Q: What happens when you mix musicians with a stay at home order?
16 year old Henry M Gunn High School student Julia Segal was feeling restless, but not as restless as her 10 year old sister who was spending quarantine sprinting around the house and bothering their working parents.
Segal, who started singing at an early age, decided distraction in the form of music lessons was much needed. What started as a small singer-songwriter class for her sister and her elementary school friends, has quickly grown into a new venture called Quarantunes — a global community of musicians teaching all sorts of music lessons to all sorts of audiences. Since its inception a little over two weeks ago, Quarantunes has connected over 40 musicians from across the United States and around the world to anybody between the ages of four to fourteen who want to learn a breadth of instruments: voice, piano, guitar, you name it.
“It’s [Quarantunes] a new thing,” Segal explained. “It’s virtual; there shouldn’t be boundaries, why can’t someone from another country learn too?”
Growing up around music, Segal has met kids from all across the Bay Area and country who share her passion. Now, more than ever, this network of musicians has come in handy. Recruiting band mates, old camp friends, and everyone in between, Segal was able to form an army of singers, performers, and other musicians who now teach for Quarantunes.
However, Quarantunes does not only offer music lessons, but are working to build a broader mission and community. The lessons are free. Segals reasoning for this has been twofold: with each lesson comes a recommended donation of at least $20 to their GoFundMe page for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Foundation. Additionally, the lessons have remained free due to a partnership with Solnote — a group dedicated to providing music lessons for children who would otherwise not be able to afford them.
“Solnote had to temporarily close its doors due to Coronavirus, but we were able to step in and fill the void,” Segal said. “Because our lessons were already free, we didn’t have to change any sort of business model to help these kids out. It actually helped strengthen our mission.”
Partnering with Solnote, Quarantunes has been able to grow their lesson base while also helping kids in need. To date, the Quarantunes website has registered over 150 lessons — a number that keeps rising over the weeks.
“I really had no idea it would take off as it has. The growth has been amazing but definitely overwhelming,” Segal said.
Beyond just the lesson experience, Segal is investing in ways to further engage the musical community that Quarantunes has become. Through a new schedule of MasterClasses, Segal is opening up workshops taught by Quarantune teachers for Quarantune teachers. Additionally, their website will soon be expanding to add podcast and blog sections, creating an even broader space for musical genius.
In terms of balance, Segal has found that she lately has very little. It seems to be music, music, music for the 16 year-old.
“My walks are usually filled with phone calls and endless emails, but the positive feedback has been so inspiring,” Segal said, “Why should we stop now? We’re growing a musical movement.”
Please visit the Quarantunes website for more information and sign ups: https://www.quarantunes.site/
Additionally, please consider contributing to their GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/quarantuneslessons