COVID-19 & Social Distancing Music Making Resources

Elizabeth Dale

The implication of COVID-19 and adapting to the best practices of social distancing is impacting all of us. Whether you are a small business owner, an educator who is learning to teach online for the first time in your career, a parent now at home trying to keep up your child’s educational needs, or just attempting to keep the cabin fever at bay, we are collectively living in a new and often challenging environment. Lucky for all of us, NAMM and its Members are committed to helping keep the music alive with a variety of resources to help us all remember that #MusicISLife.

With global calls for social distancing music-makers are grappling with a rapidly changing world and a “new, albeit temporary-normal.” NAMM Members and those who share in the mission of NAMM are continuously reinventing themselves to make sure that we all have access to music despite any circumstance we find ourselves in. Here are just a few of some of the exciting free and low-cost options to continue making a musical world all around you.

For Educators

  • New Splice TV: A daily music education series via Twitch from 2-3 pm PM offering free tutorials and product demos from production professionals. https://www.twitch.tv/splicetvlive  
  • The Shed Music: Illinois based music education site is offering free access to a range of programs for educators and students to supplement the lack of in-person education options. Courses range from daily music lessons to tech options. https://shedthemusic.com/remote-learning-resources
  • TedEd: The "Lessons Worth Sharing" is a series of videos covering a wide range of music-related topics including "How to Read Music," "Why We Love Repetition in Music," and "Music and Creativity in Ancient Greece." https://ed.ted.com/search?qs=music
  • Women's Audio Mission: This non-profit is dedicated to providing hands-on training, work experience, career counseling, and job placement for over 2,000 women and girls every year in creative technology for music, TV, film, radio, and Internet. The group has begun offering a large portion of their courses online including mentoring sessions from iconic industry professionals. https://www.womensaudiomission.org/
  • House of Blues Music Forward Foundation: Adapting their programs for a digital platform, the foundation is "committed to connecting [the] community to the music industry as we know that it is integral to keep inspiration, learning, and music alive during this time.  A wide variety of weekly programming is an excellent resource for students aspiring to be a part of the music industry. https://hobmusicforward.org/news/weve-gone-virtual/
  • Museum of Pop Culture: "Create Your Own Activist Work": Seattle's Museum of Pop Culture presents an online lesson for students grade 8-12. Using Woody Guthrie’s activist philosophy as an inspiration, you are going to use your own skills and creativity to talk about an issue that is important to you. https://www.mopop.org//programs-plus-education/education/online-educational-resources/
  • Grammy Music Education Coalition™: This frequently updated list of resources provides information at low or no cost to music educators by bringing content from the Grammy Music Education’s Coalition™ affiliates. https://grammymusiced.org/resources/
  • Guitars Over Guns: Students in the Chicago and Miami most vulnerable communities are being offered online music education and mentorship with music professionals that will include addressing social-emotional learning and music activities, academic check-ins, and mental health support. https://www.guitarsoverguns.org/
  • EMMAT Online: A free series of courses offered in Spanish from EMMAT Online is now available with registration. Materials are delivered via PDF files, fun interactive content, and exercises. https://www.emmatonline.edu.co/
  • UCLArts and Healing: The Healing Online for People Everywhere (HOPE) Series was created to enable the global community to build resilience through the arts during this unprecedented time. A group of engaging activities and mindful lessons is presented free of charge for those looking for a positive outlet during their quarantine time. https://uclartsandhealing.org/services/community-services/hope-series/
  • Rock & Roll Forever Foundation: Distance learning packs are available from the Rock & Roll Forever Foundation and TeachRock. With a focus on project-based learning, are structured both for direct educator engagement as well as tailored for non-educators to implement with students at home. https://teachrock.org/
  • Education & Bass: Teachers are invited to sign up for free educational content from Education & Bass. With over 1,500 music technology and music business video courses, lessons, and lectures delivered by industry experts, this is a great resource to supplemental your traditional curriculum. https://www.educationandbass.online/school-teachers-signup/
  • Music Impact Network: Many after school music programs are trying to figure out how to engage their participants virtually. The Music & Youth Initiative has curated a list of programs and resources that will help your participants make music from home. https://musicimpactnetwork.org/resources-for-virtual-music-programming
  • The NAMM Foundation COVID-19 Resources: The NAMM Foundation is committed to the continuing of teaching and learning music through the realities of the global health crisis. Please enjoy a curated list of resources provided by The NAMM Foundation and its grantee partners and supporters. https://www.nammfoundation.org/projects/namm-foundation-covid-19-resources
  • 78th Army Band: In support of the music mentorship branch of their mission, the 78th Army Band is offering their resources to music educators gripping with a new online learning environment. As a reserve unit the citizen soldiers that make up the unit include gigging musicians and music educators. By filling out a brief survey, music educators will get a tailored curriculum of online masterclasses, video recordings of students’ parts, and information about a career in the Army Reserve Band. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSei7K4Zm6tgJptLMA4tsvDAvdCm_rVlVkiEFtnBKEwZglROFw/viewform
  • Music Workshop: Free educational resources for music educators, grades K-8. Offering 19 courses that cover subjects such as “the history and appreciation of multiple musical subjects including genres, instruments, careers and cultures.” Registration is required, but all courses are free. https://program.musicworkshopedu.org/
  • NAMM Foundation Webinar: Making Music Online - How-To's for Private and Group Lessons: The one-hour webinar presented by The NAMM Foundation invites educators to, "discover online group lessons and therapeutic music-making for children and adults, and business models to move in-store music lessons online to keep students connected and making music." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBzAig9MShA
  • BBC "Ten Pieces": This resource "helps classroom teachers and ensemble leaders open up the world of classical music to 7-14 year olds." Offerings include lesson plans, films, arrangements, and live events. https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/ten-pieces
  • NAMM Foundation Webinar: Teaching and Learning Music Online: This webinar designed for educators at every level tackles the idea that "teaching and learning music can continue and even thrive through the remarkable tools, resources, and people that are engaging in music online." https://www.nammfoundation.org/articles/2020-03-13/virtual-music-making-during-national-health-crisis
  • Museum of Making Music: The Museum of Making Music is bringing the spirit of the physical museum online with a series of live stream videos aimed to keep us all connected through music. For a list of upcoming events visit https://www.museumofmakingmusic.org/events and past videos can be found at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIzjuY2B9G0FojyqYi7if9w.
  • London Symphony Orchestra: Every Sunday and Thursday starting March 22, the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) will be streaming a concert from their archive. LSO will also be providing program notes and supplemental activities to pair with each performance. https://lso.co.uk/whats-on/2019-20-season/alwaysplaying.html
  • The NAMM Foundation "Webinar: Teaching and Learning Music Online": Available on March 18, this webinar is geared to music teachers looking for a toolkit to add to their collection of resources to adapt to online learning platforms.
  • Save The Music "Music Education Resources": A collection of nearly 50 resources aimed mostly at educators for both distance learning and professional development, however there are quite a few resources that parents can adapt to supplement music education at home. https://www.savethemusic.org/grants/teacher-resources/
  • National Association for Music Educators: NAfME has recently published a blog with a multitude of resources for educators, including material for student populations that may not have access to technology at home. https://nafme.org/music-teacher-resources-school-closures/

For Parents/Students

  • New Lincoln Center: The Lincoln Center at Home initiative is offering daily programming in the form of pop-up classrooms which can be found on their Facebook page or at http://www.lincolncenter.org/lincoln-center-at-home.
  • London Mozart Players: Offering a daily update of liver performances and behind the scenes interviews, the London Mozart Players are producing content geared toward the whole family. http://londonmozartplayers.com/athome/
  • OperaVision: This special curated YouTube channel brings viewers operas from Europe's leading opera houses. Let your children explore the world of opera and ballet from the comfort of your own couch. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBTlXPAfOx300RZfWNw8-qg
  • The Coalition [Canada]: On May 4, you are invited to take part in #MusicMonday with The Coalition. Hundreds of children, youth, teachers, parents, and community members gather together across Canada each year to celebrate music. This year the initiative has gone digital, starting at 9am EST activities will include live streaming performance, children's activities, messages from prominent Canadians, and an "epic afterparty." More information can be found at https://coalitioncanada.ca/musicmonday/en/home-2020-online/.
  • Rock and Roll Playhouse: The weekly family concert series has shifted their performances to an online platform, "providing kids and parents a place to inspire creativity through music across the country." https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC42Vh6UR7Tjq3vYU2RcQU7Q
  • Ari (The Singalong Guy): Give your kids a daily dose of music with an 11am EST livestream singalong with Ari. If you happen to miss the live performance, Ari is making the daily singalong available in his Instagram stories for the following 24 hours. https://www.instagram.com/arithesingalongguy/
  • #Songsofcomfort: The curated hashtag has accumulated numerous performances from notable musicians such as cello master, Yo-Yo Ma, dedicated to first responders and healthcare workers. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%23SongsOfComfort
  • Carnegie Hall: The iconic concert hall has made their Musical Explorers curriculum available for free on their website. Designed with families in mind, this is a wonderful resource for musicians and music enthusiasts of all ages. https://www.carnegiehall.org/Education/Educators/Musical-Explorers/Activities-for-Families
  • ABC Disney Family Singalong: Thursday, April 16, ABC and Disney present the Disney Family Singalong which will feature some of today’s biggest stars singing classic Disney songs. The show will premiere on ABC at 8|7c and will be made available for those who do not have a TV provider on YouTube and Twitter after its premiere. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4o1XcQRYnSw&feature=emb_title
  • Berklee: Perspective students and lifelong learners are encouraged to register for Berklee’s massive open online courses (MOOC), which allow you a free look at courses taught at the institution. A guide to the courses offered can be found at https://www.berklee.edu/academics/moocs.
  • Alan Parsons’ Art & Science of Sound Recording: Educators are invited to register for free online access to a core video series on music production. Student quizzes and the ability to monitor individual and class performance is available. Registration is required. https://mailchi.mp/artandscienceofsound.com/covid19 
  • Nashville Symphony: The Nashville Symphony is offering resources to give your children the gift of music education while they are at home. The website is updated frequently and includes interactive activities for the whole family. https://www.nashvillesymphony.org/homeresources\
  • Little Kids Rock: Little Kids Rock has dedicated their YouTube channel to providing free lessons on a wide variety of instruments, genres, and even cover recording and editing. If your little one is looking to hone their craft or pick up an entirely new set of skills, this channel is perfect for them. https://www.youtube.com/user/littlekidsrock/videos
  • North Carolina Symphony: Committed to music education, the North Carolina Symphony is offering a range of lessons and digital broadcasts during the COVID-19 crisis. The lessons are developed in partnership with state music educators and align to North Carolina's state standards for grades 3-5. These materials are free but please note the password for access to the site is 1932https://www.ncsymphony.org/virtual/
  • Boston Pops Orchestra “Pixar in Concert:” If you are a parent ready to step out of the unknown for a bit, check out this compiled audio performance from the Boston Pops Orchestra. Take a whimsical auditory ride to destinations such as Andy’s room, the waters off Australia, a gourmet kitchen in Paris, Monstropolis, and Radiator Springs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOEdyK42Lkw
  • “Goodnight With Dolly:” Starting April 2, the one and only Dolly Parton will debut her nightly series where she will read bedtime stories chosen from her Imagination Library. https://www.youtube.com/user/imaginationlibrary
  • Noodle Loaf: A series of 10-minute interactive podcasts created by music education specialist and parent. While the podcast targets children 3-9 years old, it is fun for all ages. http://noodleloafshow.com/
  • Sing With Our Kids: A community project and website bringing free songs and activities for ages birth-five. https://singwithourkids.com/
  • The John Lennon Songwriting Contest “STUCK AT HOME”: “Creativity knows no bounds when you’re STUCK AT HOME.” This songwriting contest is accepting submissions through March 29 with a randomly selected winner announced on March 30. Winners receive a home studio gear and instrument prize pack. https://jlsc.com/stuck_at_home.php
  • GRAMMY® Museum: Opening their archives to the public, the GRAMMY® Museum is providing a first look at their Public Programs. Upcoming programs include Billie Eilish and Finneas, Brandi Carlile, and Kool and the Gang. https://www.grammymuseum.org/exhibits/traveling-exhibits/programs-at-home-1
  • Smithsonian Music: If you have a inquisitive little musician at home the Smithsonian has a large collection of online resources to help inquiring minds nourish their musical curiosity. Check out their "Ask Smithsonian Music Videos" a video series designed to answer nearly any question related to their collections. https://music.si.edu/ask-smithsonian-music-videos
  • Pinterest: Your kids will be thrilled when you show them this Pinterest board with over 297 musical instruments that you can craft together from household objects. You can just thank us later. https://www.pinterest.com/maestroclassics/homemade-musical-instruments/
  • Rock & Roll Hall of FameThere may be no better time than the present to encourage your future rock stars to make music. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has a wonderful library of free online learning resources. Registration is required. https://www.rockhall.com/education

Musicians & Music Enthusiasts

  • New Bluefinch: Singer/songwriter Bluefinch is streaming weekly concerts on Instagram every Saturday at 4 pm ET. https://www.instagram.com/bluefinch_official/
  • Sync Summit: A daily virtual  cafe chat at 1pm ET held to discuss music, business, and life. Sign up is required before the chat starts each day. https://syncsummit.com/synccafesignup/?fbclid=IwAR2AunpVQnwObeo5w9swWiR2ZJfveG0Bu92NEGYqWpqaejqZDlWHkLT1uT0
  • Live Stream NOLA: "Clubs might be closed but the music never stops in NOLA." A carefully crafted list of online live stream options from iconic New Orleans musicians and venues. https://www.neworleans.com/blog/post/live-stream-concerts-in-new-orleans/
  • Grammy® Museum: The staff at the Grammy® Museum is curating daily quarantine playlists bringing together a wide variety of genres into one energetic playlist. Spend time at home taking in new music or reminiscing about your favorite tracks from the past. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6r4XekGLgzhYVqFhKS4ZTO
  • Hope@Home: Violinist, Daniel Hope, is hosting a series of living room concerts from his home in Berlin during the COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. Guests join Hope each evening at 6pm  CET. https://www.arte.tv/en/videos/RC-019356/hope-home/
  • MTV Unplugged at Home: The memorable unplugged concert platform from MTV has found new life in the era of COVID-19. Check out a series of your favorite artists as they unplug and perform from the safety of their own homes on this web series. http://www.mtv.com/shows/unplugged-at-home
  • Lifting Spirits Through Music: If you have been using your time at home to create music or you simply need an escape from the current stressors in your life, the Facebook Group, Lifting Spirits Through Music, is a virtual gathering place to share and enjoy musical content from creators across the globe. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1297564073762866/
  • PlayOn Fest: The 3-day digital music festival starts on Friday, April 24 and runs through Sunday, April 26. With acts ranging from Ed Sheeran, The Flaming Lips, Bruno Mars, Panic! At the Disco, and hosted by LL Cool Jay, streaming can be found at https://www.youtube.com/SONGKICK.
  • She Rocks Spotlight Series: Up-and-coming female performers are being given an opportunity to shine with the She Rocks Spotlight Series. Every Thursday at 5pm PT/8pm ET two up-and-coming artists will livestream and be followed by an iconic veteran performer. https://www.facebook.com/thewimn/
  • Headliner Radio Podcast: Available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, the hosts of this new podcast are talking with a variety of artists, music professionals, and talent from both TV and film. Early episodes include interviews with Joe Talbot, KT Tunstall, Andre Jackquemin, and Sean Payne. https://open.spotify.com/show/2LMNlAnGDHwYRFmCiptxSP?si=UnF9i7GWS2GjmB5wBhAzhg
  • Global Citizen ‘One World: Together at Home’: April 18 marks the debut of the One World: Together at Home online music festival featuring performances and appearances from today’s biggest artists including Alicia Keys, Billie Eilish, Celine Dion, Common, Elton John, Paul McCartney, and many more. The concert will be available on multiple platforms and information including a full lineup and options to watch can be found at https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/connect/togetherathome/.
  • Seattle Symphony: The Seattle Symphony and its musicians have volunteered to share free broadcasts with their supporters during the COVID-19 crisis. Weekly schedules can be found at https://www.seattlesymphony.org/watch-listen/live and performances can be streamed at https://www.youtube.com/seattlesymphony.
  • Royal Opera House: The Royal Opera House, home of both The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera is providing YouTube videos of past performances as part of their #OurHouseToYourHouse series. Subtitles are available in English with closed captioning. https://www.youtube.com/user/RoyalOperaHouse
  • ''Music for Hope' Andrea Bocelli Concert: Sunday, April 12, Andrea Bovelli will be delivering a power concert from the Duomo catherdral in Milan, Italy. While there will be no live audience, Bocelli will be joined (at a safe distance) by the cathedrals' organist, Emanuele Vianelli. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huTUOek4LgU&feature=youtu.be
  • Melissa Etheridge Concerts From Home: American singer/songwriter and good friend to NAMM, Melissa Etheridge, is hosting daily concerts from her home on Facebook. Committing to daily performances, viewers can even request songs from Etheridge at https://melissa.settheset.com/. https://www.facebook.com/MelissaEtheridge/
  • Circle All Access: This YouTube channel is at the center of all things country music. With live streams happening from the Grand Ole Opry to a tribute to the late Kenny Rogers, this channel will help you quench that thirst for country music. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTP55ODgXQzmV7ICXS0H72A/
  • Romeo Entertainment Group: Everyday at 3pm CST, Romeo Entertainment Group invites you to join them in a livestream concert. Live concerts can be found on Instagram @romeoentgroup and recaps are on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pg/RomeoEntGroup/videos/.
  • Blink-182 "Happy Days" Music Video Contest: Millenials, this is the ticket to the rock show you've been waiting for. American rock band, Blink-182 is calling for fan submissions to help them create their latest music video for the single, "Happy Days." Don't limit yourself to all the small things, get creative. Submissions can be entered at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf_rTzZojxL_VwWR38cy-00E91JSr5z1BjjvmGPn48nKreaIQ/viewform.
  • Grand Ole Opry: The Grand Ole Opry is bringing country music into the comfort of your own home as they present country music artists in an effort to keep you connected to the artists you love. Be sure to check https://www.opry.com/story/all-of-the-country-artists-livestreaming-performances-and-virtual-concerts/ for daily updates and streaming platforms.
  • Sir: A Retrospective of Rock Royalty” Presented by Morrison Hotel Gallery®: Opening its virtual doors on April 2, this is the first digital exhibit from Morrison Hotel Gallery®. The newly curated exhibit chronicles the life of Sir Elton John through the photography of Ed Caraeff, Terry O’Neill, and Norman Parkinson. https://www.morrisonhotelgallery.com/default.aspx
  • Hunter Hayes “In the Lab:” Singer/songwriter Hunter Hayes curates a series of 12-15 minute videos where Hayes will be “building his songs from scratch.” Past and upcoming recordings can be found at https://www.youtube.com/user/hunterhayes/.
  • FOX Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert For America: Elton John hosts this remote concert featuring some of the biggest names in music on March 29. Performances include Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day), Mariah Carey, and Tim McGraw. Full information can be found at https://news.iheart.com/featured/living-room-concert/content/2020-03-25-musics-biggest-stars-coming-together-for-living-room-concert-for-america/.
  • Stay At Home Fest: A “central hub to find all the fantastic decentralized events that are happening online, and aiding music discovery” with a multitude of options for any music lover. https://www.stayathomefest.com/#calendar
  • Rolling Stone “In My Room” IGTV Series: Airing on the official Rolling Stone Instagram account, @rollingstone, new episodes will debut Monday, Wednesday, and Friday’s, kicked off their first episode with Beach Boy, Brian Wilson. https://www.instagram.com/rollingstone/
  • MusiCares® “COVID-19 Relief Fund”: If you are one of the many musicians who is finding themselves without work directly related to the effects that COVID-19 is having on the industry, MusiCares® has established a relief fund to help during these difficult times. https://www.grammy.com/musicares/get-help/musicares-coronavirus-relief-fund
  • #MusicISLife - A Tribute to Healthcare Professionals: On Friday, March 27, NAMM will launch “#MusicISLife – A Tribute to Healthcare Professionals,” an online, social gathering opportunity for music-makers of all abilities to join in paying tribute to the steadfast dedication and resilience of healthcare professionals across the globe. https://www.namm.org/news/press-releases/namm-launches-musicislife-%E2%80%93-tribute-healthcare
  • DJ D-Nice Instagram: Join DJ D-Nice on his Instagram for his “Homeschool at Club Quarantine” where the DJ and rapper hosts at-home dance and listening parties on the regular. Follow on Instagram @dnice for more information.
  • Worcester Cathedral: Live organ recitals every day at 6:00pm GMT on Facebook Live. You can catch live or past performances at https://www.facebook.com/worcestercathedralchoir/.
  • Instagram/Twitter/YouTube: Many artists are offering free streaming of their content on social media platforms. Examples recently include a special St. Patrick’s livestream of American Celtic punk band, Dropkick Murphys (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5j06g0TE_Ao), and Instagram livestream concerts by John Legend and Chris Martin through Global Citizen's Togerther, At Home project. 
  • Metropolitan Opera: The Met is determined to make sure you have the opportunities for music enrichment during these difficult times. Stream free operas everyday. https://www.metopera.org/user-information/nightly-met-opera-streams/ 
  • Even if you have not (yet!) launched that world tour, you can do so from your couch, bedroom, or balcony. Hashtag your social media post with #MusicisLife and tag @NAMM

With a goal to continue to provide new and engaging resources, if your business is offering music making opportunities that embrace the practice of social distancing please send submit them at https://www.namm.org/playback/submit-a-story.