So we’ve been home with the current isolation for just about 2 weeks now. Here in Seattle, the panic is real! I’ve moved all piano lessons to Skype or Facetime since school was cancelled.
So many parents have commented that they’re glad to have one activity that continue “like normal” during this time. Soccer, softball, basketball, dance, karate lessons and more are all on hold for 6 weeks or longer. We used online piano lessons before when students took longer trips or were a bit sick. Now we’re trying to get used to doing this every week and making it a lot of fun too. I’ve been researching and lesson planning every day to figure out some fun ideas for lessons. Some have worked great, others not so much. Today I’m going to start sharing our top activities and games so far, at varying levels.
Why? Because a long lesson just focused on repertoire is hard on my students, even the older ones! In person lessons almost always include a card game or a floor activity or a rhythm drumming session. These are all hard when students don’t have that game at their house and most of my students don’t have drums or rhythm instruments handy.
So many parents have commented that they’re glad to have one activity that continue “like normal” during this time. Soccer, softball, basketball, dance, karate lessons and more are all on hold for 6 weeks or longer. We used online piano lessons before when students took longer trips or were a bit sick. Now we’ve had to adjust
- Resource: Tonara
The first new resource I’ve adopted is Tonara. Used as a practice app, Tonara allows teachers to input assignments for students with recordings. Students have loved sending me back their recordings. I do have to say we are still having trouble figuring out the recording “grading” assessment feature. (It’s tricky to get the same start point and tempo in both of our recordings for the software to compare!)
Besides making assignment pages easier, I’ve found Tonara can help with our improv sessions. Since I LOVE duet improvising in lessons, it’s been a loss to lesson time. Now we’ve started added it as an assignment in Tonara and I include the duet accompaniment as the recording. Make sure to do a short count off so students have time to record their improv while listening to your improv. It has a slight lag time to kick in the recording feature so give them some time.
*Want some ideas for improv activities? Our Animal Improv is available and includes a studio license so you can send a copy to your student or send them a picture of the idea page! So many of my students are inspired by animals and they love the picture to get their imagination going.
- Resource: Friends at our Lesson
Level: Elementary Students
So I’ve always wanted to do a “Bring a friend” Day at my studio but haven’t gotten around to it… But now that we’re all in lockdown, I know my kids are missing their friends and could use some fun every day! So this week, my students are getting their lesson reminder email with a special announcement:
You can see my ideas for lessons in the above announcement. And if you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them! I’ve already heard that several students have multiple animals picked out and would like to continue this all through online lesson time! Maybe it’ll become a regular part of our online piano lessons!
*Have you used Canva yet? It’s my favorite tool for announcements and Facebook or Blog images. If you haven’t checked it out yet, this break may be a perfect time to whip up new marketing images for your studio! My referral code linked above gives free credits to any new account.
- Resource: Where’s Waldo, from Compose Create’s Long Distance Games
Another idea we liked this week was Wendy’s game “Where’s Waldo?” It’s quick and easy to play across FaceTime or Skype. I like to specify they choose a musical marking or a note depending on what we’re working on.
And that’s all for this week! I’ll be trying a few more resources this week with students to hopefully share next week. Cross my fingers they work as well as I’m hoping! I would love to hear what’s worked for you too!