Why Our Virtual Lessons Are Working
Three weeks ago, 100% of our Lessons In Your Home and Music In Your School sessions went Virtual, and we moved to Online Lessons. While we’ve taught a number of students online for the last 8 years, most of our staff had a limited amount of experience teaching lessons through this medium before March. This transition was scary, to say the least. In addition to being committed to the students we teach as our central mission, we also were concerned for our staff, as this is what our teachers do for a living. Needless to say, there were a lot of different emotions moving through our team as we transitioned. We’re proud of the work we did to get here, but more proud to say our Virtual Music Lessons are working.
Online Lessons Are Working!
Members of our staff who were familiar with teaching online immediately became coaches to teachers who hadn’t. We did lots of staff-wide and individual crash courses in best practices and technology. We composed new how-tos, and shared new and old LIYH articles, like “Younger Beginners Online”, “10 Things to do Online Today”, “21st Century Teaching”, and more. And we heightened all communication channels so we could actively be part of creating solutions. This concentrated attention on resources and making sure our teachers had support contributed to the success of our transition. Thankfully, though, our staff of instructors is an expert group at teaching their instruments and subject matter, so we were able to focus on virtual logistics and help with that area most.
Week 1 – A Whole New World
Not a lot of sleep happened on our end in Week One. Yes, these are only music lessons, which are far from the most important worry in our country amidst social distancing and COVID-19 fears, but in our world, our students and families are extremely important. You are our students, and teaching is “what we do”. In Week One, we presented options to heighten safety for students and teachers school-wide. From there, we started tailoring individual plans to every teacher and family, one-by-one. Our initial school-wide coordination took lots of phone time, communication, and education to successfully introduce ways to transition, given our quickly changing lesson environment.
Week 2 – Shelter in Place – 100% Online Learning
Week Two brought new challenges, as instead of a suggestion, we now had orders. Non-essential workers could not be in social contact, so that meant remaining in person lessons had to move online immediately. This implementation is not something traditional music teachers are trained for, as part of the tradition is a one-on-one meeting once per week – normally in person. Even though your school Director is experienced and qualified to run a school of music teachers, Week Two was tough, given our foundational processes were uprooted.
Week 3 and beyond – Why Our Virtual Lessons Are Working
As the world changes, and we continue to adapt, what doesn’t change is the real reason our music lessons work in any day and age. We love and care for our students, and it’s not about the specific topics we cover, as crazy as that sounds. It’s about our connection to our students and the families we work with. It’s the chat we have with the mother of a 7-year-old guitar student about a tricky song and how we are going to succeed. It’s deciding now is the time to start studying Jazz, because a 13 year old piano student just discovered Miles Davis, and the online learning environment, plus added time at home, gives us the right conditions. Our virtual lessons work, because we have a connection with the students and families we serve, and that truly will never change.
Thank You for Letting Us Be Part of Your Family
Thank you for letting us be a part of your family and to continue to teach you the best private music lessons and classes we can. This is our passion, and music is necessary for each of us, whether we take music lessons or not. It’s never been more apparent than it is right now.
Thank you for your words of encouragement to us as we continue to encourage you, our students. We have received and shared your thoughts and kind words, and they have been a source of strength for us. You are a part of our family as well, and to be able to connect with you now is also what will take us all through these challenging times.
See you at the next music lesson, whether it’s online, in your home, or at your school.
We wish you health, happiness, blessings, and gratitude.