Updated: Jan 25
We all have learned a lot about online education since 2020. But there still may be questions about it, especially if you have never experienced learning music online. Below we gathered the most useful tips for online music lessons, which will improve your lessons significantly. Or at least, we know for sure that they improved our students' lessons a lot.
Here is a version with the tips (most of them) for my students' parents. I created a couple of months after all my students switched to online, but it is still topical. Below the video is a fuller text version. So choose yours - watching or reading :)
1. Device/s. Make sure your child has a device ready for online lessons before the lesson starts. If possible, provide an extra device for the lesson time, and log in onto Zoom from both. One is on the side for the teacher to see the keyboard and hands, the other one on the keyboard in front of the student, next to their piano books. If one device is bigger than the other one, the bigger one should be on the keyboard (easier to see small notes and signs on a bigger screen).
This way, it is easier for the student to see when the teacher demonstrates something on the piano keyboard - they don't need to turn their head to the left or right all the time; therefore, they focus better, and the communication seems to work better too. This really improves the lessons' quality. Students learn faster and gain more knowledge.
There are many music activities when a student has a screen in front -we do sight-reading exercises, rhythmic exercises, watch videos, and use music apps.
Of course, not everyone has 2 devices, but once a week, you can borrow one from a family member, relative or maybe you have an old device that hasn't been used for a while but will work just fine for this purpose. So if you have a chance, do that. It is extremely beneficial!
2. It is good to place your devices stable, not shaky, so they don't fall accidentally. Sometimes it happens, and we lose precious time trying to fix it. It won't happen if you have a holder/tripod for the device. If you don't have one yet, purchase it when you have a chance. There are a lot of choices, and many are not expensive at all. They will also serve you on many other occasions. Here are some links with holders and tripods.
3. The homework notebook should be next to the piano or keyboard during the lesson
4. Piano books should be placed on the piano/keyboard before the lesson
5. A pencil and an eraser are often used during lessons. Make sure your child has them. Colored pencils and/or markers will be a good addition too.
6. Provide headphones or earphones for better sound quality
7. Send the teacher clear photos (or scans) of your child’s piano book pages when needed.
8. Help your child to schedule home piano practice and follow it. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but it does need to be often. Ideally, not less than 5-6 days a week for good progress.