BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — As the effects of the coronavirus pandemic are felt across the country, local musicians are finding creative ways to perform, teach, and continue their craft.
"I look at it as an essential thing to do," says EJ Ouellette, owner of Whole Music in Newbury. "We all have to come together on this."
Oullette runs a production studio and music school, and says he hasn't seen anything impact the industry like this since the blizzard of 1978. "We were booked in Boston for the month of February, March and April in '78. And that virtually put my band out of business," he told WBZ NewsRadio. "Nothing else has even been close."
But Ouellette was well prepared for the drastic turn of events this time around. After a gig giving guitar lessons to soldiers in Afghanistan by video chat, he began making virtual teaching a regular part of his repertoire. Now, he says, he's an expert. "I'm 80% online with my consulting, my production, and my teaching, and I've been doing this since 2009. I have this perfected."
In addition to enacting standard precautions like regular hand washing and air circulation, Whole Music has begun to move their lessons online to assist with social distancing guidelines.
"At the studio we have about 100 people come in here on a weekly basis," Ouellette says. "And the past couple days, we're shifting all my teachers and all their teachers onto Skype."
WBZ NewsRadio's Drew Moholland (@DrewWBZ) reports: