Updated: Jul 26
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Most private music teachers have possibly fully returned to in-person teaching at their homes.
The demand for online lessons however, is here to stay as many teachers realize online lessons are effective to implement especially with replacement lesson policies.
A new studio culture has surfaced since the pandemic where both teachers and students can effectively meet online for a lesson for various reasons such as illness, lack of transportation, or simply the convenience.
When I first started online teaching, it was scary. I was often confused with what I needed. I soon realized I did not need a whole lot of extra tech to give quality online music lessons.
There were, however, a few items that I was glad to have invested in, and still use with online lessons with students. Let's dive into the three teaching tools that I have found are here to stay in every music studio who has evolved into hybrid online teaching:
1. Adjustable Laptop Stand
If there was one teaching tool that truly made my online teaching comfortable and convenient, it was a laptop stand.
I really like the Samson LTS50 Laptop Stand for its sturdy and convenient stow-away design. This laptop stand functions like a tripod stand, with a secure tray that can swivel side-to-side with ease, and height-adjustable.
Some teachers have found ways to make a music sheet stand work as an alternative, but bear in mind ... a music sheet stand is designed to support books and sheets of paper ... not a heavier laptop.
As I teach out of my living room, I needed something that was not huge and bulky, and could stay beside my piano for a long period of time.
What I really liked about it was the ability to tilt the angle of my laptop screen whenever I needed to change the view for the student.
To quickly demonstrate a posture or technique form of the fingers and hand, all I had to do was tilt the laptop screen down. When I'm done, I readjust the laptop screen with my bare hands so the student can view my face as I continue teaching.
Quick and easy - no extra button clicks needed to switch from one camera to another!
This stand has become so useful in my studio, even with teaching in-person when I am showing a student an educational music video or a clip related to our music history learning.
I do have another camera (webcam) that sits above the piano to give a top view of the piano keys. Although, as I got more efficient in online teaching, I realized I was using less of it.
The less technology functions I had to manage, the more focused and engaged I can be with my teaching, which brings me to my next handy-dandy tool ...
2. Small Whiteboard & Whiteboard Gridding Tape
As much as I find drawing digitally on a screen with a mouse intriguing and exciting for students, I have realized that going back to basics using the pen and paper method is way quicker and efficient during online lessons.
When I need to demonstrate drawing notes, chords, or music symbols, the whiteboard is a quick pick-me-up and get into action. I draw using colored whiteboard markers as I hold up the whiteboard to the laptop screen. I create a music staff using whiteboard gridding tape.
The best part, this tool is also used with my students in-person when we play note naming games or even for the students to practice drawing music notes. Each of my students have been very intrigued with this setup and they always ask how did I make this by hand, haha!