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Can you lend College Conservatory of Music students an instrument for practice?

Posted at 7:37 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 19:49:12-04

CINCINNATI - Two thoughts rushed through Yeonkyung Kim’s mind when the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music closed its doors in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The first thing was, 'Oh, I cannot practice,’” thought Kim, a doctoral student in piano performance at CCM. “Second was, ‘How do I teach?’”

With colleges across the country switching to online classes for the rest of the semester, some UC professors were pressed to figure out how to proceed with classes where students rely on equipment provided by the university.

Kim figured she was in double trouble.

“I’m an international student and I can’t afford to have a keyboard or a piano, so the school has been the only facility I can use,” Kim said.

Besides that, she also teaches a few piano classes. She was able to borrow a keyboard from the school, but 14 piano majors and dozens of non-majors in piano classes are left without a way to practice at home to finish the semester.

“They’re used to practicing six to eight hours a day and suddenly their companion is gone,” said Dr. Michelle Conda, head of Keyboard Division at CCM. “They’re at a loss. They need help.”

These musicians know there are more pressing issues during the coronavirus pandemic. But they say without any help, some won’t be able to study or even practice while school buildings are shut down.

“This is not any sort of life-or-death situation, but these are students’ education that they are investing a lot in,” said Kara Huber, a doctoral student in piano performance,

Michael Chertock, Professor of Piano at CCM, suggested a solution.

“If a person has a keyboard in their basement or their attic or maybe somebody’s room and it’s not being used, imagine what it would be like to have a really fantastic pianist working on that instrument,” said Chertock.

The school is hoping the community will lend some quality full-size keyboards with pedals and weighted keys so the students have a way to continue learning until the campus buildings reopen.

“We’re just hoping for the generosity of people to just let them borrow them until the crisis is over,” said Chertock.

“We’re looking for decent keyboards. I’m talking about keyboards with weighted keys, full-size, 88-key keyboard, with a pedal that you can pedal.”

If you can help, email

Find more coronavirus/COVID-19 hotlines and resources below:


  • Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 833-4-ASK-ODH
  • See ODH’s COVID-19 resources here.


  • State COVID-19 hotline: 1-800-722-5725
  • See the Cabinet for Health and Family Services coronavirus resource site here.


  • SDH Epidemiology Resource Center: (317) 233-7125 or (317) 233-1325 after hours, or e-mail
  • See more information for coronavirus in Indiana here.

What is coronavirus, COVID-19?

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are "a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

A novel coronavirus, such as COVID-19, is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has now been detected in 37 locations across the globe, including in the U.S., according to the CDC.

The CDC reports the initial patients in China have some link to a large seafood and live animal market, indicative of animal-to-person spread. A growing number of patients, however, did not report exposure to animal markets, indicating the disease is spreading person-to-person.

What are the symptoms? How does it spread?

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death, according to the CDC. Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath.

The CDC said symptoms could appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. It is similar to the incubation period for MERS.

Spread of the virus is thought to be mainly from person-to-person. Spread is between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet). Spread occurs via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

According to the CDC, it could be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, the CDC said.

The disease is most contagious when people are the sickest and showing the most symptoms.