Online learning is something we all have had to get used to over the last year and can be nearly as beneficial as in-person teaching if approached correctly. It can be particularly difficult for young children to get used to doing their music lessons online, so to help with this we have compiled a list of our best tips which parents can use to improve their child's experience!
It is very important to set aside a specific room/space in the home for your child to their lessons in. This should be a quiet, clutter-free area with enough space for them to play and move around comfortably during their lesson. Perhaps it would also be convenient for this space to double as their practice space and for their instrument, music stand, and sheet music should remain set up there at all times. Furthermore, you should make sure that your child is not interrupted by any other family members during their online lesson as this can be extremely distracting for them.
Each week you should help your child prepare for their online lesson, i.e. charging their chosen device, securing an internet connection, setting up the space, printing off sheet music, etc. Make sure that the relevant preparations are completed well in advance of the lesson to ensure that your child is not flustered or stressed upon entering the video call.
Ensure that whichever device you are using for the online lessons is fully charged before the lesson or is connected to a power source. Check that the camera and microphone are in full working order. Also, if you are using zoom or skype, make sure that the latest version of each of these apps are downloaded on your device. You can mess around with the sound settings on these apps to see how the best quality video and audio can be achieved.
Younger children may feel less shy and more eager to participate in their lessons if a parent is present for support and encouragement. You will also then become more aware of what they are learning and how you may help them to practice during the week. Who knows? Maybe you might learn a thing or two yourself!
As difficult as it is to have the motivation to practice during lockdown (without performances/exams to work towards!), try encouraging your child to practice frequently and incorporate it into their daily routine. It may be harder for them to cement new ideas in their mind during an online lesson than it would be in an in-person setting, so it is extra important that they practice so that they can reinforce what they have learned. Ask the teacher for lesson notes/check MyMusicStaff to familiarise yourselves with what they should be practicing during the week.
In the middle of a seemingly never-ending lockdown, your child may feel purposeless in their musical learning. Performing in the home/to family and friends on zoom can make the work that they are doing in their lessons feel more meaningful to them and also motivate them to practice more!