Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many piano teachers were forced to move their piano lessons online.
Online piano instruction does not have to be difficult or time-consuming. However, it can be pretty scary if you have never been taught in this manner.
Fortunately, online piano classes are not new; most people already have everything they need to start.
Remember, as the teacher, the most important thing your students need from you are your eyes, ears, and support. You don't need super-high-tech equipment, a perfect setup, or special equipment.
Accept that there will be technological disruptions as you get started. This is both normal and to be expected. They will be no big deal if you handle them lightly and learn to move on quickly.
Everything you'll need to know to start online piano lessons is here.
What You Need
Any device with an in-built camera, such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
A copy of your student's music.
A music stand, small table, or chair to set or prop up your device.
These are the only things you really need for piano learning, but there are some other things you might find useful.
Headphones (you can use it to hear your student more clearly or avoid feedback.)
A tripod - many tripod attachments are available to hold phones, iPads, and other devices. It will help you find different angles to demonstrate things on the piano keys.
An external microphone to help your students hear you more clearly.
Most teaching aids used during an in-person lesson will work via video, like flashcards, a dry erase board, game pieces, etc.
Platforms To Use
There are some popular video platforms for piano lessons for beginners. Experiment with a few different options so you can switch between platforms if required. For some reason, few students may be unable to access the same platform that you are. The most popular video chat platforms are:
FaceTime (only for Apple devices)
Each platform has benefits and drawbacks. They can all have a crystal-clear connection with crisp video and audio, or they can all have a lot of glitches and poor connections. Many factors influence the quality of your connection, so it's a good idea to be familiar with a few other options in case one doesn't work well for you or your student.
How To Teach Piano Lessons Online
Regarding actual teaching, teachers will need to make a few adjustments.
First, spend some time at the start of your student's first online piano learning lesson, helping them find a good setup so you can help them as effectively as you can. Provide them with instructions on where they should place their device. Request that they move it or make changes so you can see everything you need to see.
Second, you won't be able to point to your student's music or piano, so you'll have to replace your usual gestures with words. Teach your students how to navigate their music using measure numbers and lines so you can quickly help them find specific places in their music. Students will be able to easily find where they should go on the page or on the piano when you learn to rephrase instructions.
Next, you must pay close attention. You may not be able to see all the keys and your student's hands every time. You'll quickly notice if your student is playing wrong notes, but this time, you'll have to trust your ears to help them make corrections because you can't see everything.
When teaching online, don't be afraid to play your students' music and show them as much as possible from your own piano. However, playing along or demonstrating very specific concepts will be more difficult. Use your imagination when communicating.
Online piano lessons can still be helpful for younger piano students, but they may differ from in-person lessons.
Even if your youngest students normally attend piano lessons on their own, you may want to request that a parent or older sibling be present so that they can help the child stay engaged and focused.
Help your younger students find reasons to leave the bench from time to time. Concentrating for 30 minutes straight can be difficult for young students. Find games, activities, or skills they can do while waiting. Request that they find their favorite toy to serve as the "audience" for their new song. It would be helpful to allow them to stand up and take a quick break for a few minutes during the lesson.
Some Surprising Things About Online Piano Lessons
Some students are more focused than others. Surprisingly, students who are easily distracted perform better in an online lesson. They can be more productive if they only have to focus on the screen and their music.
It is more stressful to teach online as you'll find that you have to speak up more and concentrate more when taking online piano lessons. You may be used to getting up and moving around during a lesson, but when you teach online, you are more confined to the same spot. Sitting in the same place in front of a device for long hours can be exhausting.
We grow as teachers in our relationships with our students, and seeing them in person is energizing and important to us.
It is at least encouraging to maintain weekly contact with our students. Also, we now have the added benefit of knowing how to teach online piano lessons if we ever need to do so again in the future when a student may be unable to travel for a piano lesson.
Visit online piano classes by Mela Music School to start your piano learning journey. Also, we offer a 100% refund on lessons in case you are not satisfied with your lessons.