As a piano teacher, I provide virtual lessons regularly for students who live at a distance and occasionally when my local students are sick. Since 2020, the majority of music instructors have gained some level of experience with virtual instruction!
When I first began teaching virtually, I believed it would be more difficult than in-person instruction. What I discovered, however, is there are many pros to virtual lessons and it's much easier than I anticipated.
>>>> We've discussed some pros in the blog post "The Perks of Virtual Instruction."
In this post I have shared information regarding 1) platforms, 2) teaching considerations specific to virtual lessons, and 3) games / resources. I hope these tips will make virtual lessons a breeze! If you have any additional thoughts or resources to share, please add them in the comments section. It's always great to learn from one another!
Zoom: $0 - $14.99 (Free for 40 minute sessions) - this is what I most often use!
Your Device: I've found teaching from a computer provides the best experience for my students. Many platforms offer more capabilities when being accessed from a computer.
Camera Angle: If you only have one camera (as most of us do), I recommend placing your computer at a height that is eye-level and allows the student to see all of your instrument. I've gotten pretty creative with a stool and stack of books ☺
Access to Student's Music: When teaching virtually, it's best to have a copy of the students music. If I already own the book, great! If not, I either purchase a copy or ask the student to email me photos / scans the music they are currently studying. In a pinch, I ask the student to hold their music in front of their camera and I can take a screenshot of the music to refer to!
Communication: Be cognizant of the rate of your speech. When teaching virtually, I try to speak slightly slower than I do in person.
Distractions: Students can be easily distracted (and more so in a virtual learning setting!) Try to eliminate all potential distractions and teach in a well-lit, tidy space.
Games & Resources
There are many online resources and blog posts for virtual instruction. Here are some of my favorites!
I also screen-share and use the online free game of "Name That Note"!
You Can Do It!
As a perfectionist I don't want to begin something unless I know how to do everything exactly "right." I've learned that it's more than okay to start with a simple approach and improve little by little over time. It's likely both you and your student are new to virtual lessons so you'll be able to learn together! :)
Happy teaching and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!
Owner, SC Music Lessons
"Adaptability and flexibility
have become must have qualities in order to thrive during 2020. Before the 'coronavirus season' most instructors had not explored teaching virtually. Now, virtual lessons have become the norm for many instructors, including myself!
In this video (filmed March 2020), I interviewed Emilee (professional musician with Lowcountry Pianist & Company LLC and private music instructor) to learn more about using Zoom Video Conferencing to teach private lessons. Emilee gives an overview of the app plus features of the app that are specifically helpful for music teachers!
Learn more about Zoom...
(Video Filmed with the Zoom App Recording Feature)
I am glad that Zoom (and virtual learning resources) have allowed instructors to continue to do what we love and expand our reach to serve more clients! If you have additional resources to share that would be helpful for others, please comment below ↓