1. Ensure safeguarding and Data protection for both you and your students.
It has been encouraging to see how quickly music teachers have responded to the COVID-19 restrictions and embrace teaching through online video platforms such as Zoom, Facetime and Skype, with Microsoft and Google now joining the ranks. When choosing an online platform with video and communication, it is important to consider safeguarding and data protection for both you and your students.
2. Approach online teaching different to onsite lessons, working from the strengths rather than the difficulties.
Unfortunately, our traditional teaching methods do not transfer well to video when we compare the strengths of onsite music lessons with the difficulties of online teaching. For greater success, it might be more productive to identify strengths, rather than problems with online delivery as you assess and transform your teaching methods to suit this new platform.
3. Online teaching encourages more autodidactic learning from the student, supported by the teacher. With appropriate planning, a teacher can confidently suggest and contribute valuable resources and appropriate repertoire to engage the learning between lessons.
Online teaching encourages more autodidactic learning from the student, supported by the teacher. No longer can the lesson be where the student shows up to be spoon-fed how to play a particular piece of music. Sound settings can be adjusted in many video platforms, although the diminished quality transferred between teacher and student requires that the student takes more responsibility in listening and adjusting to their sound and dynamics, again supported by effective questions by the teacher. The slight delay experienced in the video means that students and teachers can no longer play together, requiring the student to develop their own sense of pulse and fluency in their playing.
With appropriate planning, a teacher can confidently suggest and contribute valuable resources to support the progress between the lessons including Youtube and other online platforms that most students are already accustomed to using. Suggesting the appropriate repertoire will not only engage the student but with a slightly easier level will allows them to learn without the need for a teacher to demonstrate every bar for them.
4. Insist on the position of the camera to maximise the support you can offer to your student and consider the effectiveness of your own work station.
Insist on the position of the camera to maximise the support you can offer to your students. They do not necessarily need to see you when they play, turning towards the camera when in dialogue. We are accustomed to using technology while sitting, but teachers may wish to stand some of the time, contributing to their perceived enthusiasm and health benefits after continuous lessons delivered.
5. Your new and improved link with parents contribute to the value of your lessons.
Video lessons bring the music back into the home, with shared listening by supportive family members . Video lessons bring you in touch with the parents, who are eager to know how to support their child’s progress. Parents have an opportunity to listen in and appreciate the value of your teaching. Lessons at home will link more with their practice. No longer can the student use that well used phrase in lessons from the past, “I can play it much better at home” for which we teachers always knew what that meant.
6. Online lessons bring the music back into the home. Practice begins at home.
We are uncertain how COVID-19 will impact on the music sector long term, but we have been gifted with this opportunity to assess and transform effective ways for the next generation to value the impact of music on our lives.
MyMusicPB.com is a Virtual Music Teaching Studio for planning, scheduling, invoicing, note keeping and delivery of vocal and instrumental music lessons. MyMusicPB caters for both individual and group lessons in both onsite and safe and secure online video lessons. Linked to the student’s online, interactive music practice book and parent communication network, MyMusicPB will successfully manage and build your music teaching business with engaged students achieving their personal best.
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