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Physical meet-up lessons post-covid lockdown
#2964119 04/06/20 10:38 AM
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Hello teachers,

Self-starting beginner player here, looking to hear your thoughts on teaching after the covid lockdowns and restraints ease up.

Before the outbreak, I had finally decided that i would like to start this piano journey with the guidance of a teacher, mostly due to tension playing leading to wrist/back pains. The virus said otherwise. Obviously for my goals, a physical presence is needed to correct my posture. Web teaching would be near impossible for this.

I know this is too early in the stages of the unknown, but how do you feel this is going to impact your physical meet-up lessons once the lockdowns are over? Perhaps on the extreme end, but are you considering completely cutting physical meet-up lessons for the foreseeable future?

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Re: Physical meet-up lessons post-covid lockdown
RandomGuy #2964961 04/09/20 09:42 AM
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Shhhh. Don't tell, but I've still been having my regular rendez-vous with my teacher. We wash, he cleans the keyboard before and after, I wear a mask. I know it is a small risk.


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Re: Physical meet-up lessons post-covid lockdown
malkin #2964964 04/09/20 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by malkin
Shhhh. Don't tell, but I've still been having my regular rendez-vous with my teacher. We wash, he cleans the keyboard before and after, I wear a mask. I know it is a small risk.

Blasphemy! wink


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Re: Physical meet-up lessons post-covid lockdown
Tyrone Slothrop #2965202 04/09/20 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by malkin
Shhhh. Don't tell, but I've still been having my regular rendez-vous with my teacher. We wash, he cleans the keyboard before and after, I wear a mask. I know it is a small risk.
Blasphemy! wink

I guess the risk increases depending on my teacher's social encounters and I haven't asked, but still, I can't really imagine it having much of an effect on the public health. In Utah. If there were higher incidence here, I'd be more cautious.


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Re: Physical meet-up lessons post-covid lockdown
malkin #2965281 04/10/20 02:21 AM
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Originally Posted by malkin
I guess the risk increases depending on my teacher's social encounters and I haven't asked, but still, I can't really imagine it having much of an effect on the public health. In Utah. If there were higher incidence here, I'd be more cautious.
I think people in Utah have more than half a brain than the dopes in California that I have to live with.


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Re: Physical meet-up lessons post-covid lockdown
AZNpiano #2965358 04/10/20 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by malkin
I guess the risk increases depending on my teacher's social encounters and I haven't asked, but still, I can't really imagine it having much of an effect on the public health. In Utah. If there were higher incidence here, I'd be more cautious.
I think people in Utah have more than half a brain than the dopes in California that I have to live with.

I don't think so, but there are certainly a lot more of you.


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Re: Physical meet-up lessons post-covid lockdown
RandomGuy #2965385 04/10/20 11:52 AM
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Honestly, I have students/families who aren't going anywhere, seeing anyone, and if they only see someone who "hasn't gone anywhere and seen anyone" either, then the risk is close to zero...unless one of us is already infected and asymptomatic but contagious and infects someone else. We are in an area of urban density, within commuting distance of a major hotspot though, I can't do exceptions because slippery slope, have to treat everyone the same, etc. I have a number of friends and family members in healthcare who are literally risking their lives to save those who were out getting infected (not that people did so *intentionally* - I'm just stating the outcome) so it would be horribly irresponsible/hypocritical of me personally to flout the distancing guidelines. Well, I have gone out to get essential supplies and I have dropped off supplies at people's houses, so I'm not entirely at zero risk anyway.

As to the original question, it's too early to tell when I personally will resume in-person lessons. While children are kept out of school, it's definitely out of the question. Will children be kept out of summer camp as well? If there is even limited resumption of summer activities, maybe I could have students in my driveway - meeting in person but still limiting direct contact? (It's nice to be mostlystrings, not mostlypiano!) Also, there are non student relationships in my life that I sorely miss and those people will be on my first to meet again list! Sorry students but you're second. It's just too early to tell.

Something that will affect post-crisis lessons: now that we have established that distance learning is a thing, this may change how we handle continuity for future absences. Sick? Take the day off but keep up with your learning through the tools and habits we developed during crisis. Rescheduling because of school event, birthday party, soccer game? No, not allowed to default to video lesson as a convenience. Traveling abroad for the summer? We have the structure in place to handle distance learning.

Re: Physical meet-up lessons post-covid lockdown
RandomGuy #2965412 04/10/20 01:05 PM
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I suspect my piano teacher won’t resume physical lessons until 1) the government lifts physical distancing measures, AND 2) she personally thinks it’s safe to do so. I suspect she is more conservative than the government and I suspect we are both on the same page. So that is good.

My other music lesson (sax) is a part of a bigger music school so I suspect they will resume when the government lifts physical distancing measures, but I also know my teacher has an underlying condition (and so have I), so I wouldn’t mind and actually prefer if he “played it safer” too. And our lesson room is awfully small and claustrophobic with no ventilation to begin with, scary even before the pandemic.

And finally, my concert band lesson/practice - it normally finishes in May and starts up again in September so it’s pretty clear that’s done for the year. Most of us have said our good byes for the year and “See you in September!”

I don’t see any of my teachers cutting in-person classes for good. At this point, everyone is hopeful things will be back to some kind of normal come September, although we all know there will be smaller waves of the virus to follow this first big wave.

I’m getting so used to my online lessons I’m considering asking my teacher if it’s ok to do some online lessons even after in-person lessons resume.


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Re: Physical meet-up lessons post-covid lockdown
RandomGuy #2965454 04/10/20 03:18 PM
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Interesting to hear/read the other side of the coin regarding this.
I am one of the fortunate/unfortunate people who is currently working in the healthcare setting, so perhaps my perspective is to be considerate to anyone I come into contact with, strangers and family/friends alike.

Also interesting is that I have not heard back from most of the emails that I had initially sent out to teachers requesting lessons. Perhaps being a new prospect student with an unknown background (vs a returning known student) has worked against my favor.

Perhaps for the better, at least until things start settling down.

Re: Physical meet-up lessons post-covid lockdown
RandomGuy #2965487 04/10/20 05:12 PM
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Yeah, I'm not so keen on starting any new students online, whether beginner or transfer/experienced, and there is no way to estimate when my physical studio will re-open. I'd at least reply/acknowledge though and maybe offer a phone call just for exchange of information and ideas.

Re: Physical meet-up lessons post-covid lockdown
RandomGuy #2967234 04/15/20 09:06 AM
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I might just throw in the towel altogether.

Just before the so-called pandemic hit, I moved out of my home due to a divorce. I bugged out in fear of my safety, and of course I was not able to take my concert grand with me in my car. I don't even know if it still exists - my (now ex-)wife had been threatening to set it on fire for months.

Thankfully I was able to rent studio space, but it was clear across town (and actually in a suburb), so I lost about half my students due to the increased distance. Then about two weeks later, the stay-at-home orders hit.

A few stalwart students wanted to continue lessons even after the lockdown orders, but I told them to stay home and stay safe. (I'm actually very skeptical about this "virus" myself, but I won't take chances with my students.)

None of them has asked for online lessons - I just don't do them. I've taught online in the past, but hated the whole experience. It's not for me. Count me as a technophobe.

If any of my students want to continue after the lockdown orders are lifted, I will gladly take them back. I need the money badly. But due to the uncertainty of the divorce, I don't know if I'll be able to teach long term.

Last edited by Dr. Rogers; 04/15/20 09:07 AM.

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Re: Physical meet-up lessons post-covid lockdown
Dr. Rogers #2967277 04/15/20 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
I was not able to take my concert grand with me in my car. I don't even know if it still exists - my (now ex-)wife had been threatening to set it on fire for months.
Oh, that sounds terrible.

Best of luck to you.


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Re: Physical meet-up lessons post-covid lockdown
RandomGuy #2974295 05/02/20 11:46 PM
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I keep thinking somehow this problem will require the use of Drones.

Re: Physical meet-up lessons post-covid lockdown
RandomGuy #2975685 05/06/20 11:08 AM
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i was going to start a new adult beginner after spring break. That has been put on hold because I am not going to start something so foundational over a screen.

All but three of my piano families continued after the shut-down. Two were financial, and one was," we just adopted a baby and have two young sons. Just cannot right now."

Having a prior relationship was key, I believe. I am another adult caring for their child. And, I send weekly emails for assignments. They are seeing the work I put in, and usually how the student is progressing!

Some are signing up for on-line summer semester lessons. Some are wanting to wait for when we do in-person lessons again.

Trying to stare at the camera lens to "look" the student in the eye is draining. Keeping upbeat and extra expressive is hard work. The slight delay is hard to discern- did they hear me/understand/taking time to think? We need the physical cues for life, let alone lessons!

So, even though I have been successful with on-line lessons, I am not going to continue unless I have to. It takes twice as long (set up, write ups) and it it tiring. I do it for the students I have now and we are happily, even excitedly pursuing Zoom recitals. But, this too, shall pass.


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Re: Physical meet-up lessons post-covid lockdown
AZNpiano #2975695 05/06/20 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
I was not able to take my concert grand with me in my car. I don't even know if it still exists - my (now ex-)wife had been threatening to set it on fire for months.
Oh, that sounds terrible.

Best of luck to you.

Dr Rogers
I totally missed your post until today. I am hoping that everything works out for you and you can continue teaching.


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Re: Physical meet-up lessons post-covid lockdown
missbelle #2975759 05/06/20 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by missbelle
All but three of my piano families continued after the shut-down. Two were financial, and one was," we just adopted a baby and have two young sons. Just cannot right now."

I think you are better off than most other teachers because you are teaching for a school, and those parents obviously value education more than other parents.

I teach kids that go to public school, and this pandemic has really revealed the problems that goes on with distance learning, especially when teachers aren't equipped to deal with distance learning. It's a disaster.


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Re: Physical meet-up lessons post-covid lockdown
RandomGuy #2975923 05/06/20 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by RandomGuy
Also interesting is that I have not heard back from most of the emails that I had initially sent out to teachers requesting lessons. Perhaps being a new prospect student with an unknown background (vs a returning known student) has worked against my favor.

Years ago when I was looking for a teacher, I got no response from about 85% of the inquiries I made, and that was way before we even could have imagined any of this. Hang in there.


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Re: Physical meet-up lessons post-covid lockdown
AZNpiano #2976287 05/07/20 03:52 PM
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And, the parents pre-paid for the semester. !!! Most just accepted as fact, "this is what we do."

(the ones that left had good legit reasons, and received refunds from the school for the remaining lessons. Pretty sure, if they get back on their feet, two will resume lessons)

My home studio has mostly public school kids, and they have kept on!

Funny, but the school parents that used me as a "musical babysitter" because it fit the schedule, have improved under shut-down, because they see what goes into a lesson. Mom AND dad receive email follow-ups about the assignments and homework and things to print and play and do. So, they are actually working, and have the kids working! win win!


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Re: Physical meet-up lessons post-covid lockdown
missbelle #2976329 05/07/20 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by missbelle
Funny, but the school parents that used me as a "musical babysitter" because it fit the schedule, have improved under shut-down, because they see what goes into a lesson. Mom AND dad receive email follow-ups about the assignments and homework and things to print and play and do. So, they are actually working, and have the kids working! win win!

Lucky you! Most of my students are taking a break from piano for whatever reason. The few that stayed on have a HOST of problems, most of which can be directly attributed to irresponsible teachers at school (well, you can't really blame them), technology issues, and poor parenting. I've been asked school questions not related to piano, including Algebra, World History, and English. One kid even asked me how to download a document and print the pdf.

This extended stay-at-home order is causing a ton of mental problems that I can directly observe through piano lessons. Kids that had ADD to begin with now can't stay focused for more than 2 minutes. Even some of my brightest students are getting dumber by the minute. Thank god I haven't witnessed domestic violence and/or child abuse yet, but it's obvious that children need to be at school instead of being stuck at home 24/7.

And I'm not the only piano teacher to experience this.


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Re: Physical meet-up lessons post-covid lockdown
RandomGuy #2976375 05/07/20 08:00 PM
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I've been fortunate to have retained 90% of my students through all this. (And those parents who decided to stop have said they plan to return when I go back to in-person lessons.)

I also have a transfer student waiting in the wings, who plans to begin with me after I can open back up.

My biggest concern with teaching children online was how well it would go with the three new-to-piano students I had acquired in January and February this year. Two of them, though, have done remarkably well under the circumstances.

The third one, however, who started in February, struggled for a while. Switching that student to a different method series last month helped, though. Maybe the biggest problem originally was a poor fit between student and curriculum, rather than with remote lessons vs. in-person lessons. Moving lessons online may have simply made the poor curricular fit more clear.

For the most part, I'd have to say my students are doing quite well with their lessons. They are focusing either the same or better than they did before. I guess I'm lucky in that!

It's shocking and sad, though, to see how much weight a couple of my students have gained since the lockdown began. It's not the normal weight gain of growing children. frown

Such a stressful time for so many, and my heart breaks for the children who are so deeply affected by all this. I'm very thankful for the children's sake that many of my families have been able to keep piano lessons in their children's lives, to maintain some measure of normalcy and consistency for the kids during such a turbulent time.

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