Piano lessons are continuing happily! Yes, I miss seeing my students in person, but we are all working so much better online now that it is starting to be a little more routine. I am only running between 5 and 10 minutes…much like I do when we are in the studio together. I find it very hard to stop a lesson, virtual or in-person if we are in the middle of creating that Eureka! the moment when true understanding takes place. We are all getting quite adept at screen sharing, marking up our music by counting beats and then photographing the music and sending the photo by phone so that within minutes we can both be talking about the same marked-up page in order to clear away misunderstandings. If I don’t happen to have the music my student is working on, they send me a photo and I have it within a minute. I am asking my students to do some music history research to present in the following lesson. Imagine my surprise when Theo discovered that his Allegro in F major by Haydn came from Haydn’s Symphony in E flat Major and that it was written in 1793…exactly the same year that my house was built and where everyone takes their lessons normally! In Theo’s music, the piece was not marked as coming from one of Haydn’s symphonies. All of a sudden, we could talk about the piece with all its orchestral colors and imagine which instrument would have been playing at each change in melodic motif or harmony.
So far, no one in my circle of friends or among my student families has become ill. But the virus is spreading…we now have 15 positive cases in our hometown of Newburyport. Curfew hours were just set, and we are now mandated to wear face masks at all times. One of my adult students and one of our dear friends is making beautiful facemasks and sending them to us, as we don’t own a stitch of fabric or elastic or sewing machine. Josh and I have never been sewers! It’s getting serious but the weather is also getting a bit warmer and crocus and daffodils are in bloom in our gardens. I’ve started a YouTube listening channel for my students that contains music that they are all learning, and my students are starting to send videos of themselves playing pieces that are now polished and ready to be performed. So, I’ve set up a private YouTube channel to display student videos of their own performances. The whole studio can now applaud everyone’s progress…even though these are virtual performances. I just might add clapping soundtracks to these videos! We are still excited about finding new ways to communicate, record progress and to marvel at what our fingers can do!