In the last few weeks, as I’ve made the transition to online lessons, about 1/3 of my students have come along with me and scheduled lessons. They’ve either downloaded an accompaniment app or have a prerecorded track on their end. They’ve downloaded Zoom, made sure their audio set up is in place, and made appointments on Acuity.
A few other people have contacted me to tell me that their lives are twice as busy as a result of this pandemic and they’re going to have put lessons on hold for the time being.
But quite a few people have simply… disappeared. They haven’t responded to emails and they haven’t scheduled any lessons. And I get it because this might be the most important thing in my life – it’s what I do for a living and it’s my passion – but it’s just one of many things my students do. What are the fears?
- It’s gonna be weird.
Yep. It will, at first. And maybe at second. It won’t be like an in-person lesson.
- I don’t want to sing in front of my siblings/parents.
Well, you can ask them to go for a walk for an hour. People can still walk outside (and that way no one will be streaming and your connection will be better).
- I don’t have a place to do it.
You won’t need a piano. You can really go anywhere (although if you go into your bedroom, it’d be best if you leave the door ajar, for propriety’s sake). I have one person singing in the basement, just because she’s right by the router.
- I’m freaking out and I’m not in a good place about this. Can we just wait until we can do it in person?
That is an option. I’ve had a few bad days myself. I’m going to extend my studio calendar for two weeks, and hopefully we’ll be back in person by May. But I think it would be a really good thing to keep on track with lessons.
If you really, really don’t think you can do online lessons for whatever reason, here are some options:
- Make a video of yourself. Send it to me, either via email or the new Marco Polo app, which I have just downloaded onto my iPad. This allows you to record a video and send it to me. If I’m around, I can watch it right away. If I’m not, I can watch it when I get to it, and record my thoughts and comments and send it back to you.
- Active Listening: According to Full Voice Music educator Nikki Loney, “Active listening is when you listen to music carefully and give it your full attention.” I can assign some videos of various singers for you to watch and you can watch them and analyze the entire piece, from accompaniment, to rhythm, to harmonies, to vocal choices, to lyrics. We can focus on one or we can focus on more. We can focus on lyrics. What do the words mean? Are there any words that are new for you?
- Take a break, and hopefully we’ll get back into the studio again in May and get the rest of your lessons in before the end of the semester.
This was written specifically for my students so that my email about the subject won’t be ridiculously long, but if you’re a voice teacher or a voice student, you’re probably dealing with the same things.
TL:DR – There are so many choices – what will be yours?