The good news is that they seem to have a vaccine for COVID. Which means things may return to “normal” in the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, online teaching is probably here to stay. A lot of parents are excited about online lessons for their children as it saves time and travel. Some teachers, (myself included) enjoy the flexibility that online teaching provides.
For many teachers having a thriving piano studio, includes teaching preschool students. However, this may be the most challenging group to teach Online. I am here to tell you it can be done! You can successfully teach preschool students online. Here’s how I do it.
The set up.
A fast internet connection is the first and most important consideration when planning to teach anyone online. Below is some basic information on internet speed.
For 1:1 video calling
In this case, there are two people on the Zoom call; you and the person you are calling. 1:1 Zoom calls are common but not as common as Zoom meetings with multiple participants.
|HQ Video||HD 720P Video||1080P HD Video|
|Upload Speed||600 kbps||1.2 Mbps||1.8 Mbps|
|Download Speed||600 kbps||1.2 Mbps||1.8 Mbps|
I use the zoom platform as this one enables both screen sharing and use of a webcam. I use an overhead webcam set up with a boom stand. I have an iPad for video and screen sharing. I use the Forscore app so that I can screen share music examples.
Student’s homes also need to have a decent internet speed. Before the lesson they can check their internet speed here. https://www.speedtest.net/
From the beginning I let parents know that their preschool child has to have a responsible older “helper” attending lessons and supervising music time between lessons. This person can be a parent, older sibling, grandparent, or caregiver. Most parents are more than happy about this. A piano lesson is a great opportunity for families to spend time together. Some parents even sign up for their own lesson.
The Piano Box
I love hands-on activities! I absolutely want my Online preschool students to have fun and learn using them. So, I make my favorite activities and snail-mail them to my student. Imagine, how psyched and excited your students and parents will be when they receive their “piano box”
Here is what I include:
- Colorful popsicle sticks cut to the size of the groups of the two and three black keys on the piano and labeled 2 and 3.
- Popsicle sticks labeled with letters A through G. These are used to find piano keys.