We just completed our final week of the teaching of the regular school year.  After a two-week break, our studio will start summer lessons, still online, Monday and Tuesdays until the school season of 2020-2021 starts up again in September.  For this final post of the regular school year teaching amidst COVID-19, I can say I am so very proud of my students and their families.  They stayed

We just completed our final week of the teaching of the regular school year. After a two-week break, our studio will start summer lessons, still online, Monday and Tuesdays until the school season of 2020-2021 starts up again in September. For this final post of the regular school year teaching amidst COVID-19, I can say I am so very proud of my students and their families. They stayed on board and online to the point that online lessons started to feel very smooth, even normal. We produced two completely different video recitals in the space of these 15 weeks. And continued to conclusion, our women’s studies project where every student studied at least one piece by a female composer and counted practice time to raise money to sponsor 12 arrangements of compositions by women for early leveled piano curriculum. Collectively, the studio raised $1,300! During this project, I was asked to be part of a panel of 4 teachers/professors of piano to give three national webinars on “The Myths, Mystery and Magic of Women Composers” for Music Ed Connect.

One point of evidence though that this is still not a normal time is that, even though MA is starting to carefully open up and our numbers of Covid-19 infections are going down, the rest of the country is now seeing staggering high cases, threatening everyone’s health, travel, and economic viability. We do not yet know how schools will function this September. And so, I do not yet know in what fashion the studio will operate this fall. This summer we will remain 80% online with a few students coming to the studio for lessons, with social distancing, using my two separated pianos, washing of hands, masks, cleaning of surfaces between lessons and allowing only 1 person at a time in the studio, phoning parents in the car when we are ready for another student to enter.

I am suspecting that this September, we will be using a combination of in-studio and online lessons, depending on the situation and/or rotating days in the studio and days online. It is important to get back to studio lessons because as well as we adjusted to lesson online, there were things we could not work on such as tone production and it took longer for students to learn new repertoire over the internet. Using the internet is just not as effective for very young students.

I am pleased that more students than normal have signed up to continue lessons over the summer since no one is traveling much. And I am offering tuition packages of 4 lessons that can include a mixture of private and online group classes. We have fun things planned: an interstate studio online theory competition; creating music book stories online, playing group piano games with online “escape” rooms, meeting out-doors in small groups to create plaster molds of our hands, and small group outdoor theory book picnics. It’s more important than ever to maintain a connection to all of my students.

But as one 5-year-old student of a colleague has said in a heart-breaking way: “I don’t like to Zoom. It’s a picture of a teacher sending a picture of a piano lesson to a picture of a student. It’s not real…it’s fake. I want the real one.”

and online to the point that online lessons started to feel very smooth, even normal.  We produced two completely different video recitals in the space of these 15 weeks.  And continued to conclusion, our women’s studies project where every student studied at least one piece by a female composer and counted practice time to raise money to sponsor 12 arrangements of compositions by women for early leveled piano curriculum. Collectively, the studio raised $1,300! During this project, I was asked to be part of a panel of 4 teachers/professors of the piano to give three national webinars on “The Myths, Mystery and Magic of Women Composers” for Music Ed Connect.

 One point of evidence though that this is still not a normal time is that, even though MA is starting to carefully open up and our numbers of Covid-19 infections are going down, the rest of the country is now seeing staggering high cases, threatening everyone’s health, travel, and economic viability.  We do not yet know how schools will function this September.  And so, I do not yet know in what fashion the studio will operate this fall.  This summer we will remain 80% online with a few students coming to the studio for lessons, with social distancing, using my two separated pianos, washing of hands, masks, cleaning of surfaces between lessons and allowing only 1 person at a time in the studio, phoning parents in the car when we are ready for another student to enter.

I am suspecting that this September, we will be using a combination of in-studio and online lessons, depending on the situation and/or rotating days in the studio and days online. It is important to get back to studio lessons because as well as we adjusted to lesson online, there were things we could not work on such as tone production and it took longer for students to learn new repertoire over the internet.  Using the internet is just not as effective for very young students.

I am pleased that more students than normal have signed up to continue lessons over the summer since no one is traveling much.  And I am offering tuition packages of 4 lessons that can include a mixture of private and online group classes.  We have fun things planned:  an interstate studio online theory competition; creating music book stories online, playing group piano games with online “escape” rooms, meeting out-doors in small groups to create plaster molds of our hands, and small group outdoor theory book picnics. It’s more important than ever to maintain a connection to all of my students.

But as one 5-year-old student of a colleague has said in a heart-breaking way: “I don’t like to Zoom.  It’s a picture of a teacher sending a picture of a piano lesson to a picture of a student.  It’s not real…it’s fake.  I want the real one.”