Are you a professional pianist and want to sell your skills online?
These 10 tips will guide you through all the important technicalities to keep in mind as well as piano related suggestions that will help you set up a professional online piano class. (In case you need a new piano: Top 20 Best Digital Pianos 2021)
So let’s dive into the 10 points.
10 Tips For Setting Up Online Piano Lessons
The first and the foremost thing that you need to make sure of is that you have a stable connection. Without this facility, you can never think of any online class. Next, look for the available platforms on which you can conduct the sessions like skype, zoom, google meet, Microsoft teams, etc. Choose the one which is easy for you to handle because you don’t want to waste any time sorting out the glitches while conducting the sessions. So try those applications out, learn about them beforehand. If you’re planning to record the lessons and not going to go live, uploading your videos on YouTube is the best option for you.
Should you invest in a DSLR? Is it even worth it? Honestly, No. It is not worth buying a high-resolution camera for teaching purposes, it does not make any wholesome changes. You can use your smartphone’s camera with the help of a tripod, it works out pretty well. But if you have enough budgets to invest in a camera; go for it.
This is a necessity. Investing in a microphone is useful. A good quality microphone will allow you to communicate properly with your students. Normal earphones are not recommended by any means for professional communication. A microphone will allow the students to hear you clearly and thus will help in a better understanding of the concepts.
Plan a syllabus that you are going to teach. Breaking the learning objectives down into a monthly basis will guide you to the pace of teaching that you need to keep. Also, revealing the monthly goals to students will give them a direction to follow. It is more advisable to further break down the goals every week. While planning a syllabus, keep in mind to allot the right expense of time to the right concept. You can also categorize the lessons in terms of the activity. For example – theory lessons, practice lessons, song lessons, etc.
Do not try to pack in all the students in one single batch. This will create a complete mess and can be very irritating. Divide students into a batch of 5-10 for easy, smooth, and interactive sessions. If there are fewer people in the sessions, it becomes easy to pay personal attention to each student and communicate properly. You think ending the lecture in one go would minimize the effort of teaching and that’s right but it would be much annoying and the students won’t be satisfied at all. All in all, if you want to sustain your students and class for the long term, spend some more effort and time and teach into separate batches.
Ask out for any queries and opinions. This is the best way to connect better with your students. It is pretty obvious it will take some time for the class to get along and there would some awkwardness but try to keep the environment friendly as much as possible so that your students feel free to ask out anything. In this kind of atmosphere students would be eager to learn from you whereas if you ignore the questions and curiosities, the lessons would be more like a boring lecture.
Always remember that you are a professional musician and have mastered the instrument in its entirety, not the students. Sometimes you may start uttering out the concepts that are alien to the students and they might take some time to understand them. Be a little considerate for students as they are just starting it out. Make lesser use of technical/musical terms that are involved in teaching. In case it’s inevitable, gradually make the students aware of the terms and then try to connect the pieces because the whole point of teaching is to ease out the learning and that’s exactly why the students take up the class.
Before picking up the instrument, every other beginner fantasizes about the songs that he/she wants to play. Nobody wants to get forced to play certain songs that they don’t like.
This is true for everyone. When someone knows that they’d be able to play their favorite song, they are more determined and hardworking to achieve that feat.
Tap those preferences out and teach them the musical pieces of their liking. This is the best way to keep the students motivated.
Just learning the concepts and theories never helps in learning a piano. The more you practice, the quicker you learn any instrument. So after each lesson, provide some practice material to do. Then ask for students to perform the given exercises or musical pieces in the next session. For making the students practice more in their leisure time, don’t force them to continue to do the practice. Instead, explain the benefits of practice and share the role of practice in your learning experience. This will make the students realize the importance of doing practice and eventually they will also start doing it.
Ask your students to keep a pen and paper ready before starting the lesson. Ask them to write the points that they think are important and also the points that you mention. Ask them to write the concepts in detail in which they are weak. But running notes are not enough as they are very casual and might create the problem of subjective interpretations. Prepare your official notes covering all the integral parts of the syllabus. Make sure each student gets access to these notes.
Follow this 10 points guide to give your students a worthwhile learning experience.