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How is the coronavirus affecting you?
#2956048 03/10/20 10:51 AM
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Hello everyone,

I'm wondering how the coronavirus is affecting us, as music teachers, and how it is affecting our students.

What suggestions do you have, to keep us safe.

I'm always worried about transmitting viruses via the piano keyboard. I have had trouble finding out ways to disinfect the keyboard, without affecting the keys themselves. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Best wishes, and hope everyone stays safe.

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Re: How is the coronavirus affecting you?
Laurie R. #2956070 03/10/20 12:15 PM
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I suggest you have an approved hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol concentration) right at the front door, which every healthy student is required to scrub their hands with - or even better, get each student to head straight to the sink and watch them wash their hands thoroughly for 30 seconds with soap and water, then dry them on paper towels which are then disposed of immediately. You do the same - maybe show them first, so they know what they have to do. And tell them not to touch their faces at all. No shaking hands/hugging/kissing/high-fiving. No facial contact of any sort with anyone or anything. Open doors for them so they don't have to touch anything other than the piano keyboard.

Any student feeling unwell or with a fever or cough must stay away. Though runny noses aren't a feature of Covid-19, you don't want sneezes either because the droplets will contaminate everything.

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

If you don't have the virus on the keyboard (from infected people's fingers), you don't need to disinfect it. Strong alcohol-based sanitizers are so far the only ones proven to kill the virus, but they will likely damage the black keys.

BTW, all my advice above applies to everyone who comes into your home or studio, including yourself, even if they aren't playing your piano. But even so, it won't guarantee that your piano won't be the source of a viral contamination and spread, especially when touchy-feely children are involved.......


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: How is the coronavirus affecting you?
Laurie R. #2956279 03/11/20 07:11 AM
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First thing is to consider if you're in an area that really has coronavirus or has any people in isolation / quarantine. If so, the only way to prevent anything is to suspend the courses or move to Skype. If there's no coronavirus in your area, then you shouldn't go into paranoid zone at all. Maybe ask your students if the came from Italy or China or such a zone recently or came in contact with such persons. If so they should isolate themselves anyway, not going for piano lessons. Yes, there's a chance to get infected, but there's also a chance to get lightning striked and nobody freaks out and buys all the toilet paper because of it.

Washing the hands won't prevent infections 100%. Of course it helps, but still, you will be getting it anyway without keeping your nose in the student's mouth, if you breath beside him for 1 hour. I've read an article about the China spread and it said the patient zero gave the virus to people 4 rows away in some bus. Also people near to him didn't get it. It's like a lottery, but the small chance of getting the prize is not with pleasant results.

And probably most important, if you have old pupils, they should probably stay at home, because the vast majority of deaths are over 70 years old (I would in their place).

Re: How is the coronavirus affecting you?
Mosotti #2956471 03/11/20 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
I suggest you have an approved hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol concentration) right at the front door,

Good luck getting one, if you didn't stock up a month ago.

Originally Posted by Mosotti
First thing is to consider if you're in an area that really has coronavirus

How do you know, it changes by the hour.
By the time a community case is confirmed, the virus has probably been circulating for days, if not weeks.

Perhaps sit or stand behind the students, not side by side with the student?
Don't touch your face and wash your hands between students.

Re: How is the coronavirus affecting you?
The Monkeys #2956492 03/11/20 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by The Monkeys
Originally Posted by bennevis
I suggest you have an approved hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol concentration) right at the front door,

Good luck getting one, if you didn't stock up a month ago.


Like a good Scout (not that I was ever in the Scouts smirk ), I was already prepared, and stocked up on what I needed for dark times several years ago......


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: How is the coronavirus affecting you?
Laurie R. #2957334 03/15/20 10:55 AM
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I'm doing lessons via Skype for the next two weeks at least, and I'm postponing or possibly cancelling my recital on the 21st.


Piano teacher since 2008, member of NFMC
Re: How is the coronavirus affecting you?
Laurie R. #2957468 03/15/20 05:38 PM
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Thanks everyone, for your replies. Here in Canada (Ottawa/Gatineau), the schools are now closed for two weeks (at least), all concerts, events, etc. are cancelled. The Québec government is telling people over 70 to stay at home. So I think that my only choice is to go to Skype or some other platform.

Stay safe, everyone.

Re: How is the coronavirus affecting you?
Laurie R. #2957483 03/15/20 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Laurie R.
Thanks everyone, for your replies. Here in Canada (Ottawa/Gatineau), the schools are now closed for two weeks (at least), all concerts, events, etc. are cancelled. The Québec government is telling people over 70 to stay at home. So I think that my only choice is to go to Skype or some other platform.

Stay safe, everyone.


You're right across the river, Laurie. smile You too - stay safe.

Zoom - not Skype. There is a setting for music rather than speech - among other things, that way sustain doesn't turn into staccato. (my lessons are remote, and always have been)

Re: How is the coronavirus affecting you?
keystring #2957535 03/15/20 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring

You're right across the river, Laurie. smile You too - stay safe.

Zoom - not Skype. There is a setting for music rather than speech - among other things, that way sustain doesn't turn into staccato. (my lessons are remote, and always have been)



Great. I just went to Zoom->Preferences and disabled all the sound "enhancements." Now, the notes in the lowest octave can be heard, and long sustained notes don't get cut off.

However, it seems like such settings aren't available on iOS devices.

Re: How is the coronavirus affecting you?
Laurie R. #2957738 03/16/20 02:58 PM
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Thanks for the tips about Zoom.


Piano teacher since 2008, member of NFMC
Re: How is the coronavirus affecting you?
keystring #2957748 03/16/20 03:29 PM
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Thanks, Keystring. I'll have a look at Zoom. This week is "March Break", so I'm not teaching anyway, and have some time to get up-to-speed with these technologies.

Re: How is the coronavirus affecting you?
Laurie R. #2957763 03/16/20 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Laurie R.
Thanks, Keystring. I'll have a look at Zoom. This week is "March Break", so I'm not teaching anyway, and have some time to get up-to-speed with these technologies.



The below video from Hugh Song addresses remote lessons around 5:17

https://youtu.be/MSdiBVFGXQ8


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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Re: How is the coronavirus affecting you?
Laurie R. #2957765 03/16/20 04:16 PM
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I teach in four schools in the UK and they are ready to close as soon as the government gives the word.

I've never done online piano lessons before. Anyone have any tips? I was thinking of Skype, as well as uploading video content which I could send to a student, as well as receive video content from them.

What platform is best? Is there anything which works better for music lessons?

I only have a laptop. I'm just wondering how you can talk about fingering and the ins and outs of the music. It looks a real challenge.

Re: How is the coronavirus affecting you?
Laurie R. #2957792 03/16/20 06:14 PM
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I taught my first four lessons remotely today and have thoughts that I want to write down in case anybody else might want to weigh in (or benefit from my experience).

1. I tried Zoom for the first three (one family) and then Duo for the last one. Both ended up having problems with cutting out--mostly the students complaining that I was cutting out.

2. Battery life was an issue. Two hours of video calling uses a LOT of power. I had to plug my phone in after the first two lessons, which severely limited how much I could move my phone. I would unplug for a few seconds to show hand position or whatever on the keyboard, then plug it back in to focus on my face. I actually have to wonder if battery life was the issue with the cutting out--but on their end, not mine. It did seem like as the lesson went on, the call quality got worse. My last student's video kept going in and out.

3. I don't own a copy of every book my students use. I have some, but not all. It's very difficult to teach when I can't see the music. I think I'm going to be placing a fairly large order from Sheet Music Plus if this goes on for very long.

4. I can't write in notebooks. We're going to have to find a workaround for that. Maybe email parents the lesson notes?

5. Wire music stands make great phone stands, positioning the phone at just the right place and angle to view the student/teacher and the keyboard.

6. It sometimes took longer to communicate because I couldn't just point to the music or to the keys.


Piano teacher since 2008, member of NFMC
Re: How is the coronavirus affecting you?
Laurie R. #2958093 03/17/20 05:51 PM
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dogperson-

that video put a slow smile on my face- it will take some time and money to set up, but I think I can do it!!

I do have copies of all the books, and I guess I can open a GoogleDoc to keep lesson notes per student and check progress. I do like drawing pictures in the assignment notebook to explain some things, but if a PARENT is PRESENT and INVOLVED and taking notes themselves, then maybe they can also help the child practice.

I also like to color code things (red = forte, pedal in blue, orange for caution items, etc...) and that may be trickier, esp. for my littles (5-7 year olds)

How do you check theory work? Let alone, reward stickers and checkmarks?

But, this makes me feel better. I could even open up for more adults, since we may all just be home longer than expected.

Thank you!


Learning as I teach.
Re: How is the coronavirus affecting you?
Laurie R. #2959151 03/21/20 03:41 AM
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My son’s teacher is allowing folks to do lessons via FaceTime. Is there a microphone 🎤 that I could buy that would help? I’m sure the sound quality is not ideal. Thank you in advance.


Yamaha G2
Re: How is the coronavirus affecting you?
The Monkeys #2959209 03/21/20 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by The Monkeys
Originally Posted by bennevis
I suggest you have an approved hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol concentration) right at the front door,

Good luck getting one, if you didn't stock up a month ago.


A bucket of hot water, bar of soap and clean towel will do the job even better if you haven't got the sanitizer.

Originally Posted by The Monkeys

Originally Posted by Mosotti
First thing is to consider if you're in an area that really has coronavirus

How do you know, it changes by the hour.
By the time a community case is confirmed, the virus has probably been circulating for days, if not weeks.

Perhaps sit or stand behind the students, not side by side with the student?
Don't touch your face and wash your hands between students.


And don't forget to keep the windows open as well, this helps more than you might think. Facemasks, if you have them, will do a good job of helping protect the other person, less so for yourself. Good if you both have them :-)

Re: How is the coronavirus affecting you?
gwing #2959216 03/21/20 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by gwing
Originally Posted by The Monkeys
Originally Posted by bennevis
I suggest you have an approved hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol concentration) right at the front door,

Good luck getting one, if you didn't stock up a month ago.


A bucket of hot water, bar of soap and clean towel will do the job even better if you haven't got the sanitizer.

Originally Posted by The Monkeys

Originally Posted by Mosotti
First thing is to consider if you're in an area that really has coronavirus

How do you know, it changes by the hour.
By the time a community case is confirmed, the virus has probably been circulating for days, if not weeks.

Perhaps sit or stand behind the students, not side by side with the student?
Don't touch your face and wash your hands between students.


And don't forget to keep the windows open as well, this helps more than you might think. Facemasks, if you have them, will do a good job of helping protect the other person, less so for yourself. Good if you both have them :-)


Why are you advising using masks? we have been asked not to buy them because they are in critically short supply for healthcare providers that urgently need them.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: How is the coronavirus affecting you?
Laurie R. #2959220 03/21/20 09:33 AM
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Some of you may be interested in this. This here is a scientific realtime dashboard which tracks the genomic epidemiology of COVID-19. In a few words, it tracks the mutation and transmission paths of COVID-19 spreading across the world. You can "play" it to show a video of the transmission paths and spread over time and what countries are most active transmitting it, by date. Here is just a snapshot of what this looks like:

[Linked Image]

And for those who want to more dashboards, here are two more.

This is the John Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard:

[Linked Image]

This is another COVID-19 tracker dashboard that has better breakdowns and statistics by country:

[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]
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Re: How is the coronavirus affecting you?
Tyrone Slothrop #2959353 03/21/20 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Some of you may be interested in this. This here is a scientific realtime dashboard which tracks the genomic epidemiology of COVID-19. In a few words, it tracks the mutation and transmission paths of COVID-19 spreading across the world. You can "play" it to show a video of the transmission paths and spread over time and what countries are most active transmitting it, by date. Here is just a snapshot of what this looks like:

I zoomed in on my part of the world. It was odd, because in Ontario the dot went over Barrie, and there was nothing at all ever showing for Toronto. Yet I know that almost all the cases were in Toronto, and they seemed to have started there. Does that meant the cities themselves are just approximate locations?

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