By Stefano De Maco, Social Media Manager and Vocal Coach
The #Covid virus pandemic brings almost all activities to their knees, even those of teaching music. What consequences, but above all, what perspectives?
Nothing will be like before. The #Covid19 pandemic wave of these months has swept away many habits; some will resist, others will instead keep pace. Music, Musicians, Technicians, Artists, all have suffered the consequences of certain catastrophic and unprecedented cases in various measures.
Among these categories, Music teachers were suddenly split in two, overwhelmed by the Lockdown tsunami. On the one hand, those who already understood the importance of migrating online, with structured sites and adequate technical systems, instead stubbornly persisted until the end to remain in old habits. Including above all, at least here in Italy, most of the so-called “Music Schools.”
The emergency made it necessary for an unimaginable distance before, with the lockdown to suspend any frontal teaching activity.
Music School and Private Teaching
Many teachers found themselves upside down, also because they are not fiscally included in the social security contributions. Unfortunately, many prefer money “who, cursed and immediately,” rather than a regular tax profile.
Also, the so-called “Music Schools” are complicit, often under Cultural Associations, to remain in a limbo of contributions and tax rules, legislative rules that often force you to choose such an umbrella for the absurd administrative maintenance costs.
However, unfortunately aside, one of the problems highlighted was the “cultural” unpreparedness of most teachers, some shortsighted, others, like myself, curious to see what’s around the corner. If it is true that you never stop learning, here is a historic opportunity. Those who teach good or bad have their own experience and knowledge. Now it is a question of evolving by adapting to the new diffusion methods, which do not necessarily have to supplant the “analogue offline” ones but can very well find a great synergy.
It’s high time for evolution.
In companies’ world, terms with FAD (Distance Training) have been standard for years, because online travel times are reduced, and people physically distant from each other can be reached. The principle is equally valid, whether it is a class or an individual student.
Not to mention the collaboration and remotely music production. In this period, projects have flourished between musicians stuck in the house, who through Skype or Zoom (which I will discuss later) have created and finalized songs, if not albums.
Creativity finds new spaces to express itself like water in the rock, it shows.
The cultural gap is evident not only in music schools but also in the entire public education system. Unqualified teachers, unprepared to use new technologies and methodologies, cannot be the scapegoat of a blind and shortsighted system for too many decades.
A ruling class stuck to mental schemes of a century ago, has Continuously drained resources, has fixed programs that are either too radical or too conservative. All of this has clashed with the need for a fluid, programmed, and programmable teaching, agile to be conveyed through new means (see interactive slides ). But above all, where would all the best efforts lead if not all students are still reached by adequate connections if even many do not physically have a PC?
Just a matter of Technology?
Because it must be said that technology is not enough to bring online teaching, it also takes a culture appropriate to the use of tools. And here the knots come to ahead.
I don’t know the situation abroad, but in Italy, I can say that digitalization is still a bombastic word, more than a practical philosophy. From online payments to online transparency to online branches of the Public Administration, there is such a wide gap, that we doubt the value of the shouts of enthusiasm for the small steps that the Administrations emphasize.
There is always the man in the centre, while technology must be an instrument. Instead, in this uphill run, we follow it, as a fashion, without understanding its meaning, without adapting it to our purposes.
So, which is the best tool for teaching music online?
I teach singing. Besides the intrinsic limits of the connection system (lag and latency in the first place), I Found especially my students utterly unaware of how to use personal devices in ways that were not playful or for everyday use.
Yet there are many resources on the net, I have discovered many new profiles that offer tutorials from the use of Google Doc, how to get around latency, and how to set up an online lesson.
But we will talk about this next time, dedicated precisely to the tools to bring the online teaching activity with positive results.