Lessons In Lockdown

After the first half-term of lessons in lockdown, here’s a little summary of how the enforced switch to online lessons have gone from a teacher’s perspective.

Generally, progress has been far better than we might have imagined and in many cases, better than usual for the following reasons:

  • Students on the whole seem better-focused although not specifically because the lessons are online. This is more down to students having had more sleep and a less tiring school day!
  • Students on the whole have also made better progress due to having more free time to practice.

  • For students who normally have their lessons at school, there are no longer issues with arriving to the lesson late or forgetting books at home. (Although for GMS students who have lessons at home anyway, this is never an issue and a huge advantage of having lessons at home)

  • New ways of working encourage alternative/novel approaches, e.g. more use of filming parts of the lesson to aid the student to remember how to do something. This could be done before anyway, but it’s made simpler as it just requires a few mouse clicks.

Biggest downsides to online lessons:

  • Impossible for the teacher to play along or do duets with the student due to the latency. Perhaps technology will overcome this with the roll-out of full fibre broadband in the future!

  • Any written/theory work requires a little more organisation, as well as making sure the teacher has a copy of any sheet music being used (so more assistance usually required from the parent). The same goes for students when playing/singing to back tracks.

  • Technical glitches from time-to-time with wireless/broadband/server issues. Certain activities might be harder to do where a connection is poor and broadcast quality isn’t as good as others.

  • Most exams have been put on hold which deprives some of our students of something to work towards, but we’ve been inviting those with pieces that want to perform to film themselves as part of our stay-at-home virtual concerts this term!

I sure do miss seeing students face-to-face, but at the same time, I’m very content that they’re still making significant (and often better) progress whilst social distancing is in effect for as long as it needs to!