Teaching During a Pandemic- COVID-19
Updated: Jun 26, 2020
What a year these last few weeks has been! Firstly, if you are reading this, I hope you and your family are well.
These last few weeks have seemed to pass by in a blur. I'll be honest, I woke up last Friday convinced that it was Saturday. Thankfully, I wake up insanely early and was able to make it to my virtual office on time. :)
For those who don't know, I am Concert Series Coordinator at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. On March 10 an announcement was made that all in-person instruction and public concerts would be canceled through April 12 and that online instruction would resume after the spring break holiday. Since that March 10 announcement, the decision has been made that we will not return to campus for this semester. With that, both faculty and staff have been working together to make the transition to online teaching and learning as seamless as possible. This is not normal for most and we know It's not perfect... Will it push us creatively as educators? OH Yeah! But can it be done Absolutely!
Before COVID-19 arrived at our doorstep I had been teaching online in my private studio for about 6 years. Let's just say word got out at work that I had experience in this medium... Since the announcement on March 10, I have had the pleasure of presenting to both the Preparatory and Conservatory faculty one how to make this transition to online teaching. **Getting to work with faculty one-on-one in this new way has been a wonderful opportunity and has allowed us all to work collaboratively in ways that would not have come about if it was a normal day in the office. I love helping others do what they love to do: teach. I always remind those who ask about online teaching that we as educators are charged with providing a sense of normalcy and consistency for our students that is desperately needed, especially during moments such as this.
Screen capture from a lesson with my student Shintaro.
Lesson Quick Tips:
Secure a space that is free of extra noise and distractions
Make sure you have a good internet connection
Find your preferred online lesson platform: Skype, Zoom, FaceTime etc.
Always have good lighting for both teacher and student during the lesson
Gather a list of online resources: Sheet Music PDF's, Apps., Recorded Warmups and Piano Accompaniments, and vetted YouTube videos
Use an external microphone...not required, but helpful! Blue Yeti Blue Snowball Samson Go Mic
Remember, give yourself the grace to familiarize yourself with your tech. A test lesson is always a must!
Schedule breaks! This is important for both teachers and students
Be Safe Be Well.
**Quote taken from a recent interview with the JHU Hub at Work.