Fellow music teachers…how are you doing?
It’s been a long couple of months full of life changes, social distancing, and an ever-increasing reliance on Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime.
To those of you who are struggling to make the transition to online instead of face-to-face teaching, you’re not alone! This is new territory for many of us, and it can be hard to know how to navigate it.
If you’re looking for advice and ideas for teaching virtually, this post is for you.
Here are three tips to help you and your students have more fun with online lessons.
1. Use Fun Props
My students love props all the time, but I’ve found that they’re especially important for keeping their attention during an online lesson.
Making use of entertaining props will focus your student’s attention back on the screen and get them more excited about distance learning.
My personal favorite teaching props include a stuffed tiger named Buddy for rhythm games, crocheted composers for music history, and colorful dry erase markers for whiteboard illustrations.
Whatever you decide to use, it’s a good way to bring online lessons to life and add some variety to your teaching.
2. Start an Exciting Project
This is a great time to try something new with your students.
Mine are working on a composing project using only black keys or one string (for piano and violin students, respectively).
We haven’t worked on composition very much before, so they’re enjoying the new challenge. It also shakes up their lesson and practice routines a little bit.
Kids love to be challenged – and their parents will love the fact that they have something to help keep them occupied while school is out!
3. Embrace the Adventure
My final tip is to embrace this new way of teaching and make the best of it for as long as we need to.
It’s different, and maybe stressful and frustrating in some ways, but it’s better than not seeing or teaching our students at all. Let’s rise to the challenge and do the best we can, even if it’s not perfect.
If you approach online lessons calmly and with confidence, then chances are your students will too. In fact, this is a wonderful opportunity to model creativity and resourcefulness for them. Isn’t that what music is about?
How are you adjusting to online teaching? What has helped you make the transition? Leave a comment below!