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Don’t Waste a Good Emergency!

Don’t Waste a Good Emergency!


Musings From Parenting In Quarantine


     Like me, I know that you and your family are well into a reality that includes coronavirus, and probably some anxiety and uncertainty as well.

     For most of us, our children are in the lower risk category, which is a relief. Our society’s response is, quite properly, focused on preventing the spread of coronavirus to protect those who are at more risk, like grandparents, or those with weakened immune systems or complicating health risks.

     But now I’d like to invite you to contemplate another risk. NYC public schools are closed along with virtually all other New York schools, team sports, theatre programs, after school programs, and, well, almost every organized activity our kids were doing.

     So our kids suddenly have or may have much more free time.



What will happen if our kids (and us) don’t consciously plan ahead of time for this?

Answer: (for many of our families)

Netflix, Youtube, Snapchat, Instagram and Tiktok.


     Here are some questions to ask yourself or to discuss with your kids–along with the obvious logistical questions like “how will my kid eat lunch?” or “where will they be?”

  • Is there a way that this gift of time can be a good thing?
  • What kind of a schedule should my kids and family keep? For example, should the kids be sleeping in or keeping a regular schedule?
  • What goals do the kids have that they can accomplish during this time?
  • Will there be any changes in internet rules during this time?
  • Is this a chance for the kids to be “free-range” and find ways to amuse themselves?


     My kids’ school has been closed since Monday of last week. My wife is a teacher at that same school, so she’s also been home. She has preemptively shut down the home internet and phones until around 3pm on each day so far, and because she did it immediately using time that had previously been occupied by school, it was a relatively easy sell to my 16 and 13 year old daughters. I’ve been pleased to see them figuring out how to amuse themselves by reading, playing music, going for walks and even doing homework. (And yes, much homework involves computers, they just have to do that homework later in the day, just like they would on a normal school day.)

     She’s even been making sure they wake up at a relatively early time. 

     Paradise in quarantine? No! Everybody would much rather be in our normal routines. But all bad? No, not that either.

     Here’s a final question for you and your family:

  • Whose job is it to entertain and engage kids? Parents? Or the kids?


I wish you and your family all the best in the upcoming weeks.


On to greatness!

–Dan Emery

Founder, NYC Guitar School


P.S. As I, like many of you, have been striving to keep my business healthy, I’ve realized perhaps some of you might want the same kinds of activities I want for my homebound kids. Below are a few of the new programs our NYC Guitar School team is excited to share, with my kids and hopefully with one of yours!




Our camps have always been an incredible way for kids and teens to come together, meet new friends, and deepen their skills in music and life. Now they’re a way for your children to stay connected with other musicians virtually even though they can’t come together physically! Our VIRTUAL camps mix group learning with independent work and one-on-one coaching, all via Zoom video conferences. Camps mix group bonding and instruction via online video conference, independent and partner work, one-on-one virtual breakouts, and group recaps and shares. And since this is new to all of us, we’re offering these risk free—after the first day, drop for a 100% refund if it doesn’t seem right, if your internet goes out, or for any other reason! Here are the virtual camps we’re offering starting NEXT WEEK:


  • VIRTUAL BEGINNER GUITAR BOOT CAMP! Our boot camps are the best way for kids and teens to get started on guitar and now they can get started online in your home! Learn the basics of guitar playing, make friends and make music in this virtual camp modeled on NYC Guitar School’s legendary School Break Boot Camp. From holding a guitar to first chords and songs. With focused and FUN instruction from world class teachers, your child will end their week of Virtual Guitar Boot Camp with new friends, new skills, and able to keep the whole family entertained with live-from-your-living-room concerts! No prior guitar or music experience necessary! AND we will send you PDFs and practice along videos! Weekly, Monday-Friday 10-1pm (ages 8-14) or 2-5pm (ages 12-17), $150/week. 
  • VIRTUAL BAND CAMP WITH DYLAN CHARLES! There are two times a band is really tight — after a tour and after recording an album. We can’t go on tour right now but we can record an album! All you need is a smart phone, a computer and a set of headphones and you’re ready to rock! (If you have an iPhone you can do it all in one place with the free GarageBand app!) Your teacher will help you learn your parts via a virtual class using Zoom video chat, then you record your part using a simple voice memo app, GarageBand or whatever other recording equipment you may have at your disposal! Once you get your most awesome take, send it in to your teacher and they will put it together with the parts sent in from your other band mates and voila! Your band just made a record! This is an amazing way to practice, improve your playing, and collaborate with your fellow rock star students! Sign up today to get started! Weekly starting March 23rd, Monday-Friday 10-1pm (ages 8-14) or 2-5pm (ages 12-17), $150/week.
  • VIRTUAL ABLETON FOR SONGWRITING AND MUSIC PRODUCTION CAMP WITH SEAN MCCANN! Create and arrange your own beats, tracks and songs with the music production and composition software Ableton Live. If you’ve never used Ableton Live, this virtual camp will teach you the fundamentals of electronic music production. And if you already use Ableton Live, you’ll gain deeper knowledge about effects and mixing as you complete your own projects with lots of quality production time and positive coaching. March 23-27 Monday-Friday, 10am-3pm (ages 12-17, please have an Ableton equipped laptop, Ableton experience not necessary), $450/week



Looking for a way to stay busy and stay connected to the world while social distancing? Try a 1-on-1 online guitar, bass, ukulele, drum or voice lesson with one of our world class instructors for just $20! Same world class instruction, live from your living room!

Our world class instructors are still here to help you bond, share, and build your musical self and skills! Classes are available to drop in for a single class or as a series. 


Have any questions? Fill out my online form.


Take A Lesson!          Take A Class!


Dan Emery is dedicated to Coaching Personal Greatness, One Lesson At A Time. He is the founder of NYC's friendliest and fastest growing guitar schools, New York City Guitar School, Brooklyn Guitar School, Queens Guitar School and NYC Guitar School, East, and the author of the Amazon best-selling Guitar For Absolute Beginners and six other books on learning guitar and deliberate practice. He coaches new entrepreneurs through the Entrepreneurs Organization Accelerator program and especially enjoys helping other Educational Entrepreneurs. He has a Masters in Education from Columbia University Teachers College, extensive performing experience as songwriter and guitarist for The Dan Emery Mystery Band, a wife, three kids, a cat and some juggling equipment.


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