Online learning has become a premier choice for education, especially in times like these. Even before social distancing, remote learning allowed students to access resources and professionals that may have been out of reach for them normally.
Online music lessons empower young musicians to continue their education by allowing them to connect with their teachers and new resources, even if they aren’t physically able to make it to lessons. It’s a wonderful opportunity to continue learning and growing, but how can parents get the most out of it?
Set up a “Lesson Room” at Home
It’s important to designate a dedicated work space for your student. While it may be tempting to do lessons from a main area in the house, distractions are sure to happen. Give your student the best chance for success by setting up a “lesson room” for them in a quiet, secluded area. Shut the door and make sure other family members know not to go in during the lesson.
Make it fun and get your student involved by having them set up the room! They can find the perfect spot with good lighting and even decorate it to make it unique to them!
Use the Right Device
Since your student will be communicating with their teacher through technology, it’s important to use the right device. A laptop, desktop, or tablet works best since these have the biggest screens. If their teacher is showing them a certain bar of music or hand placement, a larger screen will make it easier for your student to see what’s going on. If none of these are available, however, that’s okay! Just make sure your student can clearly see the teacher on whichever screen they’re using.
Internet connection is also extremely important for online lessons. Bad internet connection can make the image grainy, distort the video, or freeze it altogether. Ensure that your student’s lesson room is near the router if your home WiFi connection isn’t strong. For even better connection, use a physical cable to connect your device directly to the router
Practice Throughout the Week
Remember that progression takes place between lessons when students are practicing and reinforcing what they learned the previous week. Take time out of the lesson to talk with your student and their teacher about your student’s practice plan. Your student should have clear goals for what they should be practicing and for how long.
With social distancing becoming the norm, students have even more time to practice their instrument and can progress even more quickly!
Setting goals will already be something your student is familiar with, especially if they have been taking lessons for a while. Some of these goals may change with online lessons (like performing in a recital or at an audition) so it’s important to sit down with your student to reevaluate their goals, or create new ones if necessary!
Goal setting keeps students dedicated and enthusiastic during these challenging times, so it’s important for goals to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Bound. Make sure to create both short and long term goals!
Show Off Your Achievements
For students, showing off what they’ve been working on can be a fun and exciting way to keep their passion for music alive! Even with social distancing in place, it’s possible for your student to do this!
One fun way is to have your student put on a recital at home. These can be planned or impromptu. Your student can make tickets to pass out to family members, recruit siblings to set up a stage and an audience area, and even announce your student as they “take the stage.”
This can also be a fun way to stay in touch with friends and family outside of the home. Invite grandma and grandpa to join in over video call! This can serve as great motivation for young musicians.
Approach Online Lessons with the Right Attitude
This one may seem obvious, but during these challenging times it can be easy to forget! Having the right attitude will undoubtedly take online lessons from a past time to an enriching experience. Both you and your student should remember that music is fun, healing, and rewarding. Some days, progress can come in baby steps, and others it can come in leaps and bounds! The important thing is to remember to have fun and stay positive!
If your student is struggling or is having a hard day, ask your teacher to work on something fun and simple for the lesson. Just having the feeling of accomplishment, even if it’s a basic piece of music, will do wonders for a young musician.