During the last year and a half, COVID-19 has forced everyone to stay home and rethink their habits. This especially applied to music teachers, and students, who adapted to teaching and learning musical instruments from home. A good teacher that offers, for example, piano lessons for kids, understands well how to assess ability and adjust instruction accordingly in person. But these things that come naturally to teachers in person can be challenging to adapt to online and virtual music lessons. Luckily, there are a few easy things that teachers and students can do to reinforce the effectiveness and productivity of their virtual music lessons. Whether you’re looking for piano lessons for kids, or another kind of instrument instruction, as a parent, you can look for these effective strategies from your Lessons in Your Home teacher, and help your child improve their virtual lessons.
Technology Tips for Teachers
While adapting to going completely virtual in teaching can be daunting, there are some easy ways that students can learn effectively through the use of technology.
- Use a real computer- Even young kids are well-versed with their own tablets and, sometimes, even phones, using a computer during your teaching lessons will give students a better perspective of you as their piano teacher, and your surroundings. This allows you to tailor your environment to your student, creating an effective, engaging learning experience virtually.
- Double-Check your Internet Connection- Whether or not you’re teaching piano lessons for kids, or you’re on a Zoom call with your relatives, there’s one thing that can ruin any virtual meeting, and that’s connectivity issues. Testing your internet connection prior to any lessons will save you time and ensure a pleasant session.
- Headphones for Everyone- In addition to connectivity issues, sound-related issues can be disruptive during lessons. To avoid hearing that fire truck going by, or a baby crying in the next room, it’s best if everybody involved in the lesson wears headphones.
- Speak Slowly- Virtual meetings and lessons involve some adjustments, and that includes the way we speak to one another. It’s easy to speak quickly when you’re talking to a familiar person, but virtually there are too many things that could go wrong when not taking the time and care to speak slowly. It will save you time in the long run and help your students’ comprehension.
- Choose the Best Platform- Zoom and Skype seem to be the most popular options for online music lessons for kids and daily meetings, but both have benefits and limitations. Consider your priorities and budget before choosing and sticking to one platform.
- Accept Digital Payments- This one might seem like a no-brainer, but when going virtual for music lessons, it’s crucial to make sure your digital payment options are set up. Using PayPal or Zelle are two options that open your virtual lessons up to the world.
Tips for Being a Good Virtual Student
- Don’t be shy- In order to help you achieve your musical goals, teachers need to be able to see your face, hands, and instruments to advise on techniques and placements. It’s ok to be nervous as you adapt to this new environment- but your teachers are here to help you!
- Check Your Tech- Just like teachers, students also need to make sure there are no connectivity issues prior to starting their class. This will ensure a smooth and uninterrupted lesson. On the checklist of items to test prior to class are the internet connection, the camera, and the microphone location on your device. Making sure your microphone isn’t too close or far away will help your instructor give you the best feedback possible.
- Make Sure your Device is Charged- Sometimes we log on to our meetings, and are so focused on what we’re about to do that we forget to check the battery life of our device! Make sure that this is taken care of prior to your lesson so you don’t have to interrupt your teacher to grab a charger.
When both students, teachers, and parents are aware of the easy things they can do to make virtual music lessons more effective and productive, everyone reaps the benefits. Thanks to virtual music lessons, your kids don’t have to delay or pause their progress, but get to continue doing what they love – playing music!