Teaching Music Online: Lessons Learned From COVID-19 Lockdowns
26 August 2020
15:00 - 15:30 hrs (GMT+7)
The spread of Coronavirus and city lockdowns in 2020 has impacted people’s lives all over the world. As the owner of private music school in Bangkok consists of 297 students and 34 teachers, I decided to push all traditional music lessons to online classes during the lockdowns. While I encourage teachers to prepare digital learning materials such as teaching video, demonstration clips, online practice guideline and assignments; I also facilitated learners to participate in online lessons by offering rewards to those who actively joined online classes. After facing with limitation in Internet speed, sound quality, video interruption and non-verbal expressions such as posture, body language and mood; new teaching strategies were modified to overcome these constraints.
In new online platform, the school support teachers to record high quality teaching video to use across many lessons, especially basic content lessons such as scales and theory. The video utilization is not only to maximize benefits as it financially reduces cost (time, money and other resources), but also instructionally standardize teaching materials which aligns with the school’s quality control policy. The video serves as an introduction to private online session which student can make decision to appoint for private video call session to get individual recommendations. Data reveals that online private session requires less time than traditional private lesson and allows teacher to go through more customized detail with each student. Online self-learning process also develops students’ learning skills and responsibility.
The use of variety digital materials not only increases productivity, but also motivates student more than traditional face-to-face style. For example, the use of backing track with various instruments instead of teacher playing one instrument as an accompaniment improves ear training, music appreciation and aesthetic experience. The use of practice application such as smart music also helps student practice more effectively. These methods found to be useful for music teaching and should be considered in future music education.