Over the past year we have all crossed over from traditional classes and are now teaching lessons online. Some have really embraced this technological shift and others have struggled. Personally, I have never been one to even think about my Internet connection so the switch to online learning was as difficult for me as it was for many others. I think I’ve come a long way since then. (I have yet to enter the realm of OBS but I hope to learn one day.)
I like to compare music lessons to yoga lessons. With in-person yoga classes, the teacher is usually in motion, walking around and instructing the class. They aren’t constantly doing the poses at the same time as the students. When I’m teaching piano, it’s the same thing. When I used to teach in person, I wouldn’t sit at my student’s piano playing for the entire lesson. So, when I’m teaching online, I don’t bother setting up multiple cameras and keep a static, motionless shot. I simply swing my iPad around to the keyboard when I have to demonstrate something.
With Musicology, you simply press the reverse camera icon and either hold the iPad or place it in a gooseneck stand to demonstrate two-handed positions. I don’t do a ton of demos unless absolutely necessary, because I want the student to learn to hear verbal cues and not be dependent on visual aids.
Here are a couple of items I love to use in my online lessons with Musicology:
I love this stand because it is super sturdy, can rotate 360 degrees for any angle and I can bend the gooseneck over my shoulder to show the piano keyboard when demonstrating fingering. I use the virtual keyboard in the Grand Staff feature first, and if they need extra help then I bend the stand over the keys.
I don’t normally wear headphones, but I’ve got two small kids and some days it gets pretty noisy in my house. For this reason, I like these headphones best because they’re very light, foldable and feel nice on my ears. I also have a pair of open back AKG headphones but they are very big and feel unnecessary (unless I’m singing and I don’t want to hear my voice, haha.)
I don’t usually use a microphone since Musicology is built to pick up instrumental frequencies and it isn’t strictly necessary. There are times my students are totally into the piece they are playing and I’m able to speak over their playing. All without a microphone or even raising my voice.
That’s all for now! Our beta testers are busy testing now and we’re all looking forward to hearing feedback from how those sessions went. Let’s keep things simple. I think we’ve all had enough complications this past year!
P.S. I would love to hear what gear you like to use in your online lessons! Feel free to drop me a line anytime.