Music teaching has been changed dramatically since the widespread coronavirus lockdowns. And while some schools look like they might reopen in a limited capacity, for many, remote education will be the reality for a while longer. Here are five essential remote teaching tools and five ‘dos and don’ts’ for remote teaching.
If you want to know more about using these tools, read our article on how music technology teaching is thriving in lockdown.
Essential remote teaching tools
1. Zoom or Skype
There are others about, but these are a couple of the most popular and are essential if you are to carry out remote lessons. Zoom is my preference because of its audio sharing tools and stereo operation.
2. BandLab/BandLab for Education
For beginner to intermediate learners, it’s a no brainer. It requires Google Chrome or Firefox, works on any platform, needs no controller and can be used in Education mode for closed and protected classrooms.
3. Audio Interface
Not essential but clear audio from the teacher to the student should be paramount; it can be as simple as a 2-in, 2-out unit.
An optical line would be best, a poor connection is the last thing you want, and if you can hardwire instead of using wifi, do it.
Not so much for the teacher if you’re in a studio space, but should be seriously considered. If not, every student must monitor a session with headphones.
The dos and don’ts of remote teaching
1. Do stay professional
Your duty of care should remain, regardless of location, nothing should be visible of your private life so use appropriate backgrounds, both teacher and students, dress appropriately and make the session private closing all other browser windows when screen sharing.
2. Do allow for technical issues
Time at the start of the session often needs to be dedicated to connection, be it video, audio and or logging in.
3. Don’t allow students to disrupt
Take charge of the session, have clear aims and use the ‘mute’ button when delivering content. Management of the online classroom is essential.
4. Don’t offer additional support
After structured remote sessions, be very careful not to get caught up in lengthy email exchanges, which would normally not happen and may take up more time than you expect.
5. Do make sure others in your space know you are working
This is important – there is nothing worse than a member of your family wandering into the picture or making noise, so warn them beforehand. This also goes for the students.
Read more about how to use the services and solutions above in our feature on how music tech education is thriving in lockdown.
[Editor’s note: BandLab is owned by BandLab Technologies, the parent company of MusicTech magazine/MusicTech.net]