CINCINNATI — The COVID-19 pandemic forced school districts across the country to cancel their usual spring concerts, plays and musicals in favor of quarantining safely at home, so Cincinnati Public Schools is giving its students a new way to perform. They don’t have to leave their homes to do it.
Music teacher Lederrick Wesley is leading the district’s new initiative, “Concerts on the Couch.”
His idea is simple: Instead of inviting a large audience to one physical location to watch students perform, invite them to the hashtag #CPSConcertOnTheCouch.
“I think the arts, in general, still speak whether you’re at home or school,” Wesley said. “So it’s up to the teacher to kind of make it all come together. It’s a little bit different, but it still comes together.”
He encouraged parents to use the hashtag while uploading videos of their children singing, playing an instrument, reading a favorite book or sharing another artistic talent online.
“This is a way to keep students engaged and to help their self esteem during this really, really difficult period,” said Isidore Rudnick, the district’s fine arts curriculum manager.
The scheduled “virtual performances” will be at 6:30 p.m. on April 16 and April 30, so clips should go up then for maximum visibility.
The district says parents need to be the ones posting videos and they can upload those performances to Twitter or Facebook using the hashtags #CPSConcertOnTheCouch and #IAMCPS.