As parents and educators, we all know how hard it can be to keep children entertained when learning from home. A momentary distraction or seemingly unprovoked tantrum can completely derail an afternoon of education; but with the right method, teachers and engagement, online lessons are actually really fun, easy and better than in-person lessons!
Over the last 2 years, we have brought the EchoKids lessons and activities to the digital world - and we’ve learned some important lessons along the way. The various types of virtual activities that we run include:
- Private Lessons
- Group Lessons
- Instagram live streams
- YouTube live streams
- Pre-recorded videos
- Self-directed online courses
But on this blog post, we'll be talking about the ways we've improved virtual private lessons. You can find more information about our private lessons here!
Virtual Private Lessons
At EchoKids, we offer many one-on-one private music lessons -- even for students as young as 2 years old! We see amazing engagement from kids of all ages for various instruments. Many children are so engaged that parents no longer need to be next to them for the kids to remain focused. But before the pandemic started, we weren't offering many online lessons since we didn't think we could teach properly online - the pandemic taught us we were wrong. It's significantly easier for both mentors and parents since travel time is cut out, and gives the kids independence from the comfort of their home. It could be tempting as a 6 year old to just shut the computer off when the lesson gets hard but that's out of the equation since our lessons are so fun!
Why are they fun and better? Here's why:
- Consistent Lesson Plans - Familiarity is key for virtual lessons. Starting/ending off the lesson with scales, working on a single piece every lesson, and using our original workbooks during lessons; these are some of the ways we keep a consistent lesson. Kids perform better when they know what the lesson will be like, and they are able to practice better this way because they remember the lesson flow.
- Keeping Track of Progress - Keeping track of lessons is practically impossible unless it's written down somewhere - even in-person. That's why we specifically created a lesson notes section in our web-app to track what the student accomplished every lesson. From being able to sing on pitch for the first time to just writing down what pages were completed from the workbook, it helps identify student strengths and outline what they should be practicing. This is immensely helpful to parents that are now heavily involved in their children’s education and can use help staying organized. Yes, parents are able to see (some) lesson notes too!
- Way more options - Does your schedule change frequently with other extracurricular activities for your kid(s), work and school events? Of course they do! Finding a time to fit these frequently changing schedule is very hard for in-person lessons since it has to match with the mentor's schedule too. But if it's online, the mentor can squeeze lessons in between classes or even while they're away so you don't have to change mentors every semester or everytime your child wants to try out something new! On top of that, you'll have a pool of mentors to choose from around the...world!
Throughout all of this, it’s important to remember that educators and parents are on the same team. It is easy to feel frustrated and believe online isn't the answer while we accept our new normal but with a concrete action plan and a shared purpose, we are thrilled to see the impact that these lessons are having on students’ day-to-day lives. Online lessons DO work just as great, if not better than in-person lessons. We doubted it at first too, but after 2 years and constant improvement, we know it's the answer for your child's music lessons.
So don't wait too long because kids are sponges and every day counts. Sign up here for a trial lesson by choosing an instrument and see how great online lessons are!