Get a Glimpse Inside Virtual Lessons
“Playing piano (still) gives me balance in life”
Katie Nelson has been teaching all of her students virtually since March 16th, creating a positive, safe-distance experience for both young and adult students.
“Parents have been hands on, and adult students have been able to work independently and take more initiative in lessons,” Katie says.
One of her adult students, Mary Beth, has played piano on and off since 5th grade. She worked a second job during college to buy her own piano. Growing up, her mother could always tell when she wasn’t practicing because she would seem “off” balance.
Now a resident of the Saint John’s on the Lake senior living community, Mary Beth has been a student at WCM for six years.
“Playing piano (still) gives me balance in life,” she says. “Virtual lessons make that possible.”
One of the biggest challenges for virtual lessons initially was the inability to demonstrate without adjusting the camera, Katie said. She and her students have since adapted seamlessly.
Plus, Katie says she has gained insight from seeing the pianos and keyboards that students use at home to practice. (CONTINUED)
Practicing on the same piano as she now uses for lessons is a positive for Mary Beth. She enjoys the familiar touch, and says it eliminates the distraction of adjusting to the feel of another piano — especially with dynamics.
Perhaps one of the best things to come through virtual lessons is the ability to connect with anyone, anywhere.
Students can continue lessons, no matter where they are. Katie teaches a family in Panama. She also was able to reconnect and restart lessons with a former student who moved out of state.
Seeing Katie’s “familiar smiling face” is reassuring for Mary Beth during this time of uncertainty. It’s a connection to life before the pandemic, she says.
Virtual lessons also allow both students and the teacher to focus on music, not the latest news or unsettling things on TV. Mary Beth, like many other students, says she is grateful WCM has made virtual lessons possible.
“Practicing is an incredible stress reliever,” she says. “After practicing piano, I’m the most relaxed I’ll be all day.”
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