Tips for Transitioning to Online Music Lessons
coronavirus pandemic has dramatically changed the world. For many people, this
has extended to how we work. For music teachers, one of the most pressing
challenges has been the shift to online music lessons. With quite a bit of
experience with teaching online and a focus on always learning, here are some
tips for transitioning to effective online music instruction.
may seem obvious, but many people make the mistake of going into online music
lessons rather blindly. Instead, it is important to take some time to
familiarize yourself with the various technology that is available. One of the
things to consider is what types of lessons fit best with what technologies.
There are also innovative solutions for things like online scheduling and
payments. Once you’ve investigated what is available, you can create a plan for
all know that different students learn in different ways. However, with online
instruction, there is also the reality that different students have different
resources or understanding of technology. What do your students have access to?
You may opt to teach some lessons on Facetime and others on Zoom. It all
depends on how to best connect with each student.
is important with teaching music lessons in general, but even more important in
the online environment. If technology isn’t your forte, keep things simple.
What are the best lessons that you typically deliver? Think about how those can
effectively transition online. The key is to get students to engage with the
content and to improve. How do you most effectively help students do that?
Focus on your interpersonal skills and the ways you illustrate concepts. What
worked in the past can still work online with a bit of creativity.
are many ways you can embrace creativity when teaching music lessons online.
For example, consider giving your older students a research assignment to learn
more about a famous composer or performer then have them write their
observations about some of their more famous works. Have students keep a
listening log or singing log. Send a listening assignment to help students
better identify concepts in works. There are many creative ways to engage
students outside of traditional lessons.
Be Patient and Adaptable
If there is one certainty when teaching online, it
is that things will go wrong. Keep your cool and roll with the punches. Having
a positive attitude and laughing away issues while you resolve them will help
your students feel more comfortable and keep lessons fun. Your attitude will go
a long way towards cultivating a positive learning environment for your
Ask for Feedback
This is a new environment, and you are not expected
to be an expert. Feel free to ask students for feedback. Students may also not
be familiar with how to give feedback, so structure it for them. Ask what
things you are doing that help them learn, what things they would like to see
changed, or new things that they would like to see. Open-ended questions such
as this can greatly help you to improve how you teach lessons online.