No products in the cart.
Like everyone else, I have experienced a very steep learning curve by embracing online teaching. I have developed skills I never thought I’d have: camera use, audio adjustment, screen-sharing – the list goes on! Teachers have been SO generous in sharing their insights, discoveries and expertise with each other that I think I have actually become a bit overwhelmed with all the information.
So this short post is about the ONE thing I have found to be most useful in online teaching.
And this one thing is…
Before you roll your eyes and wonder how this could possibly be a revelation, I will say that it’s not like I have never used recordings before now. From time to time I would record students in the lesson, or occasionally ask them to send me a recording when they think the piece is done.
But now, recordings have become an essential part of every lesson I teach. Here are my three main reasons for this:
1. The quality of the recording is usually far superior to the quality of the audio in the online lesson
2. Instead of students playing a piece for me in the lesson, we listen to the recording together. This means the student is actually LISTENING to and reflecting on their own playing
3. I can stop/start the recording whenever I like and start talking immediately, with no lag time and without the student feeling interrupted. We both have the score open and/or I annotate it on screen.
This has revolutionized my online teaching experience!
I love being able to discuss with students what we are hearing. I say things like ‘did you hear much of a crescendo there?’ and if they didn’t, they highlight that dynamic on their score and they play that little bit again. Usually, I can hardly hear the different over Zoom, but I’m confident the student has processed the change.
I also love it when they are surprised at how they sounded, and have a deeper understanding of what needs addressing. AND… we can also refer back to previous recordings, to compare how they have improved.
• I generally stick to audio recordings only, because the file size is smaller so they are easier to send
• The Voice Memo app on iOS devices works a treat – no need for any fancy microphones
• I use the app Tonara and I have been asking students to send me recordings of their pieces in the chat
• I’ve been asking students to send recordings at least 24 hours before the lesson time. Sometimes I listen before the lesson, but it is usually more useful to listen at the same time and discuss. So, this is pedagogically sound as well as being a time-saver 😊
What’s YOUR single best online teaching tip? I’d love to hear it!