British and American Schools in Peru
The COVID-19 pandemic hit Peru particularly hard. With an academic year that runs from March to December, the March 2020 declaration of a world-wide pandemic had devastating impacts on this country. For students and their teachers, the crisis would result in two full academic years of online classes. In anticipation of a return to in-person learning after a two-year pause, Dr. Rodriguez was asked to present a virtual seminar titled: “Returning to Rehearsals: Strategies for Teaching in a Hybrid Mode” for band & orchestra music educators in Peru from December 6 – 7, 2021. Rafael presented the research available in the United States and studied the guidance provided by the Peruvian Ministry of Health to assist in preparing music directors for a return to rehearsals in 2022. This well-received seminar led to an invitation to visit Peru in May 2022 for a Concert Band Workshop featuring joint rehearsals and a live-streamed performance of a combined band from Markham College, the British School, and the Abraham Lincoln American School in Lima. Follow-up conversations with the host school music directors revealed that the workshop had a catalyzing effect in bringing students back from virtual learning, established high standards and expectations, and paid dividends in recruitment.