Remote education is probably here to stay, and so are online music lessons. But how can we make sure that students maximize their potential? One of the very first steps is certainly preparing the room in which they will take place. In a perfect world, each student would have a specific room just for lessons. But we know that for many families this is simply unrealistic, not to mention unnecessary. However, there are a few considerations that will help turn just about any space in the perfect learning venue.
Students need a space that is quiet, well-lit, tidy, and spacious. Artwork and decorations are always welcome, and students should be encouraged to try to make this space their own. Small spaces are not ideal. However, a small corner in a bigger room is an excellent compromise. A room, or portion of it, should be reserved exclusively for lessons and homework assignments. This way, students will associate it with education, discipline, and structure. They can use this space for their school assignments as well as music lessons and practicing.
Microphones pick up lots of unwanted noises, making complete silence extremely important. Furthermore, the platforms that we commonly use were simply not envisioned for music lessons. They are designed to filter out certain frequencies and amplify others. For example, apps often boost noises coming from the kitchen, phones ringing, and doors opening and closing. Realistically, only a door between the two spaces can mitigate the sound transmission.
Keeping a designated space neat also helps the learning process. For music lessons, the part of the room should really just contain the bare essentials: a desk and chair, place for the instrument or instrument case, music stand, and a shelf or drawer for sheet music.
Camera sensors need light to work, but it is important to understand that direct sunlight is far too strong for computer cameras. We should always avoid having a bright light source, such as a window, in the shot. Sometimes moving it is not an option (I have such a problem), but shades or curtains will solve the issue.
What to Avoid
To avoid misunderstandings, I have nothing against parents attending lessons. On the contrary, I always encourage parental involvement, as long as they maintain the role of the silent spectator throughout. You can read more about it in this article [link coming soon]. However, lessons demand concentration. Far too often I see pianos in living rooms, which are often designed to be connected to the rest of the house. They are also often occupied by other members of the family during lessons. This makes it next-to-impossible for students to avoid various distractions. The bedroom or any detached space would be the better choice.
Designating a special learning space has lots of benefits. It both creates allows them to concentrate and teaches structure and discipline. Teachers will be happy, too, since they will be able to conduct their lessons without distractions getting in the way of their teaching. All of the above translate into a successful learning experience.