Richmond teacher moves summer musical classes online

While the theatrical industry has taken a massive hit because of the pandemic, a Richmond instructor is not letting COVID-19 stop him from planning this summer’s musical courses for his students.

Like other teachers who are busy exploring new ways to embrace online learning, Richmondite Perry Ehrlich has also moved his musical classes online for the first time in 25 years.

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 “There are many other schools that provide virtual classes, but there is no human interaction. We hope to create a program filled with fun, creativity and excitement,” said Ehrlich, stressing that it’s going to be a positive experience.

As a local lawyer by day and a musical impresario at night and on weekends, Ehrlich has been leading hundreds of young talents to gather at the Jewish Community Centre each summer for Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance! – an intensive musical theatre training camp created and directed by Ehrlich since the mid-1990s.

However, the long-standing tradition has been altered a bit because of COVID-19.

Ehrlich and other instructors have been busy working tirelessly over the past few weeks to transition their students from classrooms to online courses for this upcoming summer.

“We are excited about the online program, although it’s much harder work for the faculty. It requires much more preparation and I was given the options – should I do something or do nothing,” said Ehrlich.

“I decided that I wanted to do something.”

He added that he hopes students will be thankful when they see a detailed list of classes they are being offered.

Music and dance are like therapy during this daunting time, and Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance! welcomes people of different skill levels and experiences to join, according to Ehrlich.

Each class will start with a free good morning show, which encourages students to participate in vocal and dance warm-ups under the guidance of teachers while learning about more hot topics and musical theatre tips.

“We should be able to do things that are either going to inspire our brains or do well for our bodies... We will have a lot of fun together through Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance!,” said Ehrlich.

The Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance! program will begin on July 6.

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