It was bound to happen, social distancing is affecting so many businesses, especially the service industry. Piano teachers have been scrambling to keep students on track during this time. I know in my county, they have shut down the schools for the rest of the month and might shut them down for the rest of the semester. If you are teaching one-on-one, this presents a dilemma. Do you continue to have your students come to your studio, with the possibility of spreading the virus, do you also take a break or will you teach online?
I started teaching online about 5 years ago. My elderly mother was living with us and I didn’t want anyone sick to be in the house. She has since passed away, but I have kept these measures in place. If you are skeptical of teaching in this manner, don’t be! It’s a little more prep time, but that’s really all the difference.
I have a large IPad with a Klip tripod stand. I put it to the side of my piano, so the student can see me and my hands. I have copies of all their pieces. I generally teach through Skype or FaceTime, but you can also investigate Zoom and Google Hangout. I have the students call me as it keeps the lessons flowing. Of course, you can call them as well. Give yourself a few minutes between lessons to gather their materials before you connect.
The student must have a laptop, tablet or phone in order for this to work. Have them put theirs to the side of their piano. They also need a pencil for writing their assignments in the books. If a student is very young, you will want an older child, sitter or parent to attend the lesson and write the instructions for them.
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I wish all of you the best of luck during this trying time.