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Zoom Fatigue and What to Do About It

Out of order woman

“You can’t burn out if you’re not burning” was a quote I read in American Music Teacher magazine that came in my mail this week. I have subscriptions to many music magazines in both Canada and the US and love reading them, seeing all the new products and learning from the great minds in our industry. I love this quote because it makes something good out of an unbalanced situation.

We’ve all been suffering burnout recently for a number of reasons–it’s recital season, it’s exam season, it’s-organize-your-summer-camps season and, on top of all that, we are doing a lot of this online.

We teachers had so much enthusiasm last year, at the start of this awful pandemic, and we set out to use the tools we had available (i.e. Skype and Zoom). Many of us spent a lot of money buying tech, trying to make things better, but in the end it didn’t work. We caught ourselves screaming into the screen only to realize that our student just can’t hear us because these other platforms don’t work because they aren’t designed for teaching music lessons–the sound has to go to a server first and then to your student AND, to make things even worse, these platforms don’t have our secret weapon: full-duplex audio.

So what’s full duplex? It’s the layered sound Musicology accomplishes because of our peer-to-peer connection. You can speak, clap, click a metronome, sing, play, have birds chirping in the background and the sound will not cut out, because it’s essentially like being on the phone, except with high quality video.

When our new users fire up Musicology for the first time, they are consistently AMAZED by the quality of our audio/video connection. They say it’s like being in the same room and it’s better than any other platform they’ve tried. I know, I know… this coming from me, the CEO, so that’s why we have asked our early adopters to send us testimonial videos explaining exactly what they liked or didn’t like about Musicology. Check out the testimonials on any of our social media pages.

The thing they keep raving about is the clarity of the audio/video connection. They say that even if you took all the interactive features away, Musicology would still be the best platform out there because of the audio/video quality alone. They are experiencing so much renewal in their lessons because they no longer have to constantly fight with the platform to be heard and understood by their students. They feel re-energized and their students are engaged again. It’s amazing to hear!

I am always happy to personally answer any questions by email or connecting on a call, We can even do it on the app! It really is a truly amazing thing to witness the difference first hand.

Here are some helpful tips I learned from the AMT article to help with general teacher burnout. I hope it helps some of you too.

  • Make business hours for yourself. (Don’t be like me and write blogs at 10:00 p.m. at night haha.) Pretend you have a 9 to 5 or a 12 to 8 job and just think about work during those hours. It’s hard, I know. But it’s essential to keep office hours when you’re self-employed.
    Keep a schedule, keep healthy and drink lots of water. Eat nourishing, healthy food.
  • Go for a walk once a day, do yoga, dance in the kitchen with your kids.
  • Make time to meet with your friends, whether that be on the phone, a video call or walk in the park. I have a friend that I like to talk to on my walks. We call it our complain-about-our-sorry-lives time haha. (It also helps that she’s a physiotherapist.)
  • Keep learning new things. That has nothing to do with teaching. I have to tell you, this past year has been exhilarating for me and really helped me cope with all the changes we’ve experienced. Working with a team of developers, professional marketers, business coaching executives and industry experts has really inspired me. I read each and every support message from the devs and Google everything I don’t understand. (I know that one day I’ll understand what an “ExampleAVAudioEngineDevice” is haha.) Seriously though, I’ve learned so much and even gotten pretty good at tech support.

Update: I saw the browser version for the first time the other day! It includes an easy to navigate settings icon with a drop down menu for all the cameras you want to add including OBS. That’s just to start. I’ll make sure to keep you posted with more juicy details as they evolve.

Hang in there, everyone! You got this!

Rebecca

6 Responses

  1. Really excited to see the browser version – will it be possible to add another iPad as a camera?

    Looks like a game changer for my studio!

    Thanks so much for all you are doing to help teachers and students everywhere. ❤️🎹🎻

    1. Hi Maggie! iOS does not allow for multi cameras but the browser version will support this with an easy to navigate drop down menu for as many cameras as you wish to add! We are so happy to hear this comment and aim to do our best to support our musical community! Keep in touch 🙂

  2. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but
    after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say great blog!

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