access to our unique collections to support performers, researchers, students and faculty. Attendees will learn how three libraries are supporting access to course materials, physical score collections, and unique ways to utilize streaming platforms to support performing arts students.

Presenters: Kathleen DeLaurenti (Peabody Institute), Michelle Oswell (Curtis Institute of Music), and Gregory Sigman (New School)