• Sandra Howe

Online Lessons and the Coronavirus

With the Coronavirus impacting the world, we have had to make changes within our studio to teach exclusively online using Skype. We chose Skype because this tool is readily available to both Apple, Android and Windows users.

How do online lessons differ from studio lessons?

As with anything there are positives and negatives to teaching online and we have had to adjust our teaching methods to accommodate these changes.

For instance, musical communication is a little more difficult. We cannot simply point at a bar or note anymore, instead we have to communicate bar numbers, note values and note names. This may be more difficult in the short term but this has a positive impact in the long term. The student has to find where they are in the music themselves. This means online lessons promote independence because students have to get to know the music in front of them.

We can't count along or tap the beat. Due to the delay it is impossible to play, tap or count along with the student. There are other ways to learn rhythm, however. Students can play along with a backing track or metronome and we can play 'copycat' by playing rhythms back and forth. Again, there are benefits to this, as the solutions to this problem promotes independence allowing students to take a more active role in keepnig time and playing and understanding rhythms.

Onlne lessons have been different but the transition has been relatively easy for students and teachers. I think both teachers and students stand to learn a lot from this new learning method and will certainly be something we will integrate into our studio in the future when in-person lessons resume.

Until then, online lessons will be the norm for us for the forseeable future.

If you are a teacher looking to move to Skype lessons and have questions or concerns, please leave a comment and we will answer as best we can.

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