Specialty activities are the mechanism for children to come to know and challenge themselves. Through specialty activities, children express their sense of self long before they can articulate this sense with words. It is where work is play, where children are willing to put in more work than they might otherwise in pursuit of their goals and of excellence.
Big obstacles become fun to tackle; kids then learn to think critically about problems, to be creative, to innovate, to problem-solve, to stop at nothing to reach their aims. They learn and practice grit over and over again. Their identity begins to form around these efforts and resultant accomplishments, and they develop character and confidence.
Remote learning poses challenges to our vision of delivering excellent specialty activities to our students, but we are seeing tremendous adaptability in our staff and students to keep this learning going, even when far apart.
To celebrate student learning in Music, Violin, Chess, and Taekwondo, our end-of-year showcase will be a live virtual event and recognize students who have demonstrated excellence and/or extraordinary effort in each Specialty subject.
Private Online Violin & Chess Lessons
Starting the third week of remote learning, we launched private online violin lessons and private chess coaching for our students in our Violin Clubs and our Chess Teams. We subsequently also began to provide daily live video music class to all of our students.
Chess coaching lends itself well to online tutoring, but we were not sure if we could make online violin lessons work due to reliable Internet connectivity, sound, and video issues. Another challenge was that our teachers had been tuning the violins for students, and now they would not be able to do so. Nonetheless, we forged ahead. The private lessons and coaching have been successful and a wonderful bright spot for our families and staff.
New York Philharmonic Violinist Kuan Cheng Lu learned about our video violin lessons and was inspired to give our students a live video violin lesson, which was featured on NY1 (video), WCBS880 (video/radio), NPR Radio, amNY, and Bronx Times. It was a very special NYC moment, as a world-class musician from one of NYC’s most hallowed classical music institutions shared his talents and music with our Bronx and Upper Manhattan budding violinists.
Remote Violin Lesson
Remote Chess Lesson
Remote Taekwondo and Sports
We encourage students to take fitness breaks throughout the day! Our Taekwondo Masters and Sports Coaches prepare online exercise videos for our students so that they can engage in daily exercise at home.
We will be hosting a virtual field day, during which students will be able to participate in a series of competitions with classmates from their homes, such as a spoon relay, bowl ball, and other fun activities.