MINNEAPOLIS, May 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- How can an elementary school music teacher make an impact on thousands of others during the COVID-19 stay-at-home crisis?
Hanover (Minnesota) Elementary School's music teacher Mary Bolton says, "I know how powerful music can be in someone's life and how much joy and positive energy it can add."
Mary's challenge during the pandemic period, like so many others, is how to stay true to her purpose while we are sheltered-in-place?
When Minnesota Governor Tim Walz shut down schools and ordered stay-at-home in mid-March, schools began distance learning shortly afterwards. While priority #1 is her daily teaching, Mary felt there was more impact that could be made to help others through music. As a lover of live music, and with live music venues now closed indefinitely, Mary took matters in her own hands, to lift the hearts and spirits of others and help them forget about their worries.
Starting Friday, March 20 at 8 pm, Mary began to broadcast live performances from her Orono home using the Facebook Live function from her page @MaryBoltonMusic. Mary said, "People miss going out and hearing live music. We're all stuck at home for the foreseeable future. But people can still enjoy live music. We just have to be a little more creative."
Performing on keyboard and vocals, Mary performs the songs of artists in the rock, country, folk and jazz genres. Since her first livecast - which Mary calls her #VirtualMusicParty - Mary has sung and performed eight consecutive Fridays at 8 pm, typically performing 12 to 15 songs. She has sung and performed music from over sixty artists.
Alex Divizio of Virginia, comments, "I love your style, Mary. You can sing everything from Andy Williams to Amy Winehouse."
Barb Piper of Northfield, MN says, "I like the whole family affair. Her husband and son support her. I enjoy the connecting of people from all over the country. I like that she is on the 'big stage' along with all the greats like Gaga, whomever is doing FB Live."
Orono, MN residents George and Jacki and Jones tune in weekly, too. Jacki says, "We look forward to the #VirtualMusicParty every week. Your voice brings us much happiness, Mary. Beautiful!" George comments, "Mary brings great joy to all her listeners. In these times, music is the best medicine."
Each hour-long #VirtualMusicParty is full of audience participation and engagement. Mary's husband, Chuck, serves as the behind-the-scenes emcee. He asks people to post where they are watching from and gives folks shout outs throughout the show. He interjects humor, banters back-and-forth with Mary and teases the audience to click "hearts for Mary" in order to hear more songs. He shares some fun facts about Mary, a segment he calls Something About Mary. Mary's biggest fans "share" her broadcast to their Facebook pages, so family and friends can view, resulting in each week's #VirtualMusicParty being seen by over 5000 people.
Mary's fans hail from across the US, with international viewers from Canada, Japan and Taiwan, also joining the fun.
During the COVID-19 crisis, with many suffering from fear, loneliness and grief, Mary Bolton is lifting hearts. She's living with purpose, passion and having a great impact on others during a time of need. At a time when we could all use a little more inspiration, she's bringing joy to young and old by sharing songs that inspire.
SOURCE Mary Bolton