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This is how Soli continues teaching music despite closing its doors. (Mike Nosek-Essex Reporter)


The commercial space at 217 Pearl Street is available to lease, but that doesn’t mean that its previous tenants are out of business.


Heading into its 50th anniversary slated for 2021, Soli Music -- previously named Contois School of Music -- is moving to a remote, online way of teaching aspiring musicians and more seasoned artists looking to improve their skills.


Soli is now able to utilize Google Classroom for children in grades K-12. In conjunction with its Soli Music G-suite account, the school can provide students with its digital media library which houses more than 20 years of digital sheet music, custom song charts and audio tracks, and instructional videos.


While co-owner Dave Contois has been teaching music through videoconferencing for about three years, he’s now taken it to a different level with what Soli provides.


“I've basically started an online school district,” said Contois. “All the kids get their first name-last name at solimusic.com. I'm the IT manager. I control everything that goes through here. The parents get email summaries, I see every assignment that goes through from every instructor, I can chime in and add stuff. They have their own YouTube channel. I mean, it's just really, really cool. We can control it just like a school district can control their security.”


Contois and crew saw the writing on the wall in March and shut down their Pearl Street location about a week before school buildings were closed as parents started to get worried. Contois is in the process of building a recording studio in his townhouse, but all of the school’s instructors will be moving forward with teaching from af