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Last Look

Cello lesson at Glenmere Park

Professor Gal Faganel provides an outdoor lesson to UNC doctoral student Kelsey Smith at Glenmere Park in Greeley. Photo by Woody Myers

December 21, 2020

Music to His Ears

Professor Offers Individual Lessons in Park

Gal Faganel, a professor in the UNC School of Music, hadn’t seen his cello students in person since the university moved classes online in the spring due to COVID-19. Despite adapting to a virtual learning space, he still longed for side-by-side instruction with his students. It occurred to him that the outdoors could enable him to offer bonus lessons over the summer for his incoming and continuing students.

He arranged for individual hourlong lessons at the pavilion in Glenmere Park in Greeley. Students were asked to wear masks, and Faganel provided music stands and chairs kept at a distance as an additional precaution.

It’s been so successful that Faganel is toying with idea of incorporating some of the newfound hybrid teaching strategies into his regular curriculum when the pandemic ends. Regardless of the modality, Faganel strives for high-quality personalized instruction and creating a sense of family among his students.

“There’s this can-do attitude about this that we’re here for students and have a deep responsibility for that,” he said. “That’s what my mentors did for me.”

–Nate Haas ’04

 –Video by Andrew Warren