Amid social distancing, parks, sports fields and gyms that were once bustling are now empty as youth sports practices and adult workouts happen at home with a combination of live and recorded instruction. Even local music lessons have gone virtual.
Using Zoom, Facebook Live, Instagram and YouTube, local instructors have pivoted business models quickly to stay relevant while keeping people in shape and skills sharp.
Rhapsody School of Music is a few weeks into its virtual lessons, and while teachers and students have had to adapt to some hiccups, for the most part things are going well.
“Teachers are staying engaged, our students are still learning, and the most important thing to us is being accomplished: Music is continuing on in the homes of our students,” said Brian Kunnari, the school’s marketing and communications director. “We are going to call that a win in today’s world.”
Local trainer Frankie Carman of Frankie’s Fitness began posting online videos for all ages and fitness levels to encourage families to get moving together during the pandemic.
“The thought of families being pent up together in their household without an outlet to exercise kills me, so I wanted to offer these sets of videos for free so that everyone can join in on the fun,” Carman said. “I’ve been able to reach families that I’ve never met before and they’re loving the workouts so far.”
Youth sports clubs, unable to host camps, clinics, private lessons and tournaments, are trying to keep players active.
9R Baseball Club offers training videos on its YouTube channel, Zoom and other social media outlets. The videos are available to anyone “as a free service to help as many athletes as possible stay active in baseball,” said owner Fred Speck. “It’s really been more about goodwill during this time.”
The New Way?
Business owners say the shift online has opened new possibilities for their businesses that might stick even after social-distancing measures are lifted.
9Rs Baseball has been using social media as a way to expand its reach and promote services when it is safe to open back up. “I think we will continue to use the other resources
that have come as a result of these changes as well,” Speck said.
Rhapsody is currently exploring what the summer programming could look like, and how performance ensembles could continue from home, along with the virtual lessons, Kunnari said.
True Fitness owner Gina Quinn is looking to keep virtual training as part of their program. “We are working on fine tuning our virtual training to bring more professional-grade training to our clients,” Quinn said. “We do see a silver lining in the crisis.”
Creative Virtual Finds
Whether you’re looking to keep your skills or strength sharp, or try something new during COVID-19, In&Out Magazine has compiled a list of creative virtual options in our area to keep you active, entertained and engaged.
9R Baseball posts a 30–day skills challenge on YouTube and Facebook, with drill videos produced by the coaching staff, available to anyone.
As You Wish Pottery provides pottery and canvas projects kits for kids and adults available for pick–up within 24 hours of online purchase.
Core 5 Flag Football has a private, virtual training Facebook group page for families to stay active with drill videos to practice at home or outside with physical distancing.
Fit4Mom offers virtual versions of their five prenatal and postnatal fitness programs for moms and their little ones. Membership includes unlimited workouts (up to 14 per week), virtual play–dates with the kids (five per week) and weekly virtual “mom’s night” without the kids.
$29/Month during social distancing
Frankie’s Fitness offers free online videos each week on Facebook and YouTube for all ages and fitness levels. A more extensive program, personal training and nutritional coaching sessions are all available through the Zoom app (price varies).
Jabz Boxing Happy Valley hosts daily live-stream boxing classes led by trainers, plus video workout routines for members to do on their own time.
$40/Two weeks; First week free for new members
Mountainside Fitness offers free at–home daily workouts and live Facebook group classes to the public.
MudPie Studios presents “art to go,” a complete project including a piece of pottery or ceramics of choice, three colors of paint and brushes delivered to your door for free within 15 miles. Ready–to–paint canvases are also available.
Musical Theatre of Anthem moved its Minis program for ages 3–5 to Zoom classes and the organization recently held a virtual talent showcase. Jackie Hammond, the producing artistic director, is personally offering one–on–one acting and vocal lessons, as well as audition-feedback workshops.
No Limits Karate Academy started a private group Facebook page for students to continue to receive training online.
Plant Bar AZ offers free porch delivery anywhere in the Valley and pickup options on at–home planting kits, including a DIY terrarium and a “plant adventure” kit with tools to decorate and plant a terracotta pot with paint, rocks and a mystery succulent. Tutorial videos available online to assist with both kits.
Red Effect Norterra welcomes the public to join its studio with $0 down for daily group virtual fitness classes, ranging from high interval intensity training to yoga and barre, until the studio opens back up and membership charges resume.
Rhapsody School of Music shifted to Zoom online music lessons. Tuition includes 30–minute private instruction on a weekly basis for nearly every instrument. During this time, the standard registration fee has been waived and the first lesson is free. The online retail store is also operating with free same–day delivery on phone and online purchases of instruments, accessories and sheet music to homes within a 10–mile radius of Anthem.
True Fitness programs home workouts via Facebook Live six days a week led by trainers using weights and heavy household items such as gallon water jugs, broomsticks and even pillows.