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COVID-19 Excuse
#3034000 10/10/20 02:00 AM
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Are there any kids who are still doing Zoom even though it's completely safe to go back to in-person lessons?

I was just talking to a few colleagues, and we all have students who should be coming back to in-person lessons now, but haven't. It's like their parents are using COVID-19 as an excuse to either not do piano or continue with Zoom indefinitely.

All of our neighborhood schools have re-opened or are doing some hybrid. Our COVID-19 "positivity rate" is around 3%, and has been like that for a month now. One school district 5 miles away was the first to re-open three weeks ago, and it just got one COVID case today, and the news media is already vulturing to make a huge deal out of it, like they should shut down the high school immediately and test all the kids for that one kid who got infected.

The "new normal" is constant paranoia and instant panic.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3034094 10/10/20 10:18 AM
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I think there are students and parents who find that the convenience of not having to drive to the lesson trumps everything else. I am not one of those people, there are significant numbers of them out there.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3034115 10/10/20 11:24 AM
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If parents are also opting for remote schooling, then they are not opting for convenience. If the kids are going to school, but not to in-studio private lessons, that may be convenience and excuse. Does one actually know what is "safe"? AZNpiano, are these parents sending their children to school, but keeping them out of private lessons?

Re: COVID-19 Excuse
keystring #3034124 10/10/20 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Does one actually know what is "safe"?

Kids have a higher chance of dying on the freeway than from COVID. It's well documented by science and statistics.

Originally Posted by keystring
AZNpiano, are these parents sending their children to school, but keeping them out of private lessons?

Yes.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3034125 10/10/20 11:46 AM
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AZN
If you don’t want to teach remotely, why not just send out a notification that on xx date all lessons will be scheduled as face-to-face? You can make the teaching method your decision, can’t you?


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
dogperson #3034129 10/10/20 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
AZN
If you don’t want to teach remotely, why not just send out a notification that on xx date all lessons will be scheduled as face-to-face? You can make the teaching method your decision, can’t you?
That was my thought, too, provided you can live with loosing xx% of your students (i.e., have others potential students in the queue). As long as on-line is an option, then a certain percent will opt for it. If it's not available, they'll go elsewhere, quit, or resume in-person lessons.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
dogperson #3034130 10/10/20 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
AZN
If you don’t want to teach remotely, why not just send out a notification that on xx date all lessons will be scheduled as face-to-face? You can make the teaching method your decision, can’t you?

Of course I can. But then I will lose a certain number of students. It's $$$. Some parents are truly freaked out by COVID and they are thinking irrationally because the media continues to equate new cases with death. I have one student who is so paranoid, she thinks she'll die if she goes back to school. So she's on school's Zoom option. Her district offers that option to parents.

Which brings up an interesting point. Our death rate is way WAY down. Hospitals are half empty. But the government is so slow to restore normalcy.

For example, the high school that has the one new COVID case. The smart thing to do is to contact-trace the people around that student and test them. But the media is reporting that people want the school shut down and go back to Zoom. This is the crazy world in which we live. It's all dictated by fear. Where's the science?

Ultimately, those who lose out due to Zoom lessons are the kids. If the kids and their parents don't care about progress, they can continue to Zoom until they die. It's not really my problem, is it?


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3034135 10/10/20 12:03 PM
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Several private and charter schools in my area, including the one I teach after school, opened back in August. All is well.

One student opted remote classes and piano. Not sure the health issue for her or the family, but she practices and has been progressing and I have a good relationship with her. She is lonely, not afraid.

The only other Zoom students I have are public school students. They went back just a few days ago at 25% with huge protests, and only for special needs students or those that need the supervision. The classes are basically in school suspension. You sit in the same room all day watching your Zoom lessons at your desk and you are not allowed to move.

The public school students here have been taught to be afraid. When I have asked about coming back to my home studio, I get this frozen look of fear.

I do not like teaching on Zoom even though I have a good camera set up and everyone seems impressed with how well I get it done. But it is a pain in the tuchus. (sp?)

Fortunately it is only five students. And they are all booked on the same day. So I get it over with. I send leson write-ups and worksheets online.

This too, shall pass. I'm not doing this online lessons come january.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3034145 10/10/20 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by dogperson
AZN
If you don’t want to teach remotely, why not just send out a notification that on xx date all lessons will be scheduled as face-to-face? You can make the teaching method your decision, can’t you?

Of course I can. But then I will lose a certain number of students. It's $$$. Some parents are truly freaked out by COVID and they are thinking irrationally because the media continues to equate new cases with death. I have one student who is so paranoid, she thinks she'll die if she goes back to school. So she's on school's Zoom option. Her district offers that option to parents.

Which brings up an interesting point. Our death rate is way WAY down. Hospitals are half empty. But the government is so slow to restore normalcy.

For example, the high school that has the one new COVID case. The smart thing to do is to contact-trace the people around that student and test them. But the media is reporting that people want the school shut down and go back to Zoom. This is the crazy world in which we live. It's all dictated by fear. Where's the science?

Ultimately, those who lose out due to Zoom lessons are the kids. If the kids and their parents don't care about progress, they can continue to Zoom until they die. It's not really my problem, is it?

No, it’s not really your problem. You can just decide how you are willing to teach: in-person only or add remote based on parental preference.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3034193 10/10/20 02:32 PM
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I've been fortunate that all my piano families prefer in-person instruction. I was forced by government mandate to go to virtual instruction for two months in the spring, but once that was lifted, I immediately opened back up, and my families all returned to in-person lessons within a couple of weeks.

Our area has seen a spike in COVID cases recently, but none of my families has freaked out and asked to return to Zoom lessons. My students' school districts are all over the map with how they're handling instruction -- in-person or virtual or a hybrid. One of the public school districts had a hybrid model until one of the teachers tested positive, which prompted them to go back to entirely virtual.

There's too much fear-mongering and over-reactivity directed at this very low-risk segment of the population -- children. I'm glad my piano parents aren't buying into the hysteria.

Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3034195 10/10/20 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by keystring
[quote=keystring] AZNpiano, are these parents sending their children to school, but keeping them out of private lessons?

Yes.

Later on you say:
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I have one student ... she's on school's Zoom option. Her district offers that option to parents.

I kept the informational part. If some students are learning remotely (Zoom option) then those students are not going to school on the one hand, but staying out of private lessons on the other hand. I imagine it's a mix. I asked the question for a reason. If someone says they won't come to one-on-one lessons because of the health risk, but they are attending school which has a lot more persons and thus greater risk, then they're making excuses and it's dishonest. But if they are doing remote lessons, staying out of school, it is not dishonest, and not an excuse. You may disagree with their assessment, but it's not an "excuse".

When students are relatively young, the opt-in for virtual school makes it harder for parents, not easier. I have a grandchild who would have her first year of junior kindergarten, but the family has opted for virtual (which I fully agree with!!) It is well conceive and well-run, but at this age, one parent must attend for four sessions/day, five days/week, to man camera and mike, guide the child, and do the assigned activities. Sending a child to school is a much easier option for the parent.

The raw fact is that you are impacted as a teacher, both for how and what you can teach (this has to really suck) and the nitty gritty of income, which can't be ignored. And what to do about that. None of this can be easy.

Are any students being affected by parents' lost jobs so inability to afford lessons, where you are?

Re: COVID-19 Excuse
keystring #3034234 10/10/20 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Are any students being affected by parents' lost jobs so inability to afford lessons, where you are?

I am sure there are. A few of my students' parents are affected.

But I think more kids are affected psychologically by constant isolation.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3034239 10/10/20 05:03 PM
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Logically, my thought would be just to communicate out the concern to the parents and why in person lessons are very much valuable for what they are paying when compared to the video call lessons. Then allow the parents to choose whether they care about how their money is being spent. But I'm guessing you are already doing something to that degree.

Beyond that, I guess this thread is just venting. We certainly can't control what others do and how they choose to parent their child. Everyone has different opinions on Covid. For myself, it still just falls under the whole "alert not anxious" middle ground. I haven't really kept up on Covid news but I also haven't heard of any significant progress that really affected how the disease spreads or gets treated.

If I had a kid taking piano lessons, I wouldn't be surprised if I just didn't care enough about their piano progress to go back to in person lessons. For one, I could do some teaching at home and in the grand scheme of things, piano lessons just isn't that much of a life priority.

Then again, if I were to be living with young kids during this whole quarantine thing, I'd most likely just want some quiet time. So in person piano lessons might be a good enough excuse to get the wife and kids out for a couple hours and leave me some alone time. wink

Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3034259 10/10/20 06:13 PM
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My teacher is young and only has a digital at his apartment. Before COVID he taught at his parents house as his mother is a retired piano teacher and has a grand. They are older and he does not want to risk their health which I totally understand. He has been teaching through Zoom and he doesn’t like it but it is better than nothing. Our area is usually only 1 percent but we have seen increases since schools and especially colleges opened. He has started to go to few houses but most lessons are still by Zoom. While I prefer in person lessons, I think mine are going to be virtual for quite a while. I am 75 and on medication that compromises my immune system I still work part time but I can work remotely from home.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3034293 10/10/20 10:41 PM
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On Friday the local government in my city declared bars & restaurants will close for 28 days due to the slight increase in daily infections.

I take music lessons at a local conservatory and not at home. The city government has a bylaw that gathering at home is limited to 5 persons, preferably family members. A conservatory with 5 floors and people coming & going regularly, the building won't reopen until the daily infection numbers get to near 0. My teacher doesn't give lessons at home or go to people's homes so the conservatory admin is getting people to connect with their teachers once a week through Zoom.

My teacher has been teaching in a central location for years and has no plan to travel to private homes. Even if she is willing to go to a home, there is the issue of wearing a mask and disinfecting the room including the piano before & after. I wouldn't want to touch a piano played by someone else and the teacher probably don't want to touch a piano after a student played it since someone may be asymptomatic (infected with no symptoms). With both watching each other through a computer screen, neither have to worry about being close to each other and touching the same instrument.

Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3034321 10/11/20 04:12 AM
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I thought you were taking adult group lessons before Covid; did you switch to private lessons?


"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: COVID-19 Excuse
thepianoplayer416 #3034356 10/11/20 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
On Friday the local government in my city declared bars & restaurants will close for 28 days due to the slight increase in daily infections.

I take music lessons at a local conservatory and not at home. The city government has a bylaw that gathering at home is limited to 5 persons, preferably family members. A conservatory with 5 floors and people coming & going regularly, the building won't reopen until the daily infection numbers get to near 0. My teacher doesn't give lessons at home or go to people's homes so the conservatory admin is getting people to connect with their teachers once a week through Zoom.

My teacher has been teaching in a central location for years and has no plan to travel to private homes. Even if she is willing to go to a home, there is the issue of wearing a mask and disinfecting the room including the piano before & after. I wouldn't want to touch a piano played by someone else and the teacher probably don't want to touch a piano after a student played it since someone may be asymptomatic (infected with no symptoms). With both watching each other through a computer screen, neither have to worry about being close to each other and touching the same instrument.

There is in fact a provincial declaration by the Premier. Both your city and mine (Ottawa) have been declared hot spots. People take it with a roll-up-your-sleeves attitude.

Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3034479 10/11/20 12:23 PM
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Sometimes it isn't the child they are worried about. The parent may have an underlying condition which they don't wish to discuss with you. I have one still on zoom. In a way, it's respite from having to wash keys and wear a mask.

Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3034751 10/12/20 09:27 AM
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Here is a thought- have the child come in and have the parent stay in the car and view via Zoom.

Utilize masks, wiping keys, air purifiers, distance, etc...wash hands before and after lesson.

Are there still people that have not ventured out...at all??

Even my 80 something family members have taken dog to vet, done at the store grocery shopping when delivery kept changing orders, and so on...

who has stayed exclusively at home, never going out, anywhere?

Even they must have delivery people and helpers. So, if they stay in the car, why not send in the child for the lesson?

just wondering.

My public school district is freaking out after a few days of 20% in person learning, no cases, but have had marches downtown declaring how unsafe it is.
"Cannot teach from a coffin".

Yet, some worked summer at grocery store, private tutoring, traveling, one I know went out bar hopping (saw photos) one had a wedding, another hosted, so...I wonder the motivation.

They were out and about all summer, many of them. And now, they won't do it, even though other schools in the same area are, and safely.

Anyway, back on topic,

could the child come in and parent stay in car and observe via Zoom?


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3034840 10/12/20 01:57 PM
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My son is still doing his weekly lessons online. His teacher is elderly and just not ready to take the chance yet.

Obviously, in-person lessons would be best, and we’re looking forward to get back to in-person lessons ASAP. BTW, I’ve also got my son in “virtual” school since we were given the option. I’ve been out of work since April at home watching my kids and my daughter is only 4 so I’d be home whether my son is at school or not. The reason we chose virtual wasn’t even fear of COVID, but rather how restrictive in-person school is. My son is in 2nd grade and in-person 2nd grad means they wear masks the whole day, never leave the room for ANY reason except bathroom breaks which is hard because the school isn’t allowing more than 2 kids in any bathroom and they have to be escorted. No cafeteria, no music room, no gym, no library, no recess except standing next to their desks and dancing to YouTube videos. I get that some folks have no choice but since we do we chose virtual at least until restrictions ease up.

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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
jakedaniel #3034843 10/12/20 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by jakedaniel
My son is still doing his weekly lessons online. His teacher is elderly and just not ready to take the chance yet.

Obviously, in-person lessons would be best, and we’re looking forward to get back to in-person lessons ASAP. BTW, I’ve also got my son in “virtual” school since we were given the option. I’ve been out of work since April at home watching my kids and my daughter is only 4 so I’d be home whether my son is at school or not. The reason we chose virtual wasn’t even fear of COVID, but rather how restrictive in-person school is. My son is in 2nd grade and in-person 2nd grad means they wear masks the whole day, never leave the room for ANY reason except bathroom breaks which is hard because the school isn’t allowing more than 2 kids in any bathroom and they have to be escorted. No cafeteria, no music room, no gym, no library, no recess except standing next to their desks and dancing to YouTube videos. I get that some folks have no choice but since we do we chose virtual at least until restrictions ease up.

I forgot to add the benefits of “virtual school” is that my son can go outside and play for recess, he can get his daily practice done in the morning before school and/or his spare time between lunch and recess. I can make sure he’s getting some exercise/outside time on all his breaks, and all the meals are home cooked. We’re taking a big financial hit with me at home with them but we can handle it plus there are definitely benefits to “virtual”. There are drawbacks too but with all the restrictions in-person, it’s no better in-person. The kids can’t socialize, they can’t go to the playground, share anything, can’t do anything but sit in those desks behind spit shields 6ft apart and do their work on the school iPads. It’s rough on the teachers too because they’ve got to teach 2 classes at once, basically. What a mess!

Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3034910 10/12/20 04:36 PM
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You were wondering if there are some that really do not leave the house: since the end of Jan, I have the house twice: both of which I considered essential with no work-around. Not fun but I consider myself mod high risk, in an area with mediocre medical care and no Covid containment policy.

It is an ugly health choice I choose to make.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
missbelle #3034988 10/12/20 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by missbelle
"Cannot teach from a coffin".

That sums up the moronic nature of such protests. We also had similar protests in my county back in August, but those voices are drowned out by a much larger set of protesters who are sick and tired of the prolonged, interminable lockdown.

The district in which I live is very proactive. The last three months of the previous school year went to waste, so over the summer the teachers and administrators put together a plan to do a hybrid system, with staggered bell schedules for the different grade levels. The schools were ready for in-person instruction back in August, but the state government changed the policy (again!) and mandated that all districts must begin virtually.

We were one of the first districts to start in-person instruction in California. Other than the mandatory masking for all students (which is kind of dumb), everything is back to normal. Yay! The staggered bell schedules prevent crowding. And students are mature enough to observe social distancing and good personal hygiene. Instead of everybody eating lunch at the same time, it's broken down by grade level. This is what happens when the community comes together and does what is smart.

Originally Posted by missbelle
Anyway, back on topic,

could the child come in and parent stay in car and observe via Zoom?

Or they can observe the lesson from outside the window. There's no need for the paranoid parents to enter.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3035011 10/13/20 01:23 AM
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You don’t recognize that there may be valid reasons for the parents to continue remote lessons: their own co-morbidities, another child who is immune compromised, grandparents in the same household. Death is not the only negative outcome from this virus. But I’m sure you knew all of that already.

They may not be ‘paranoid’ or ‘moronic’ as you like to label it but have a valid risk which you can’t see.
You can label me with another favored pejorative term ‘dumb as a doorknob’.


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"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
dogperson #3035017 10/13/20 02:07 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
AZN
You don’t recognize that there may be valid reasons for the parents to continue remote lessons: their own co-morbidities, another child who is immune compromised, grandparents in the same household. Death is not the only negative outcome from this virus. But I’m sure you knew all of that already.

They may not be ‘paranoid’ or ‘moronic’ as you like to label it but have a valid risk which you can’t see.
You can label me with another favored pejorative term ‘dumb as a doorknob’.

You agree with "Cannot teach from a coffin"! Seriously??? So, you don't think kids should ever go back to school in person?

A smart school district would allow options. Students with comorbidities should be allowed to have the Zoom option; similarly, teachers with comorbidities should be allowed to teach those Zoom classes, or be reassigned to other tasks like curriculum planning and grading. Let's be smart about this. I am witnessing some excellent solutions being played out in my school district.

BTW, I do offer Zoom lessons to all of my piano students. I don't force people to do things against their will.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3035018 10/13/20 02:20 AM
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I thought the discussion was private piano lessons and not public schools , but I agree that schools should have a safe alternative for students who need it.

Yes, you teach remotely but seemed to label students who still want remote as ‘Covid19 excuse’. I have just re-read your initial post at that is the description you use. The point is there may be valid reasons for continuing remote lessons which have not been discussed.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3035060 10/13/20 06:42 AM
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In Utah, all our covid numbers are climbing, so in person lessons are probably more risky now than they were in the spring.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
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Remote learning is essential until a vaccine is safely made available to all. Anyone who thinks otherwise can’t see beyond their own nose.

If I knew of a music teacher who moaned about the ‘covid-19 excuse’ I wouldn’t recommend their services to anyone. No hyper vigilance, just common sense and a matter of morality.

This thread is seriously depressing and America’s covid stats are embarrassing.

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malkin #3035185 10/13/20 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by malkin
In Utah, all our covid numbers are climbing, so in person lessons are probably more risky now than they were in the spring.

Same in Illinois; the stay-at-home order expired June 1 but the infected numbers have quadrupled since then. On the other hand, depending on which politician you listen to, some were predicting there'd be 100 million Americans infected by now.

The problem with the schools is the inconsistency. I am hearing of the schools in my neighborhood where they make the kids wear masks when they walk in in the morning and when they leave in the afternoon but for the rest of the day they don't wear them. What does that accomplish? Nothing.

I can't imagine having a dozen or so various random kids coming to my house, potentially each one of them coming from a different school each one with a different policy or level of enforcement. This is a good time to be childless.

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malkin #3035194 10/13/20 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by malkin
In Utah, all our covid numbers are climbing, so in person lessons are probably more risky now than they were in the spring.

Of course, it depends on where you live and where in the COVID bell curve you currently are. If you are in India, for example, you are right in the midst of the worst part of the bell curve.

Therefore, for a country as big as the United States, you can't slam a giant national mandate on everybody. We have places that still have ZERO cases. Locking those places down would be the dumbest thing to do.

In California, we are back to the beginning. Our numbers are back to March numbers. And yet we have all these residual restrictions from the peak in July and August, and people's mind is still stuck in panic mode.

It's hard to educate people when they are in panic mode. They won't listen to scientific facts. They won't pay attention to the evidence and statistics.


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AZNpiano #3035197 10/13/20 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Therefore, for a country as big as the United States, you can't slam a giant national mandate on everybody. We have places that still have ZERO cases. Locking those places down would be the dumbest thing to do.

In California, we are back to the beginning. Our numbers are back to March numbers. And yet we have all these residual restrictions from the peak in July and August, and people's mind is still stuck in panic mode.

It's hard to educate people when they are in panic mode. They won't listen to scientific facts. They won't pay attention to the evidence and statistics.

Have you considered that places remain at zero or that California is back to March numbers because of the lock down? Certainly it's logical to think that numbers will go back up with looser restrictions no?

Which scientific facts are you referencing? Evidence and statistics are often painted with subjectivity based on the point of the presenter is trying to make. How do you know that your perspective and interpretation is the objective one?

Last edited by rkzhao; 10/13/20 01:22 PM.
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rkzhao #3035208 10/13/20 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by rkzhao
Have you considered that places remain at zero or that California is back to March numbers because of the lock down? Certainly it's logical to think that numbers will go back up with looser restrictions no?

Glad you asked that. First of all, the places that have zero cases are out in the boonies where they don't have much contact with the outside world. Thus, locking those places down is stupid. It doesn't "help" in any way. You can't go lower than zero.

California sort of re-opened back in June, and the numbers shot up immediately through July and August. That is _normal_. You have to have that peak in the bell curve, where the virus takes its normal route through the population before either a vaccine is made available or herd immunity is achieved. That's it. I don't know of any scientific studies on herd immunity in California. Maybe some are underway. But the coronavirus acts like any other respiratory infections. It has to make its way through the population, and when enough people have overcome it, herd immunity is achieved.

The problem is with the prolonged, interminable lockdown for the entire population. This policy doesn't make sense. For example, why is Disneyland still closed? The re-open date keeps on getting pushed back later and later. Why?

Originally Posted by rkzhao
Which scientific facts are you referencing? Evidence and statistics are often painted with subjectivity based on the point of the presenter is trying to make. How do you know that your perspective is the objective one?

Because I think clearly. I know exactly why this COVID thing got politicized in the United States. I get it. I have my own political leanings, but when it comes to science I am able to stand right in the middle and not let my own subjective preferences taint my view.

You might be interested in what Dr. Sunetra Gupta has to say on this topic.


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AZNpiano #3035433 10/14/20 07:16 AM
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Herd immunity works by slowing the spread - if there aren't enough susceptible people in a population, it's harder for the virus to hop from person to person. The percentage varies with the disease - for measles they think you need 94% immune, either by vaccination or surviving. They think with COVID the number is around 70%, but obviously nobody knows everything about a new virus. Other ways to slow the spread include social distance, quarantine, PPE, etc. A very lethal disease does the same thing in a different way.

At this point so much is unknown, it's not clear that herd immunity is possible. Or that a vaccine will work. Or whether you can get it multiple times. There are at least five distinct strains.

Eventually most viruses mutate enough that they become less lethal. Obviously killing your host is a bad survival strategy. But for this one the natural host is the bat, and infecting humans is new. Presumably over time this becomes less dangerous to humans, but also each mutation may mean neither vaccine nor previous immunity are effective. Lyme disease is no problem for the natural host, the field mouse, who are asymptomatic carriers, but a big problem when a tick carries it from mouse to human.


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TimR #3035469 10/14/20 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by TimR
Herd immunity works by slowing the spread - if there aren't enough susceptible people in a population, it's harder for the virus to hop from person to person. The percentage varies with the disease - for measles they think you need 94% immune, either by vaccination or surviving. They think with COVID the number is around 70%, but obviously nobody knows everything about a new virus. Other ways to slow the spread include social distance, quarantine, PPE, etc. A very lethal disease does the same thing in a different way.

At this point so much is unknown, it's not clear that herd immunity is possible. Or that a vaccine will work. Or whether you can get it multiple times. There are at least five distinct strains.

Eventually most viruses mutate enough that they become less lethal. Obviously killing your host is a bad survival strategy. But for this one the natural host is the bat, and infecting humans is new. Presumably over time this becomes less dangerous to humans, but also each mutation may mean neither vaccine nor previous immunity are effective. Lyme disease is no problem for the natural host, the field mouse, who are asymptomatic carriers, but a big problem when a tick carries it from mouse to human.
Most viruses mutate, some more, some less. I'm not aware that measles, polio, or smallpox, for a couple of examples, have mutated to something with less morbidity or mortality. It would be nice if viruses always mutated to something less lethal, but that's not always the case. I have read speculation that the prevalent strain in the US is more infectious than some of the other strains, but I don't think there is hard data to back that up. Sometimes viruses just disappear. Two previous coronaviruses, MERS and SARS-CoV(1) were that way.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3035549 10/14/20 01:13 PM
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This is going totally the wrong way, and probably did so from the beginning. I am on a forum for my profession. The debates and views have taken over almost every topic with a few die-hards participating and everyone else staying away. Nobody here is an expert on the pandemic, and even the experts aren't experts. We're from a bunch of different countries etc. What IS the same is that everyone here is involved in piano. And those in the teacher forum are teaching it, and are impacted by what's going on.

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keystring #3035553 10/14/20 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Nobody here is an expert on the pandemic, and even the experts aren't experts.

Didn't you hear? Everyone on the internet is an expert in medicine, statistics, and various other hard and soft sciences. I can always confer with my colleagues Dr Google, PhD, Dr Web, MD, and Professor W. K. Pedia. whistle

Last edited by rkzhao; 10/14/20 01:21 PM.
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rkzhao #3035693 10/14/20 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by rkzhao
Originally Posted by keystring
Nobody here is an expert on the pandemic, and even the experts aren't experts.

Didn't you hear? Everyone on the internet is an expert in medicine, statistics, and various other hard and soft sciences. I can always confer with my colleagues Dr Google, PhD, Dr Web, MD, and Professor W. K. Pedia. whistle

Google is no longer reliable as a search engine, unless you are willing to sift through three pages of ads and junk info. Some schools in my area are teaching kids to use Bing. It's such a WONDERFUL alternative to Google.

And don't you know that Bill Gates now has a Ph.D. in Viral Epidemiology? He's THE expert on COVID and vaccines. Who's Mr. Fauci? Never heard of him. We should ALL submit to the tech giants. They know everything.


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AZNpiano #3035740 10/15/20 05:10 AM
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The point is to discuss things pertaining to piano and piano teaching, rather than trying to give medical opinions, when none of us are experts. I wrote about how the site for my profession is almost totally crippled, in every topic at this point, because of the same kind of thing as is being brought forth here. It is not about Google vs. Bing. Though I'll say, you're getting some wildly weird "information" if you're informed that a software developer has a degree in medicine. That alone makes me nervous about Bing, if it's giving you that kind of info. Not that a who's who is important in any case. I'm assuming it's still emotion talking, and therefore rhetoric.

Fun question: do you know the difference between "particle" and "particulate"? (I have a reason for asking). What does Bing give you? I've never used it and only knew it as a fun sounding name. In my profession, knowing how to research and get pertinent info fast is paramount, so this part does interest me.

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AZNpiano #3035890 10/15/20 10:34 AM
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I think it likely that AZN was echoing the snark in the post he quoted.

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AZNpiano #3035973 10/15/20 01:18 PM
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My preference is still the good old takes up two bookshelf rows- the encyclopedia.


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Blague #3035977 10/15/20 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Blague
I think it likely that AZN was echoing the snark in the post he quoted.

I think so too, it's just not easy to convey sarcasm on a forum.

It's easier than changing people's opinions on the pandemic though. Honestly, at this point, discussions on covid might as well fall into the same category as discussions on politics and religion.

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AZNpiano #3035998 10/15/20 02:16 PM
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It's great to know that if we get sick there are plenty of piano teachers willing to offer their expertise. It was piano technicians the last time.

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johnstaf #3036014 10/15/20 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
It's great to know that if we get sick there are plenty of piano teachers willing to offer their expertise. It was piano technicians the last time.

What does this have to do with anything in this thread? Are you in the wrong room?


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AZNpiano #3036037 10/15/20 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by johnstaf
It's great to know that if we get sick there are plenty of piano teachers willing to offer their expertise. It was piano technicians the last time.

What does this have to do with anything in this thread? Are you in the wrong room?
In this thread, piano teachers are giving opinions about health issues. One might say the thread itself is teetering on being in the wrong room. Probably the tech section was doing a similar thing. That's what I'm thinking this is about.

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keystring #3036060 10/15/20 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by johnstaf
It's great to know that if we get sick there are plenty of piano teachers willing to offer their expertise. It was piano technicians the last time.

What does this have to do with anything in this thread? Are you in the wrong room?
In this thread, piano teachers are giving opinions about health issues. One might say the thread itself is teetering on being in the wrong room. Probably the tech section was doing a similar thing. That's what I'm thinking this is about.

Thanks keystring. My point exactly.

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AZNpiano #3036068 10/15/20 06:33 PM
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That said, piano teachers and piano tuners will both be badly affected by the pandemic and measures thereto. One has to expect a reaction, and among one's peers is the right place to do it.

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keystring #3036085 10/15/20 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
That said, piano teachers and piano tuners will both be badly affected by the pandemic and measures thereto. One has to expect a reaction, and among one's peers is the right place to do it.

Agreed.

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keystring #3036200 10/16/20 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by keystring
The point is to discuss things pertaining to piano and piano teaching, rather than trying to give medical opinions, when none of us are experts.

True, and maybe we can avoid discussing the science (and in the US, the politics) but there's a direct impact on piano teaching.

For as long as I've been alive and probably longer, the basic model for piano teaching has been one on one, in person.

There are some minor variations - in the US I would guess the majority of students travel to a teacher's private residence which also serves as a place of business; some smaller number of students have the teacher travel to the student's house (I think that model was more popular when I was a child, but that's a lot of decades ago); and some smaller number of students attend a commercial music school associated with a music store.

The assumption that seems prevalent is that pretty soon this current interruption will disappear and everything will return to normal. That may not be the case. The piano teaching model assumed to be basic may have been altered forever. The community bands and musical pits I enjoy playing in may not return in the time I have left.

So my thought is that how piano teachers react to COVID in the short term, and with some consideration to the long term, is not only On Topic but may be the most important topic.

I do recall quite a few threads in the past with teachers noting/complaining that parents drop off sick kids for a lesson, endangering the teacher and potentially impacting the teacher's livelihood, and talking about how to disinfect a piano. COVID is that problem on steroids.


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AZNpiano #3036203 10/16/20 07:39 AM
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Getting back to the topic, the request for online lessons goes both ways. Last week when my whole family had a cold, I changed all of my in-person lessons to online because I didn’t want to share our cold with my students. I am expecting my students who prefer in-person lessons to do the same when they have a cold or are sick.
The ability to move from in-person to online lessons allows us teachers to continue to teach when otherwise we’d have to provide make-up lessons or reimburse families for missed lessons.
Yes, I have some students who opted for online lessons when I’d prefer them to come in-person. I think this year, if I want to continue to teach, I have to be flexible and make things work as best as I can.

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AZNpiano #3036273 10/16/20 11:20 AM
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Saw a cartoon/comment-

grade school child sitting on couch, head down, in despair.
Dad- what's wrong son?
son- I just realized we will never have the fun of a snow day off from school again.

Lessons with a sick teacher or student is no fun.
How does that affect sick days now?


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TimR #3036362 10/16/20 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR
The community bands and musical pits I enjoy playing in may not return in the time I have left.

What is the average age of the group?

I used to accompany an adult choir whose average age is 60+. They have since disbanded. The threat of COVID for this age group (plus all the projectiles due to singing) is just too great.

But for children 18 and under, there really is no need for the over-the-top protective gear. I saw these kids on TV whose parents dressed them in goggles, masks, and face shields for their first day of school. Are they entering a war zone?


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AZNpiano #3036388 10/16/20 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
. Are they entering a war zone?
The overall effect is ridicule.

How about if this thread were deleted.

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AZNpiano #3036390 10/16/20 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Are there any kids who are still doing Zoom even though it's completely safe to go back to in-person lessons?

This thread is quite amusing. Amusing in the same kind of way that slow motion videos of train wrecks are amusing.

If you have 25 students that come to your house for lessons, who is the one person most likely to get sick?

Hint: It ain't the students.

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Pau Gasol #3036411 10/16/20 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Pau Gasol
This thread is quite amusing. Amusing in the same kind of way that slow motion videos of train wrecks are amusing.

If you have 25 students that come to your house for lessons, who is the one person most likely to get sick?

Hint: It ain't the students.

You've been completely brainwashed by misinformation.

Enjoy living in your cocoon.


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AZNpiano #3036447 10/16/20 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by malkin
In Utah, all our covid numbers are climbing, so in person lessons are probably more risky now than they were in the spring.

Of course, it depends on where you live and where in the COVID bell curve you currently are. If you are in India, for example, you are right in the midst of the worst part of the bell curve.

Therefore, for a country as big as the United States, you can't slam a giant national mandate on everybody. We have places that still have ZERO cases. Locking those places down would be the dumbest thing to do.

In California, we are back to the beginning. Our numbers are back to March numbers. And yet we have all these residual restrictions from the peak in July and August, and people's mind is still stuck in panic mode.

It's hard to educate people when they are in panic mode. They won't listen to scientific facts. They won't pay attention to the evidence and statistics.

The community response measures need to be based on the severity of problem in that community. If one school has an outbreak, then that school should respond appropriately. There is no need for all the schools in the state or the nation or the world to close.

Think globally. Act locally.

C'mon people; don't be stupid.
And wear a mask and wash your hands.


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AZNpiano #3036466 10/16/20 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
But for children 18 and under, there really is no need for the over-the-top protective gear. I saw these kids on TV whose parents dressed them in goggles, masks, and face shields for their first day of school. Are they entering a war zone?

Remember that this virus does spread from person to person, and that a child who contracts the virus might spread it to another person who might have poor lungs or something. I truly do understand your desire for things to return to normal, but absent a vaccine, it's simply not going to happen. Think marathon, not sprint.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6939e2.htm

Quote
Summary
What is already known about this topic?

Children aged <10 years can transmit SARS-CoV-2 in school settings, but less is known about COVID-19 incidence, characteristics, and health outcomes among school-aged children (aged 5–17 years) with COVID-19.

What is added by this report?

Since March, 277,285 COVID-19 cases in children have been reported. COVID-19 incidence among adolescents aged 12–17 years was approximately twice that in children aged 5–11 years. Underlying conditions were more common among school-aged children with severe outcomes related to COVID-19. Weekly incidence, SARS-CoV-2 test volume, and percentage of tests positive among school-aged children varied over time and by region of the United States.

What are the implications for public health practice?

It is important for schools and communities to monitor multiple indicators of COVID-19 among school-aged children and layer prevention strategies to reduce COVID-19 disease risk for students, teachers, school staff, and families. These results can provide a baseline for monitoring trends and evaluating mitigation strategies.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7446647/

Quote
• Infection risk of household contacts is 10 times higher than other contacts.
• Risk of household transmission in adults is about 3-times higher than that in children.
• SARS-CoV-2 is much more transmissible than SARS-CoV and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus in households, which challenges the home isolation of COVID-19 patients.

Have faith! Stay positive, wear a mask, wash your hands. We'll get through this.

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AZNpiano #3036819 10/17/20 09:26 PM
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In Michigan over 159000 cases, over 7300 deaths and over 2200 new cases yesterday. Covid 19 is not an excuse, it's a life altering reality. Many refuse to accept this and thereby make matters worse. My teacher is elderly, no way will I risk her life with in person lessons.


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Pau Gasol #3036916 10/18/20 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Pau Gasol
If you have 25 students that come to your house for lessons, who is the one person most likely to get sick?

Hint: It ain't the students.

Of course, the odds of one positive case are greater in the student group of 25 than in the teacher group of 1.
However, if the teacher becomes infected, there would be increased risk to all the students.

It is sensible to consider the rate of infection in your area when determining the risk of meeting with anyone.


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malkin #3037049 10/18/20 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by Pau Gasol
If you have 25 students that come to your house for lessons, who is the one person most likely to get sick?

Hint: It ain't the students.

Of course, the odds of one positive case are greater in the student group of 25 than in the teacher group of 1.
However, if the teacher becomes infected, there would be increased risk to all the students.

Specifically, 25 different people coming into the house aren't going to transmit any germs to each other, because their contact with each other is brief, like ships passing in the night. Instead, they are going to give their germs to the teacher, who sits in close proximity with them for 30 or 60 minutes. And yes, if the teacher gets sick he/she is likely to give it to the other students as well.

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Fidel #3037066 10/18/20 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Fidel
In Michigan over 159000 cases,

The real figure is likely to be 10 times higher. 40-80 times higher is also possible, depending on the source you cite. Most people who get COVID don't have symptoms, and you will never get an accurate count.

Originally Posted by Fidel
over 7300 deaths and

The real figure is lower, or significantly lower. The actual number should exclude people who got killed in a car crash and other obvious non-medical reasons. George Floyd had COVID at the time of death. Did he die of COVID?

Originally Posted by Fidel
over 2200 new cases yesterday.


And that equates to around 6 deaths. Or lower.

Originally Posted by Fidel
Covid 19 is not an excuse, it's a life altering reality. Many refuse to accept this and thereby make matters worse.


No, COVID-19 demonstrate people's failure to understand basic math. It's like the entire nation failed Algebra. There are people on both sides of the debate who have failed math. That makes it hard to get real science through to people.

Even though I don't agree with everything Dr. David Katz says, he does make a strong point in this video:

https://youtu.be/q6LB2Rp44zA

Originally Posted by Fidel
My teacher is elderly, no way will I risk her life with in person lessons.

Then you should do Zoom lessons with her. Protect the vulnerable.


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Pau Gasol #3037077 10/18/20 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Pau Gasol
Specifically, 25 different people coming into the house aren't going to transmit any germs to each other, because their contact with each other is brief, like ships passing in the night. Instead, they are going to give their germs to the teacher, who sits in close proximity with them for 30 or 60 minutes. And yes, if the teacher gets sick he/she is likely to give it to the other students as well.

So, by your argument, we should immediately shut down all the Costco warehouses in the country. When is the last time you went to Costco and spent less than 30 minutes there? And is Costco operating at 25% capacity to enable social distancing? And do you wipe down all the merchandise with sanitary wipes before you touch it? Do you know how many hands were on that bottle of olive oil before you grabbed it and put it in your cart?

It is a mathematical certainty that you are more likely to contract COVID through community spread at Costco, then you are at a private piano lesson. But, unless you are immuno-compromised or above age 70, you should really continue with both activities as usual.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3037086 10/18/20 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Pau Gasol
Specifically, 25 different people coming into the house aren't going to transmit any germs to each other, because their contact with each other is brief, like ships passing in the night. Instead, they are going to give their germs to the teacher, who sits in close proximity with them for 30 or 60 minutes. And yes, if the teacher gets sick he/she is likely to give it to the other students as well.



It is a mathematical certainty that you are more likely to contract COVID through community spread at Costco, then you are at a private piano lesson. But, unless you are immuno-compromised or above age 70, you should really continue with both activities as usual.

How many of those people at Costco do you sit next to on the bench (or the chair next to the bench) for thirty minutes? It's easy to shop at Costco without getting sick; wear a mask, wash hands afterward (or wear gloves like some people do) and avoid the aisles where there already a lot of people in them. But invite 25 of those people to my house and let them sit next to me for thirty minutes? No way.

Re: COVID-19 Excuse
Pau Gasol #3037117 10/18/20 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Pau Gasol
How many of those people at Costco do you sit next to on the bench (or the chair next to the bench) for thirty minutes? It's easy to shop at Costco without getting sick; wear a mask, wash hands afterward (or wear gloves like some people do) and avoid the aisles where there already a lot of people in them. But invite 25 of those people to my house and let them sit next to me for thirty minutes? No way.

Your "30 minutes" argument makes no sense, but, whatever.

"Getting sick" is not the end of the world. There are already therapeutics available. As long as you take care of yourself and be clean, there's no reason to NOT live life as usual.

The worldwide survival rate of COVID is 99.7%. And if you take out those age 60 and above, the survival rate is 99.9%. For children age 0-18, the survival rate is 99.97%. And these are just conservative estimates based on incomplete data. The actual number is probably even higher than that. It is a well-established fact that more children have died from the seasonal flu than from COVID.

You have a MUCH higher chance of dying when you drive on the freeway. Does that mean you should stop driving?

So, that brings me back to the original topic: Are parents really just using COVID-19 as an excuse to stop piano lessons or to continue with Zoom lessons indefinitely? At this point, the scientific evidence is overwhelming. My guess is that people are holding out for the vaccine, or they are so paranoid and brainwashed that they can't accept factual information.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3037147 10/18/20 07:20 PM
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Just looking at the Johns Hopkins data, the COVID fatality rate among confirmed cases in the US is at 2.7%. Of course, there are asymptomatic cases that are not identified, but this still is much higher than flu. It also does not account for morbidity, as many who survive the illness have quite serious and unpredictable after-effects. It is a very nasty disease.

I'll just mention that my very fit 30-something son, a physician, contracted COVID at the height of the NY outbreak in April, when health care workers had inadequate PPE (personal protective equipment). He was ill for a week or so--feeling worse than he's ever felt with an illness. He then recovered--great--and went back to work. He still has a residual cough and reduced endurance more than 6 months later. No one knows what the longterm effects on health will be.

I am not a piano teacher but I certainly support my teacher's decision to remain remote for now. Clearly one needs to consider the infection rate in one's own area, but I don't want to see anyone taking this lightly.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3037159 10/18/20 07:50 PM
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There have been some fallacies being bandied around in this thread by people who really should know better, but let me make one thing clear:

You are at much higher risk of catching the virus if people come into your home, even if they don't sit and chat with you, than if you go out shopping in a supermarket, unless you keep stopping to have long chats with people rather than actually shop. Think about it.

And another thing: Covid-19 is much more dangerous than the seasonal flu, and we know it has the potential to cause 'Long Covid' syndromes - where you suffer chronic illness (including lasting organ damage) following 'recovery' from the actual infection. Young, previously healthy people have been afflicted in this way.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3037481 10/19/20 05:16 PM
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If you enthusiastically downplay the severity and attempt to interpret science as if you're a scientist you will definitely lose those students who are taking this seriously.

Also, I've find that the people who think it's all "media hype" are more likely to not follow basic hygiene or protect themselves when in public, so that right there is a red flag for me. Think about it, If you're already on the fence about in person lessons would really want to go inside someones home who didn't take it seriously and thought it was all BS? I'm pretty sure you would have a better chance of getting them back if instead railing against the media you bragged about how you sanitize anything touched by the students after every lesson, maintain distance, wear a mask and installed air purifiers, otherwise they might think you're that guy having a no mask meltdown at the Walmart.

At the end of the day , nobody wants to get sick of anyting period--




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Miguel Rey #3037601 10/20/20 02:06 AM
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Excuse me? I find your tone just a bit on the combative side. Please keep it civil.

Originally Posted by Miguel Rey
If you enthusiastically downplay the severity and attempt to interpret science as if you're a scientist you will definitely lose those students who are taking this seriously.

I don't have to "enthusiastically downplay the severity" because COVID is never that dangerous to begin with. If you take out the over 70 population, COVID is really not that different from the seasonal flu. Over 90% of the people who died from COVID had comorbidities. If you are under 60 and you are in perfect health, COVID's effect on you is minimal. MOST people who get COVID are asymptomatic, or have mild symptoms.

I also don't have to "interpret science" because actual scientists have already said everything I said. I am just repeating what they said. Now, if you want to quote Mr. Fauci and the growing list of incompetent, doom-and-gloom scientists, that's your right to do. Just be aware that the science is STRONG behind the points I'm making. It is not an interpretation.

Please don't believe everything you see on TV or the Internet. Question everything.

Originally Posted by Miguel Rey
Also, I've find that the people who think it's all "media hype" are more likely to not follow basic hygiene or protect themselves when in public, so that right there is a red flag for me. Think about it, If you're already on the fence about in person lessons would really want to go inside someones home who didn't take it seriously and thought it was all BS? I'm pretty sure you would have a better chance of getting them back if instead railing against the media you bragged about how you sanitize anything touched by the students after every lesson, maintain distance, wear a mask and installed air purifiers, otherwise they might think you're that guy having a no mask meltdown at the Walmart.

I can't follow your argument. This paragraph makes no sense to me. Sorry to say.

Originally Posted by Miguel Rey
At the end of the day , nobody wants to get sick of anyting period--

True. But we share the planet with these viruses. It's a fact, so we need to learn to live with it.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3037613 10/20/20 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Excuse me? I find your tone just a bit on the combative side. Please keep it civil.

I hate to say it but you set the tone. I do not find that post combative, btw. Throughout, you have labeled anyone not holding your opinions. They are paranoid, brainwashed etc. The idea that anyone can be informing themselves and be intelligent about it does not seem to exist with those assumptions. I have tried to influence that tone, but you still apply those labels - so there was a push-back, a very mild one, a civil one. I've had to hold back my own anger, and I don't get riled easily.

In regard to what you "said" about science - you never went past statistics. There is more to a disease than numbers. And you are not an expert in that field. Neither is anyone else here, but we're also not trying to say what's right and wrong about this. When you say something about music, piano, or teaching, I am all ears.

I will repeat. This thread is not about piano or teaching, though at one point it might have been, and it is destructive.

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jdw #3037614 10/20/20 03:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jdw
I'll just mention that my very fit 30-something son, a physician, contracted COVID at the height of the NY outbreak in April, when health care workers had inadequate PPE (personal protective equipment). He was ill for a week or so--feeling worse than he's ever felt with an illness. He then recovered--great--and went back to work. He still has a residual cough and reduced endurance more than 6 months later. No one knows what the longterm effects on health will be.
I just want to say that I wish your son a continued improvement, and a thank you to the health professionals out there. In my area we have three nurses. We talk - at a distance - about these things. And I always wish for them to stay healthy.

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AZNpiano #3037626 10/20/20 04:44 AM
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I belong to a music group with 20+ people playing various instruments. We used to practice in a local church once a week until March of this year. The church building has been closed for health concerns.

I don't think we would get back to playing music as a group for a while. There are some younger people in the group (30+) and a few seniors (80+). Various parts of the country have been in and out of lockdown since march as the number of infections fluctuate. It's not easy to find rehearsal space big enough to accommodate 20+ people. A music studio in the city where local musicians would perform regularly closed earlier this year. After 6 months, the music studio reopened for performers without an audience. The performances would be livestreamed online.

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AZNpiano #3037668 10/20/20 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
So, that brings me back to the original topic: Are parents really just using COVID-19 as an excuse to stop piano lessons or to continue with Zoom lessons indefinitely? At this point, the scientific evidence is overwhelming. My guess is that people are holding out for the vaccine, or they are so paranoid and brainwashed that they can't accept factual information.

Unlikely. I'd imagine it's simply one of a possible host of considerations. And have parents ever felt like they needed an excuse to quit beforehand anyway?

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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by jdw
I'll just mention that my very fit 30-something son, a physician, contracted COVID at the height of the NY outbreak in April, when health care workers had inadequate PPE (personal protective equipment). He was ill for a week or so--feeling worse than he's ever felt with an illness. He then recovered--great--and went back to work. He still has a residual cough and reduced endurance more than 6 months later. No one knows what the longterm effects on health will be.
I just want to say that I wish your son a continued improvement, and a thank you to the health professionals out there. In my area we have three nurses. We talk - at a distance - about these things. And I always wish for them to stay healthy.

Thanks very much for the kind words, keystring!

I hate to see people in denial about the severity of this disease. Those who have been close to it know different, unfortunately.

My son's case was "mild"--no loss of oxygen saturation, no thought of going to a hospital. But the after-effects are real. He also had some traumatic experiences as a caregiver, seeing young and otherwise healthy people die of this without being able to help them.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3037740 10/20/20 12:30 PM
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AZNPiano, Do you think as a piano teacher that you generally feel positive about your students? The way you describe and denigrate your students in this forum, I think it would be hard for your students’ parents to not pick up on your negative vibe.

Have you considered coming up with a written policy of how you are managing Covid in your studio and communicating that to the parents? That would help towards parents feeling more comfortable about in-person lessons.



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AZNpiano #3037836 10/20/20 07:23 PM
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"I don't have to "enthusiastically downplay the severity"" - then goes on to do just that.

I also don't have to "interpret science" - Ditto

smile




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AZNpiano #3037878 10/20/20 11:12 PM
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Even professional musicians are in lockdown mode. Some are making videos of themselves playing their parts and video clips would be combined into an ensemble. Others are performing in public venues without a live audience. Every member of the ensemble would be wearing a mask except for winds & brass players. We wouldn't see a full orchestra since everybody would maintain minimum distance of 3m or 6ft.


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AZNpiano #3038120 10/21/20 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
It is a mathematical certainty that you are more likely to contract COVID through community spread at Costco, then you are at a private piano lesson. But, unless you are immuno-compromised or above age 70, you should really continue with both activities as usual.

I'm glad you said, "as usual," because if it were up to me I would (almost) never go to Costco!
But I happily trundle off to my piano lesson.


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AZNpiano #3038126 10/21/20 07:30 PM
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When it comes to shopping, unless we order things online and have home delivery, we still need to show up in places like Costco or Walmart. There are some things that I got online recently. We can order things off the Walmart website and have them delivered by mail. Even without going to a store, we still want to head out to a public park and see people. Being locked up at home like a prison is not healthy.

For piano lessons, the computer meeting through Skype or Zoom is an option. People who take violin or guitar are unlikely to share instruments. Unless the teacher has 2 pianos in the room, sharing the same keyboard is inevitable.

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AZNpiano #3038147 10/21/20 09:30 PM
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Piano for children is an extracurricular activity, just not important from many parents' perspective. Piano, soccer, chess club, they can quit anytime. From the piano teacher's perspective, it is work, income, important part of life. Parents are not putting off taking their kids to the dentist because that's essential. And I don't think parents are that fearful of covid because I see them take kids to the supermarket all the time. They just have piano at low priority.

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AZNpiano #3038156 10/21/20 10:27 PM
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For someone like myself who have been playing piano for a while, I see the benefit of reducing stress and keeping my mind sharp as an adult. The question of supplementing a teacher's living expenses it's another matter I don't think about. Whether I'm having piano lessons once a week I'd still be practicing a song an hour a day. During the summer break when my teacher was away, I worked on 5 short pieces. An older adult knows when to turn the TV off. A child would likely spend more time in front of a computer or TV screen. The younger crowd need weekly lessons as an incentive to practice music.

When it comes to shopping, I know seniors in my area who would get friends or relatives to do their weekly groceries and drop the bags by the front door. The face to face conversation is a simple "thank you" & "you're welcome" speaking through each other's masks and the rest of the time by phone.

The last thing mentioned was going to a dentist. Depends on how severe the infection rate is in your area. I consider a doctor more essential than a dentist. Cleaning teeth isn't considered an essential service. In my area there was a lockdown a few months ago and people with medical emergencies including tooth aches were told to go to a hospital ER or a Walk-in clinic that opens during the day. Walk-in clinics are not as accessible since you have to discuss the problem on the phone and then make an appointment to go in. I know a few dentists who shut their clinics for a month or longer and reopened with a limit on how many patients they would see per day to prevent more than 5 people from gathering at a time. This is the limit enforced by our provincial government.

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malkin #3038161 10/21/20 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
It is a mathematical certainty that you are more likely to contract COVID through community spread at Costco, then you are at a private piano lesson. But, unless you are immuno-compromised or above age 70, you should really continue with both activities as usual.

I'm glad you said, "as usual," because if it were up to me I would (almost) never go to Costco!
But I happily trundle off to my piano lesson.

Ha! I just used Costco as an example. To be honest, I haven't been to Costco since the whole "pandemic" started. I prefer to shop at the smaller, local supermarkets instead of battling 200 paranoid people at Costco over a bundle of toilet paper. The Costco by my house has a line that goes around the building JUST TO GET IN.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
PianogrlNW #3038163 10/21/20 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by PianogrlNW
AZNPiano, Do you think as a piano teacher that you generally feel positive about your students? The way you describe and denigrate your students in this forum, I think it would be hard for your students’ parents to not pick up on your negative vibe.

I try to stay neutral during lessons, and I err on the side of negative by withholding praise unless something is done correctly. But I save my angry rants for PW. I have no problem teaching normal kids. Unfortunately, most of my current students are not normal.

Originally Posted by PianogrlNW
Have you considered coming up with a written policy of how you are managing Covid in your studio and communicating that to the parents? That would help towards parents feeling more comfortable about in-person lessons.

I'll bounce this idea with my colleagues. I'm not the only teacher who's noticing the COVID-19 excuse. Some parents are never coming to lessons again because Zoom is so convenient for them. Our COVID rate now is so low, I don't even know why we have any restrictions. Disneyland is finally about to re-open, but the rules are so dumb. Only people living in Orange County can go to Disneyland. That kind of defeats the whole purpose of re-opening. We need the tourism money.

Our local school district is extremely proactive, but the rest of the state is lagging behind in so many ways. Our economy is tanking. I've only gotten two inquiries since schools re-opened, and only one new student panned out. Things are not looking good.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3038312 10/22/20 12:49 PM
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Every country's economy is suffering. The alternative to a full lockdown is a targeted lockdown in places that are most vulnerable including senior homes & long-term care facilities.

When it comes to re-opening Disneyland, you have the problem of numbers. When you get too many people, you can't maintain proper social distance so there is a risk of an outbreak. The execs at Walt Disney Co. don't want to deal with compensation claims afterwards. Even if Disneyland & Disney World in Florida reopen without restrictions tomorrow, there is still a lockdown / partial lockdown in other parts of the world including England, France & Spain. The US-Canada border will remain close in the next few months. You're not going to see Canadian "snowbirds" heading for California or Florida for the winter.

My piano teacher teaches at a conservatory. As soon as the admin feel it is safe to re-open the building, the students will go back to music classes at a central location. Don't think my teacher plans to host lessons with Zoom permanently.

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AZNpiano #3038358 10/22/20 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I try to stay neutral during lessons, and I err on the side of negative by withholding praise unless something is done correctly. But I save my angry rants for PW.
That's pretty well as one expects. I taught in a public school that was in a problem area, with kids having loads of varying kinds of problems. The teacher's lounge where we had our lunch together sometimes looked like a convention of the mad, as people let off steam from the pent up self-discipline in the classroom. It just wasn't broadcast to the public worldwide. wink I sort of suspect that some folks who have a public persona of ultra-niceness may not be the best and most caring teachers in practice (though some may be).

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thepianoplayer416 #3038359 10/22/20 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
My piano teacher teaches at a conservatory. As soon as the admin feel it is safe to re-open the building, the students will go back to music classes at a central location. Don't think my teacher plans to host lessons with Zoom permanently.

At a conservatory I'm sure a teacher has every slot filled.

A private teacher might see an opportunity here, teaching mostly in person at some point but offering a few online slots now that the possibility has been publicized and to some extent accepted. I personally would rather take online lessons, from someone really skilled at teaching, than in person lessons from someone local and mediocre.


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TimR #3038708 10/23/20 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR
I personally would rather take online lessons, from someone really skilled at teaching, than in person lessons from someone local and mediocre.

If you put it that way.

Zoom has come a long way. The quality has increased substantially since March. But it is only about 45% effective when you compare it to in-person lessons. It also doesn't help if the parents of students are too cheap to invest in an external microphone. Trying to teach anybody beyond the intermediate level, whose microphone is the one that came with the laptop, is trying to do brain surgery with power tools.


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AZNpiano #3038728 10/23/20 06:09 PM
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Some students would rather a mediocre teacher come to their home than go somewhere to a really skilled teacher (talking about pre-pandemic and also generalizing, not that all in-home teachers are mediocre and all teachers in studios/schools are skilled). I'd rather teach an online student who practices diligently than do musical babysitting of an in-person student.

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It seems like some people here really don't like a market based approach to piano lessons. Set aside all of your thoughts on Covid, in the end of the day the teacher is selling a product and the student as a consumer is buying the product. The service provider (teacher) gets to determine how they will sell the product and the consumer (student) decides if they want to buy the product. It's that simple. If the consumers want a online experience and prefers that it is their decision. The service provider can decide what and how they are going to provide the service. If the two match up great, if not that's what happens in a marketplace economy. It's up to the service provider to decide how they will approach the market. Instead the prevailing opinion here seems to be to resist the market and disparage those consumers that don't conform to how they view the market.


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AZNpiano #3040908 10/30/20 02:42 AM
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I'm late to this thread. I fully understand all the legitimate fears of catching Covid...but I'll vent about just how bad online teaching is. I don't know how so many seem to be okay with it, or even enjoying it. I had to disperse of the remaining online students I had as I was being driven towards alcoholism.

Here are just a FRACTION of things you can't do online, all of which are prominent in my teaching:

1.) Point to the score as a student plays.
2.) Have a student point as you play.
3.) Write in counts in their music
4.) Have them count aloud or count to my playing
5.) Discuss or demonstrate pedalling
6.) Use a metronome
7.) Touch them
8.) Demonstrate subtle dynamic varieties.

There is also the issue of having to buy double copies of whatever books they use, so you have a reference. Early on I drove to all their houses and dropped of copies I bought, but got tired.

Some positives of online teaching:

1.) You can browse the web or chat on facebook or gchat with your other teacher colleagues while they are also teaching and bemoan online teaching together.
2.) Don't have to keep your house super clean
3.) Vodka martinis while delivering instruction.

Last edited by Opus_Maximus; 10/30/20 02:46 AM.
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AZNpiano #3040939 10/30/20 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
8.) Demonstrate subtle dynamic varieties.
What are the subtle dynamic varieties !? There are only two varieties: there is sound or there is no sound!


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2.) Don't have to keep your house super clean
In any case, what is out of frame .

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3.) Vodka martinis while delivering instruction.
Don't forget to pour it into a tea mug; in no case show an olive pierced with a toothpick. While drinking, repeat repeatedly and espressivo : "Oh, what delicious water!"

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AZNpiano #3041268 10/31/20 06:22 AM
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We live in Maryland and our schools are not open even though our positivity rate is about 3 percent.

All my son’s piano lessons have been on Zoom since March 2020. I’ve talked to others and it seems like everyone here is doing Zoom lessons still.

Are there any teachers who think Zoom lessons for intermediate students work better or are at least not too much worse?


Yamaha G2
Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3041313 10/31/20 10:05 AM
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A zoom lesson is about 55% effective. Many things are left out but parents don't know which things these are. So they believe they're getting value for money. As a piano teacher, that is the main thing: earning a living during difficult times. By difficult, I don't mean seeing people around you dying from Covid, since it's mainly seniors in nursing homes dying. Rather I mean, seeing everybody around me healthy and the economy going to shreds, the public debt mounting, people's mental health tanking etc..

Re: COVID-19 Excuse
Nahum #3041339 10/31/20 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
8.) Demonstrate subtle dynamic varieties.
What are the subtle dynamic varieties !? There are only two varieties: there is sound or there is no sound!

I'm trying to understand what you're saying. Opus Maximus was listing what you (often) can't do on-line. Are you agreeing with O.M. that you can only do "sound / no sound" without the dynamic varieties? Or are you disagreeing (they way it sounds), saying that in piano playing there are none?

Of course there is variety to dynamics: from very quiet, to very loud, and crescendo, diminuendo, morendo etc. In my own on-line work, these do come across. Only not necessarily subtly.

The thing that is not working well are sustained notes. It seems to also depend on an individual's Internet connections, and possibly time of day. If a sustained whole note comes across as an eighth, what can the teacher tell? If there are pedal choices, esp. subtle ones, you can't hear it if the sound is cancelled as "background noise".

It's not just "sound/ no sound". There is "How loud is the sound?" "How much louder than the sounds before and after?" "How long does the sound last?" This is why your statement puzzled me.

Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3041525 10/31/20 06:30 PM
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For parents whose kids are still doing virtual lessons and really care, what can we do to make the process better? We have a Yamaha 5’10” grand piano. Zoom lessons on iPhone. If we need a microphone, what do I buy?


Yamaha G2
Re: COVID-19 Excuse
pianoMom2006 #3041915 11/01/20 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoMom2006
For parents whose kids are still doing virtual lessons and really care, what can we do to make the process better? We have a Yamaha 5’10” grand piano. Zoom lessons on iPhone. If we need a microphone, what do I buy?

Not a teacher, just an adult student. I've been surprised at how much my teacher is able to accomplish over Zoom. I actually think it may be more important to get a larger screen than a microphone, so that the teacher has a good view of the whole keyboard. IPhones have a good enough microphone that you'd have to go pretty high end to make a significant difference there, IMO.

I'm also writing from experience teaching over Zoom (not music) and seeing how students who connect via phone are at a disadvantage, compared with using a computer. I would suggest using a laptop for the video, and you could still use the phone for sound if you want. I have a Macbook and just use the computer for both.


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Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3041944 11/01/20 09:06 PM
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Thank you JDW.

My son has a special tripod for his iPhone. He also has a newish MacBook but I’m not sure if that would be any better given the location of his tripod. I couldn’t put the MacBook on the tripod. I suppose I could ask his teacher.


Yamaha G2
Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3042082 11/02/20 01:14 PM
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On Zoom, I have become better at asking the student questions, and really listening to how they answer. I also have them read the lesson notes, and ask them to explain/teach/demonstrate to me.

I use the Spotlight on Zoom when they show me their theory, or if is lots of writing, have parent send me a photo.

I was very thankful that I have a full lending library and am fully stocked with my curriculum books that I would use to sell. They became my at-home set for Zooming. Lesson page 12, Theory page 5, Performance page 4, etc... and I could type out specifics for each student in a follow up message.

As of fall 2020, Only have 4 students still on Zoom, the rest are in-person.

For Christmas music, the Zoom students will have their music delivered, limited choices. In person, they can look over my vast collection and choose at their level several selections. I can play for them to see if they like the arrangement.

As for teaching, I have an advanced student who had developed a bad habit with a collapsed pinky that I could not see on camera. We are back in person and working on it now. Fingerings were also becoming willy nilly, but he is getting back on track because I can see now!

For my littles, they have been progressing, surprising well. But, the parents mostly incorporate piano as they do math, dishes, feeding the dog, English, tv time, piano, brush your teeth, etc...it all is a regular part of life.

Except for one boy- I am still just a 30 minute babysitter. He listens well enough, and works, but little sister screams her fool head off during the lesson so much that we literally cannot hear each other. The nanny will read a book to sissy in the same room. It sucks. But, same thing occurred in person, so I'm really not surprised.

Be professional. Carry yourself well. Zoom with yourself to check lighting and sound. Set goals for each student, and let them know your expectations. Yes, have a Zoom recital. Hold them accountable. But, also do fun activities, and send fun music worksheets. Have them do a brief music history report. Stretch yourself.

This, too, shall pass.


Learning as I teach.
Re: COVID-19 Excuse
AZNpiano #3043791 11/08/20 10:58 AM
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Since we're on this topic, it would be great if I can get feedback from piano teachers for early or young learners (4 to 12 years) regarding conducting virtual lessons online ad the difficulties you've encounterd. Quick 5 min survey - https://forms.office.com/Pages/Resp...8aBUMUhSNUdQVlJZVURJODdOVzJLMUlFR0cySS4u

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