The following is something that another piano teacher wrote to her students. We have modified it where necessary.
How neat is it that technology lets us have online lessons for piano?! Thanks for doing your part to help us all stay healthy! This is a guide for parents and students to get the most out of their online lessons..
For online lessons to be successful, you need a smart phone or tablet, with some way to prop it up. My students have been creative here–one has used a drinking glass to pop his phone into (the camera has to be above the rim). Another one straps their phone to a music stand beside the piano. Someone else has propped it up on a desk/shelf beside the piano using cans to hold it in place! If you have a piano, you can wedge it onto the corner ledge of the piano. Test out your setup by taking a selfie! I should be able to see the student’s side profile and their hands on the piano keys–you’ll have to play with the angles.
If you have an apple device, it is really easy! You send me your phone number, or the e-mail address that you have associated with your apple product and I will add you to my contact list. We would use Facetime (built into the device).
Anyone with a SKYPE account? My Skype address is musicbox817. The profile picture is a picture of my daughter, Nava.
If you do not have either of these, or if you are in my group classes, we will be using Zoom! I will send a link to a Zoom meeting. You just click on the link and you will be in my class. If it’s your first time using Zoom, when you click on the link, it will download the programme to your computer or smart phone. (It’s a very quick download, but to save time please do that before the class starts. Their website is https://zoom.us ).
Lastly, I also use WhatsApp. If you have my phone number, you should be able to find my profile in your contact lists. Please let me know if you need my cell phone number.
I think these four are the easiest to get going software platforms that I use for online lessons. I am always doing research about what works best. I think these three are the easiest to get going.
TAKING AN ONLINE LESSON
Surprisingly, online classes are very similar to in-person lessons. In fact, most things stay the same! It’s like I am right beside you teaching you at your regular lesson. I can hear you play, and we can talk about things. Some things that are different: you have to really listen, because we can’t talk at the same time! I won’t be able to play at the same time as you because of the audio delay. But we can still do a lot of fun things and learn together.
If you are one of my younger piano students, a parent or older sibling needs to sit with you during your lesson. This assistant will help me if you have trouble understanding my directions. And they can help you get set up before your lesson.
BEFORE THE CLASS
Get ready with all your pibooks, a pencil and an eraser. Have your phone charged and ready to go! Wait until I call YOU! I have some students that are back to back, so I need to make sure that everyone’s lesson time is uninterrupted. Be ready to go 5 – 10 minutes before your lesson. You can play through your songs while you are waiting for me!
Let’s have some fun!
Lessons are offered in English or French.
We offer private, semi-private and group lessons at our location or at your home. The length of time of lessons can be 30, 45 or 60 minutes depending on the student's level and the size of the group.
We offer instruction for all musical instruments as well as theory and ear-training, music history, composition, improvisation, music learning by ear and rote.
We prepare students for Kiwanis, Royal Conservatory of Music Exams, recitals, entry into university music programs, school band or orchestra exams and performances.
Group Classes (Beginner and Intermediate, 8-week courses)
This course is for students who know which instrument they would like to learn how to play, whether it is piano, guitar or violin. In this course students will learn how to play music on said instruments by ear and by rote.
Group classes are a fun and interactive way for students to learn to play an instrument. It is easier for some students to learn in a group for a few reasons: they are motivated to learn at the same pace as their peers, if they do not understand a concept, they can watch how some on else does it, and the class is filled with fun games that teach skills.
Our classes are led by a skilled instructor, to make sure students receive lessons catered to their age and ability. Group classes are offered at our studio location (884 Byron Avenue).
Groups will be made up of students close in age and technical ability.
Music Initiation course (12-week course)
This course consists mostly of games and activities that are geared towards exposing children to musical concepts that they would be mostly unaware of. It is for children with no musical background, but it could also be adapted and become useful to advanced students.
The goal of the class is to give students an overall appreciation of music by informing them about various aspects of music such as:
- melody and rhythm
- different genres of music
- music throughout history
- music in movies and television
- notation of melody and the names of notes
- notation of rhythm
- identifying different musical instruments (by appearance and by sound)
- the physics of sound
This is intended to be a fun and interactive way to learn about music. In the very least, it will give students some knowledge that they would otherwise not get from their education at school, and hopefully trigger the desire to want to make music.
We are offering this program at our studio, as well as at the Dovercourt Community Centre. It is intended for groups as small as four and as large as 20 and for ages four and up.
We also provide piano and violin/viola Music for All Occasions including Bar Mitzvahs, Christmas parties, weddings, dinner parties, etc.
Violins and keyboards are available for rental to students. Rental of other instruments can be arranged upon request.