One (kind of) positive aspect of COVID has been virtual piano lessons. I say “kind of” because I do not actually feel that piano lessons over Zoom are fully equal or preferable in any way to real, in person lessons.
But, I have been surprised at how well they have gone overall and I think from the boys’ perspective, they do actually prefer virtual lessons (see below). We just prop the phone or ipad up at the end of the piano so the teacher can see the boys’ hands and keys, and for the most part it seems really quite similar to a normal lesson.
–The kids LOVE LOVE LOVE not having to wait for each other!! That’s 45 minutes of time they used to spend just sitting bored in the waiting room.
–They like not having to spend time driving back and forth (it’s not far from home at all, maybe 5 minutes. But still.) They can be upstairs doing something else, and when it’s time for their lesson- Poof! They are suddenly “at” their lesson 2 seconds later.
-They have these new, interactive practice check off sheets in Google Drive on the iPad which they seem to enjoy more than the paper/pen method, for some reason.
-Zoom technology has been working I’d say at around a 90+% positive rate. Occasional lagging or cutting off happens, but it’s rare. Generally speaking, communication over Zoom for these has been fine.
-I also love being able to sit in my home office and work during their lesson without needing to drive back and forth and spend time waiting. This gives me back >2 hours in my week!
–It can sometimes be more challenging for the teacher to jump in/ make corrections while the kids are playing. I think this may be *selective* hearing at times on the part of my younger child…. Sometimes he starts playing and I can hear the teacher saying, “Okay, Asher? Stop a sec. Asher? Asher!” 😏 In person, I don’t think he would do that….(he gets a talking to from me too if I hear him doing that…)
-It can be harder for the teacher to follow along/ find the measure/ etc. especially in repetitive songs. If the boys “point” at their music, obviously she can’t really see easily what they are pointing at. (Easy enough to just list measure numbers but still a general con).
-A little harder for them to make notes together in the music. Would be more of an issue for a younger child though- mine can obviously write in their own music.
-Not as much hands on opportunity! Their teacher used to use drums, flashcards, or other games at times in the studio to break up piano time sometimes. She has found some creative online interactive options, but this is still more challenging.
-More difficult to correct things like hand position, body posture, etc when not in person.
(I was trying to upload a beautiful video of Ethan practicing last night, but Blogger won’t let me!!! Grrrr…. I’ll have to see if I can find another way to share it.)
(Update: I uploaded it to a private YouTube channel. It should be viewable here:
Instead, here’s a pretty cool pic I took a few weeks ago when the piano technician had it opened up for tuning: