Parents have been wondering how their child will handle online piano and voice lessons. Will it be as effective? Will their child pay attention? Will it be a struggle like distance learning seems to be? I have received all of these questions over the past 8 months, and I understand why. You are making an investment into your child and of course, you want it to pay off. Here are the top 3 benefits to live online lessons.
THE STUDENT NATURALLY TAKES MORE OWNERSHIP.
This one came as a pleasant surprise to me! During in person lessons, I usually open the books and pages for the student, making things run seamlessly from one song to the next. Once we switched to virtual lessons, I noticed at first, the lessons moved a little slower as students fumbled around trying to find the right book and page number to play their songs.. I felt this sense of anxiety that the parents were feeling it too- watching a child struggle, feeling the lag time...but it dawned on me very quickly- this is perfect!!!
No wonder practicing seems daunting to a child who doesn't even know what book they're in or what page to turn to. They weren't used to ever having to open their books. Now, they have learned and even gathered their own systems for their method books. Some students leave their books open on top of the piano, some use tabs. They have gotten faster and are much more confident when it comes to their books and owning their learning. Sometimes we circumvent these patterns by rescuing the child because we want it to go fast or get through content, but this one aspect alone has given me an appreciation for how important it is to allow the student time to develop systems that work for them. Its OK if things go a little slow to give the student a chance to find their way.
2. MORE GUIDANCE WITH THEIR HOME INSTRUMENT
Its nice to be able to have experience playing on a real piano (in some cases) but also just a different instrument at your in person lesson. However, rarely have students had guidance and help playing on their very own instrument at home! It has been eye opening seeing my students playing where they practice, and helping them to sit at the right height, distance, and just make the most of their home instrument. Some students feel discouraged or concerned if they don't have a pedal or have a smaller keyboard, but I can give them ideas of ways they can work around anything that they feel is holding them back from playing a song the way it is written. We play in different octaves, or I can show them how to still practice dynamics even if their keyboard isn't touch sensitive, etc.
3. KEEPING THE PERSONAL CONNECTION
One of my favorite aspects of teaching is getting to know my students. I love them and truly care about their lives and adding a light to their day. Parents have asked, "how will my child have a relationship with you like they did with their other teacher who they saw in person?" This is a valid question! And while there is a special connection to being in person rather than over the phone or zoom, or in my case, Rockoutloud.live, I also have the opportunity to meet pets, other family members, my students latest lego creation, robot or art project. I get to see the new paint color they picked out for their bedroom, and still touch base with mom or dad! I get to host group classes where everyone has their very own keyboard where I didn't. have the space in other teaching rooms I have worked at in the past. And of course, the opportunity to just talk briefly at the beginning of each lesson to check in, tune in, and spread some love and care to the students is there just as it always has been.
I have said for years that I have the best job in the world! It is still just as true...maybe a little different, but I am thankful.