CLICKCOACH founder Christopher Ocasek

Following the well-established lead of online music-instruction sites for traditional-folk, pop, and rock music that are booming in the age of the pandemic, a nonprofit startup dubbed CLICKCOACH aims to build the same kind of success in the world of classical music, opera, jazz, and musical theater. The program launches Friday, Jan. 15, 2021.

French-American conductor and founder Christopher Ocasek describes his vision for the project:

It’s part of our fabric to hold each other up both on and off the stage. I forged CLICKCOACH to give us — the artists — a chance to be part of a community again, to support each other as we do when we’re face-to-face, and to help struggling artists through an unprecedented period of instability. With CLICKCOACH my hope is to create a trusted space to help each other not only financially, but also through sharing great information that’s never been brought together like this.”

The idea is for professional artists to upload 10–15-minute video discussions that “share their unique perspectives and real-world experience with musical advice, tips and tricks, and demonstrations on topics such as repertoire, musicology, technique and warm-ups, music history and composition, educational outreach, audition advice, mindful practice, improvisation, and much more,” according to a press release.

These low-cost, self-produced videos have the potential to generate an income stream for the professionals making them, while offering valuable information to budding artists and emerging professionals for a modest fee. The CLICKCOACH team collects, reviews, categorizes, polishes, and hosts the videos in their online library. 

Although the library is still in ramp-up mode, the initial content available for the launch was uploaded by an impressive range of artists, including mezzo-sopranos Jamie Barton, Briana Hunter, and Sasha Cooke; conductors James Gaffigan, Bill Eddins, Viswa Subbaraman, Amy Acklin, and Daniela Candillari; sopranos Lise Lindstrom, Leah Crocetto, Amanda Majeski, Janai Brugger, Sheri Greenawald, Irini Kyriakidou, Elena Tsallagova, and Indra Thomas; baritone Christopher Maltman; violinist Myroslava Khomik; horn player Claire Hellweg; stage directors E. Loren Meeker, Susan Stone Li, Corinne Hayes, Maria Todaro, Sara E. Widzer, and Matthew Ozawa; coach-conductors Martin Katz, Dan K. Kurland, Anthony Manoli, Alden Gatt, and Warren Jones; flutist Sarah Ouakrat; composers Jake Heggie, Christopher Theofanidis, and Ellen Taaffe-Zwilich; educator Rebecca Shorstein; tenors Nicholas Phan, Arturo Chacón-Cruz, Andres Acosta, and James Kryshak; diction coaches Nils Neubert and Hemdi Kfir;  jazz bassist Barry Stephenson; jazz trumpeter Alphonso Horne; jazz pianist Dave Linard; international musicologists Jean-Pascal Vachon and James Helgeson; and dramaturg Gretl Satorius, among others.

In an era when artists are struggling with isolation from audiences, mentors, and fellow professionals, CLICKCOACH offers a promising model for forging new connections.