Weariness in Online Lessons
Megan F., Nebraska
We’re now nearly three months into online lessons, and I’m sensing a growing weariness in some (not all) of my students. Anyone else experiencing the same thing? It’s normal for some of them to have a summer slump, but this feels different. What are some ideas for keeping students engaged and keeping the mood lifted in the coming weeks? I teach mostly group lessons, so I’m afraid I could be looking at online lessons for awhile yet.
Bernadette A., California
I think overall it takes much more effort to teach online. Meaning that much more brainwork is necessary on your part and on the student’s part. That’s where I think it can lead to weariness. Knowing that, you can then embrace it, expect it and manage it from there. It will take energy, mindset, and creativity on the teacher’s part to maintain ongoing lessons and students. Retaining students, on location and remotely, takes work. But as my dear friend Un Mani says, we are the captains of our ship. I know that I could stand to up my game. I love that we are able to talk about ideas and support one another here as we make this transition to online. It’s a different world and online is the wave of the future. I’m asking myself, am I ready for this?
I was excited at first (since I was an introvert) but then it started to hit me. And I have a full house. Glad that things are opening up. I told my students we’ll be online until they feel comfortable to come to my home. Don’t know how long that will be but they havent balked at all.
Un Mani, Australia
This is a suggestion for online ‘weariness’ and adults in particular. I can honestly say that online teaching isn’t wearying for me with all my faults and tech challenges.However I don’t teach kids groups bigger than two (yet) . That one I haven’t leapt over yet.
Here’s my suggestion..Monthly Cocktail Parties have been a hoot. The adults are growing confidence I believe MORE than if it was live. Maybe because they are in their own homes. They dress up and share and are growing a community across three states . They connect out of the party time to share tech tips etc.Many did not know one another three months ago and I guess because of the ‘free and fearless’ climate I work hard to create they are taking risks.
Stephen R., California
It’s easy to get down, but I realize you have to stay strong right now. This will be temporary and the sun will shine again. Even though I have experienced financial loss in the last couple months, it could always be worse. Some people have no job and no income and we were basically able to transition to a new format, albeit with a learning curve, with not too much break in the flow of things.
Terah W., Kansas
Relationship convo. Boom. You guys covered it all!
Susan M., Canada
Students are weary. Some of my students’ moms are teachers, and very few actually show up to online classes or do their assigned work. School teachers I know are tired and feeling discouraged. Every home situation is struggling but in variousways. Sibling conflict, isolation, boredom, missing friends. Last week, one of my students had a birthday and mom asked me to make her lesson special if I could. So, I wore a crown, a birthday badge, played happy brithday, but also… I got my daugther to teach 3 dance moves to Jackson Blues – one move for chord I, then one for IV and then V. They enjoyed that. Other things I’ve done is spin the wheel online. here’s one example.
https://tools-unite.com/tools/random-picker-wheel?names=Dreams Also, I think it would be great to get creative with a video compilation, but I don’t know where to start. What about having a central “Simply Music Students Showcase” somewhere ? I have also gone to their houses to take certificates and wrote them a card. Parents said the kids were really excited with that.
I also think doing inspiration accomp pieces are a good idea. Give them the opportunity to share that with people they know. What a Wonderful World, One Day, We’ll Rise Again, Million Dreams, Heal the World, ,,, what if we got students all to play a part in something bigger than one studio .. ? just throwing ideas.
Brenda D., Colorado
I’m trying to mix it up this summer by offering special camps and workshops.
Mary R., Michigan
Find a fun project. Maybe a popular song they can chord to. Plan a summer virtual piano party. Play some games in lessons–like freeze where one starts a song and the next person has to pick up right where the first one ended. Or chord drill contests where each one gets points for playing the chord you name.
Original discussion started June 8, 2020