Thursday, April 9, 2020

Zoom lessons, oh boy!

Yeah, Coronavirus has changed everything!  I swore I'd never teach online, how impersonal, how high-tech, how un-arty.  How wrong I was!

I've been teaching online going on 4 weeks now.  It's been an experience, to say the least.  The audio delays, the distortion, the internet freezes.  But every week, I'm there at the appointed hour, and my students appear on my screen, and we proceed as usual.  Scales, chords, music, it's all there.

Online lessons provide an added focus to lessons.  I can direct my students to measure 4, but they have to find measure 4.  I can direct them to look for the pattern in measures 4,6, and 10, but they have to find the pattern in measures 4, 6 and 10.  I think it gives music appreciation a whole new meaning!

For my younger students especially, online lessons provide a sense of empowerment, of ownership to their studies. Students need to write their own assignments in their books, they need to mark the trouble spots, add the accidentals, correct fingering markings.  Those details have always been part of my job description, but now I have to share that duty with my students.

Many of my students had been preparing for the Sonatina Festival at the end of March  Unfortunately, the festival was canceled due to the Coronavirus and the need for social distancing.  I invited those students who felt ready to record their sonatinas and other music and share via our Facebook page.  That has been a delight.  I have shared other Facebook posts that I've found along the way, including this one from Sharon Ann Hurst:

     I will teach you in a room.
     I will teach you now on Zoom.
     I will teach you in your house.
     I will teach you with a mouse.
     I will teach you here and there.
     I will teach you because I care.
     So just do your very best.
     And do not worry about the rest.

Funny, I began my college studies as a computer science major.  When I transferred to music, I thought I had left all the high-tech behind.  Never in my wildest dreams...

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