"Everybody can be great ... because anybody can serve. ... You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." ---- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
It’s hard to believe that QuaranTunes’ musical network and services started less than two years ago. In 2021, so many things were accomplished, from raising thousands of dollars for charity to recruiting 100+ new teachers.
For CEO Julia Segal, one of the most prominent achievements in 2021 was turning QuaranTunes into an organization that could support itself, especially since many of the original founding members went to college.
"It's just been so incredible to see QuaranTunes working pretty much entirely like a well-oiled machine"
“We had a concern that we had created and fostered such an amazing organization where so many people are benefiting, but like once some of the founding members left, it would die down,” founder Julia Segal said.
In QuaranTunes’ beginnings, as the founder, Segal was involved with everything, from writing blog posts to emailing news outlets to responding to emails for new events. Now, Segal can step back from all these roles and oversee the big picture of the organization.
“For me, it's just been so incredible to see QuaranTunes working pretty much entirely like a well-oiled machine,” Segal said. “I think we also did a lot to make sure that people who joined the board were super committed and … take a lot of initiative so I think that once we created a good board application process and built a team of really committed people.”
The last Board meeting of the winter 2021 term happened on Jan. 9.
First row: Sola Long, Ajin Jeong, Divya Mathur, Lisa Kopelnik
Second row: Julia Segal, Laura Ni (Chief of Staff secretary), Liam Quinn, Eunice Cho
Third row: Angela Gao, Erin Kim, Simren Kochhar, Helena Warner
Fourth row: Rebekah Bodner
COO Lisa Kopelnik echoed Segal’s sentiments.
“I think we've moved into this era where creativity is the most important thing,” Kopelnik said. “In order to keep expanding, we have to come up with creative projects and take new initiative.”
"I think we've moved into this era where creativity is the most important thing"
QuaranTunes is planning to expand by creating in-person music lessons.
“I think we can definitely take advantage of … having kids play at a senior home, actually going into classrooms, doing live classes, things like that,” Kopelnik said. “[A] room for growth for next year would be capitalizing off this like in-person and also virtual world that we have right now and working on making QuaranTunes more accessible and even more expansive than it is now.”
Each Chief was asked to reflect on 2021 and new goals for the new year as the winter term comes to a close. Continue reading to learn more!
Sola Long - Chief of Staff
Sola Long is proud of all of the Chiefs and their achievements this term.
“I think just the fact that we've been able to get through with everyone going back to school [and many on] the board were new Chiefs,” Long said. “[They were trained] and [I made] sure everyone could work together and [hold] QuaranTunes together as an organization.”
For Long, the biggest takeaway from being Chief of Staff is teamwork.
“It's gonna sound kind of cliche, but I think as the Chief of Staff, [it was] just listening to all the different creative ideas from each of the committee's and making sure they get executed [and the] collaborative spirit within the board,” Long said.
She is very excited about the substantial progress being made on turning QuaranTunes into an official 503(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Advantages would include exemptions from certain taxes and the ability to accept donations that are tax-deductible.
“We have been working on it for quite a while and it's just a lot of legal paperwork,” Long said. “But once we've hit that goal, we'll [also] be able to host a lot of masterclasses and join shows and … opportunities we didn't have before."
Erin Kim - Chief Communications Officer
Pictured is the most recent December newsletter
Erin Kim has created and sent out newsletters every month to the QuaranTunes community since July. Inspired by the work she does as a member of her school’s weekly newspaper production team, Kim created a new feature for the QuaranTunes newsletters this past term.
“Something really fun that [the production team does] is including a little funny message on the top right corner next to date and volume of the paper each week,” Kim said. “So I've started doing something similar to the QuaranTunes newsletters by adding a short positive message at the beginning of each newsletter. And I think it adds a sweet little touch like a cherry on the top.”
"Each time I send out a newsletter, I always get some kind of positive text from the board members"
In addition, Kim is proud that all of her newsletters have been timely and sent out on the last day of each month.
“The feedback has been super positive, which makes me really happy,” Kim said. “Each time I send out a newsletter, I always get some kind of positive text from the board members.”
The Communications Committee is crucial for QuaranTunes to maintain its connection with the community, and Kim is appreciative of their work throughout the term.
“My committee members have been super responsive and [sent] really kind responses to our students and parents,” Kim said. “So I'm really grateful that I have such a great committee to lead.”
Eunice Cho - Chief Technical Officer
Eunice Cho manages the website that showcases all the services and achievements of QuaranTunes. With 12,100 unique site visits and 2291 subscribers (325 from last year), the QuaranTunes website had a successful 2021.
Cho considered the future of the website, even beyond the circumstances caused by the pandemic.
“My goals for maintaining the website in 2022 would be to help shift our organization’s purpose from that of helping students during a pandemic to just providing lessons to anyone who needs help,” Cho wrote. “While the pandemic and quarantine was a very important factor in starting the organization, as we are emerging from it, we want to make it clear that we are providing lessons to students in any circumstances, and we want to continue our organization even in a time where we will no longer have to have virtual lessons.”
Divya Mathur - Chief Teacher Coordinator
Instagram post for the merch design competition
About 110 new teachers joined QuaranTunes in 2021. As Chief Teacher Coordinator, Divya Mathur helps these teachers settle in.
"It was really nice to meet all the new people,” Mathur said. “I think the best part for me is after I would interview them and go through the whole orientation process with them, I see them [being active] on a GroupMe and then I eventually see them all over QuaranTunes, taking part in these leadership opportunities and it was really cool to see how interested these new teachers are.”
With more than 500 teachers, it can be daunting for some to navigate this huge community. As a result, Mathur has worked on teacher bonding activities.
“We've been on pause for finals weekend, winter break, and everything because everyone was going to be out but I'm really excited to pick that up in 2022,” Mathur said. “[The teacher bonding activities are] basically just like a big zoom meeting led by the board members and head teachers. And you have really cool interactive activities online, just to get to know … to know other teachers [and] feel more included.”
"I think the best part for me is after I would interview them and go through the whole orientation process with them, I see them ... all over QuaranTunes, taking part in these leadership opportunities"
To increase teacher participation, a merch design competition was held last November.
“The design is just being finalized in the next couple of days (as of Jan. 6),” Mathur said. “Then I'm going to send it out [and] the board's gonna vote on it. Then we'll add it to merch like T-shirts, shirts, sweatshirts, and stuff. It may be given out as prizes [during] extra bonding activities.”
Helena Warner - Chief Creative Arts Coordinator
Creative arts class offerings during August and September 2021
This is Helena Warner’s second term as Chief Creative Arts Coordinator, and as it is coming to an end, she is thankful for the skills she learned through the experience.
“I learned how important my time management was … [and I] had to be a little bit more certain,” Warner said. “And I'm very glad I learned that skill because … it'll … help me get a little more confident.”
Warner reflected on the creative arts classes that were offered in last August and September.
“The only thing is we wish we had more signups because there were a few classes that didn't get very many signups and so they weren't able to teach effectively,” Warner said. “All the teachers said that teaching and the classes went well and the parents generally enjoyed the classes.”
Before the next round of creative arts classes can proceed though, a new Chief and creative arts committee would need to be appointed for this year.
“I'm excited to see what they're gonna do with the creative arts program … [and] how it will develop,” Warner said.
Ajin Jeong - Chief Media Coordinator
Ajin Jeong is in her second term as Chief Media Coordinator and will continue to be Chief for this year. Her growth in the position throughout last year is evident.
“The time management was a little bit difficult [before], but … because this was my second term, [and] because I have [more] experience from the last term, I was more confident with my job,” Jeong said.
She was proud of being consistent with Teacher of the Month profile videos and launching the Student of the Month series last year.
“I really love those videos. I was able to continue [TOTM] all through the term. [But] … Student of the Month is not consistent yet. I'm still trying to look for students and [determining] how to choose a student.”
For 2022, Jeong wants to collaborate more with other committees.
“[For] the campaigns that I've tried to do this term, I haven't gotten a lot of participation in them. I would like to work with the marketing team and … get more people engaged in QuaranTunes.”
Check out all the unique 2021 Teacher of the Month and Student of the Month videos here:
February - Zachary Chang-Otañez
March - Joey Karz
April - Erica Contreras
May - Divya Mathur
June - Sophie Lamm
July - Lisa Kopelnik
August - Colin Satzgaber
September - Julia Segal
October - Lali Ghate
October (student) - Tamara Yasin
December - Laura Ni
Rebekah Bodner - Chief Event Coordinator
Many events kicked off during 2021 and contributed to QuaranTunes' mission to give back to the community and spread musical passions.
Out of all the events that the Event Committee organized in 2021, Rebekah Bodner’s favorite is the summer camp.
“[It] was so much fun to work with the camp director (Sophie Lamm) to try to plan and coordinate and then being able to see the kids and how happy they were and how successful it was,” Bodner said.
Bodner enjoyed working with the committee members.
“They're very hardworking … and each of them has a great deal of knowledge in the area in which they're working," Bodner said. "It's really helpful to have various people with contacts in various places to help support workshops and masterclasses and get more people involved.”
"Being able to ... learn a bit more about the business side of the music industry than just the musical side was very valuable"
For Bodner, learning about artist management and the roles managers play in musicians’ careers was eye-opening.
“I've been working with various managers to set up workshops and masterclasses with various musicians that are a big part of the music industry,” Bodner said. “Being able to see through that lens and learn a bit more about the business side of the music industry than just the musical side was very valuable.”
One example is the John Beasley workshop series, when the committee got in touch with Lorna Chiu, the musician’s manager.
“She was able to you know, provide me with a lot of resources and information when it comes to learning about the various roles she plays in John's career and how influential one person can be to a greater community,” Bodner said. “She expressed how passionate she was about music herself.”
There are many more events to look forward to in 2022. Bodner projects new creative arts masterclasses coming in the next few months and another summer camp, whose dates should be up around April. Stay tuned and subscribe to our newsletter for updates!
Liam Quinn - Chief Finance Officer
Left: Eshan Gupta
Right: Liam Quinn
Liam Quinn will be leaving the Chief Finance Officer position for the next term. A big focus in 2021 was making QuaranTunes a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
“We’re almost done with the 501(c)(3) process!” Quinn wrote. “We only have one form left and then we will be finished. However, since I will be stepping down as CFO, it will be up to Eshan [Gupta] (our new CFO) to see it through to the finish line.”
Quinn had high praise for Gupta’s contributions and appreciates him for stepping in when responsibilities increased.
“He has been on the fundraising committee for a year now, and we worked together when I was still on the nonprofit committee,” Quinn wrote. “He’s an absolutely fantastic person, and I couldn’t be happier to pass on the role of CFO to him. I’ve dealt with some personal issues over the past few months that have prevented me from getting as much done as I would like, but Eshan has done an amazing job of helping ensure that QuaranTunes remains stable despite the stresses of transitioning from a time where most of us are forced to stay at home … to a time where we’re basically all back to our normal lives filled with time-consuming responsibilities.”
"It’s been an overwhelming time for everyone in the midst of COVID, but the people at QuaranTunes have worked hard as a team to make everyone’s job a little bit easier"
Being a Chief can be overwhelming because of the many expectations and responsibilities. As a result, Quinn learned how crucial good teamwork and stress management is.
“I think the most valuable thing I’ve learned over the past term is to reach out for help when you need it,” Quinn wrote. “It’s been an overwhelming time for everyone in the midst of COVID, but the people at QuaranTunes have worked hard as a team to make everyone’s job a little bit easier.”
Ever since QuaranTunes started, about $65,000 was raised for charity. The next goal for 2022, set by Gupta, is to raise that amount to $100,000 by the end of the year. Another future plan is to direct funds into QuaranTunes to expand programs like masterclasses and instrument donations.
Click on any of the fundraisers below to learn more and donate!
Simren Kochhar - Chief Outreach Officer
Simren Kochhar and the Outreach Committee have been busy sending cold emails and coordinating partnerships with the community to expand QuaranTunes.
“One of the projects … got finalized like at the end of [the winter] term,” Kochhar said. “It was a partnership with the new community class center [near Richmond, California]. We gave them instruments for the kids who didn't have them and then we're gonna start teaching them one-on-one [with instruments like the guitar and bass]. We're starting off with a small group of kids. We donated a guitar to one kid there.”
Kochhar will be Chief next term as well. The next goal would be finding more people to donate instruments to. Spreading the word proved to be a challenge.
“One of the problems we ran into this term is that people aren't filling out the form to receive instruments and aren't responding when we post on social media,” Kochhar said. “We want to start reaching out to more places to find people who need the instruments. This term, we contacted a lot of schools, but mostly over email, and they weren't very responsive. And so this year, [we will try over] the phone and that'll probably lead to … a higher response rate.”
Angela Gao - Chief Marketing Officer
Instrumentions helped introduce different kinds of instruments and teachers to our Instagram audience to increase interest in our activities.
For Angela Gao, being in charge of QuaranTunes’ marketing doesn’t mean creating the typical campaigns, but being in charge of how the organization’s stories are represented.
“As Chief Marketing Officer, I'm not just thinking about purely marketing aspects, but how to represent and bring forth the best image of our teams, our teachers, and the work that we're doing,” Gao said.
Last year, Gao worked with different departments to increase QuaranTunes’ outreach.
“I brainstormed with the Chief Teacher Coordinator (Divya Mathur) to [unite] our … [teachers],” Gao said. “I've worked with the Chief Technical Officer to make our website more popular, [with SEO] keywords. I think another way to put it is like, my role is one gear in this whole machine of QuaranTunes.”
"As Chief Marketing Officer, I'm not just thinking about purely marketing aspects, but how to represent and bring forth the best image of our teams, our teachers, and the work that we're doing"
One new project she helped launch was Instrumention, where different instruments and teachers were featured in a series of Instagram posts that continued from March to June 2021. This was a helpful way for the audience to get to know what QuaranTunes has to offer to students and teachers.
“It was really great to dig into these instruments because I'm a singer [and besides the piano], … I'm not really well versed in the other instruments,” Gao said. “It was just really interesting to begin getting more teachers [this way].”
Gao hopes that the future Chief Marketing Officer would continue to focus on growing QuaranTunes’ online presence and network this year. This would involve more cold-emailing and cold-calling different news organizations and schools for collaborations.
“I think like it would be great to get like a comprehensive list of like loyal networks that would be willing to work with us more often because right now, we have several networks that have worked with us,” Gao said. “But I think to republish articles with them and … get that like engagement, would be something that would be valuable. … It would be great to get more schools to respond and then get those schools to continuously collaborate with us. [For] news networks, would be more efficient if we could just have that go-to person to write or a go-to group of writers.”
Thank you to the Board, committee members, and head teachers for their passion and hard work, as well as QuaranTunes’ growing student and teacher network that allows all of this magic to happen. And thank you to QuaranTimes readers for supporting the work of authors Roo Joshi, Catherine Wang, and Angelina Ge.
Please subscribe to QuaranTimes and newsletter for more insights into our amazing community and what it has to offer. Cheers to a year ahead full of new successes and Happy MLK Day!