Teen Musicians Spend Quarantine Giving Kids Free Music Lessons Online

Home quarantined, like everyone else, 16-year-old Gunn High Junior, Julia Segal, started up QuaranTunes - an online platform providing free music lessons to younger kids - to pass the time, as well as raise funds to fight the pandemic.

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(Photo: Screenshot from Quaran Tunes site.)

As Segal, who has trained in classical piano for the past 13 years and is the lead singer and songwriter of Reverie, watches her 10-year-old sister, Victoria, she noticed how easy it is for children to get restless from being cooped up if they are not constantly occupied or doing something productive.

With this, she came up with a plan to share her music and teach others - especially younger kids - virtually.

A couple of weeks into the California statewide stay-home order, Segal conducted a song-writing class via Zoom - as a favor to her mother's friend - for 40 elementary school children in Los Altos. The class was successful, and the children were enthusiastic about learning online.

Seeing the positive results from her previous online class, Segal pitched her plan in building a virtual music lessons platform with her music-loving friends. In Segal's delight, the response was overwhelming.

With her friends basing as teachers, Segal created the website QuaranTunes only within 48 hours.

QuaranTunes is an online platform where teenagers such as Segal - mostly from schools around the Bay Area - volunteer to teach music lessons to younger kids for free. All donations will go straight to the CDC Foundation to fight the pandemic.

Stanford-bound Naama Bejerano, 17, senior at Gunn who plays the flute and has performed in Carnegie Hall, is the Chief Operating Officer of the site.

According to her, QuranTunes, like most websites, started small and has grown globally. Segal also noted that some of their students were from the East Coast, Europe, and India.

Bejerano added that it does not matter whether you are anywhere in the world. As long as you have the resources, you can participate in either being a teacher or as a student.

According to Segal, they were already happy with having 6 lessons per day. However, in the next few days, their customer base exploded. And just about last week, almost 100 classes were scheduled.

Segal proudly mentioned their teachers are the most passionate and talented musicians that their students will ever meet. At present, they have 40 teachers roughly.

A musician like his wife, Mel Guymon of Los Altos Hills, has three daughters who take lessons in QuaranTunes. 

His daughter, Zoe, 9, took a drum lesson from Brindha Jaeger, a Junior at Gunn and a member of Reverie. While his other daughter, Madeleine, 11, took a cello lesson from Caroline Chen, a Gunn sophomore, that he oversaw.

Guymon said that his daughters enjoy the lessons. He added that his daughters are comfortable taking lessons from teachers that are much closer to their age.

QuaranTunes offers lessons in the bass, cello, clarinet, drums, flute, guitar, introduction to music production, piano/music theory, songwriting/composition, viola, violin, voice, and ukelele.

The scheduled lesson hours from Monday to Friday are from 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. PST (12:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. ET) And Saturday to Sunday is from 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m (3:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. ET) .

Currently, the fundraising effort for QuaranTunes already surpassed $1,000.

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