We are in a whole new world. We are all adjusting, and our kids are too.
This is a lot to process, and the ups and downs are vey real. As a piano teacher, I was worried about this new Zoom piano lessons world that I jumped into. How would it work? Would it work at all? In another post, we can talk about the logistics, but here I am talking about heart.
I care about my students. I’m there for them. The fact that I can’t be there for them in person doesn’t mean that I can’t be there for them during Zoom piano lessons. It’s really easy. I start every lesson asking how they are, and then I respond with compassion and empathy. Here are a few examples of some of the best interactions I’ve had in the past few weeks:
- “My mom is sick!” Yes that is hard. Let’s talk about it. Here is a song that talks about that. You are not alone. Piano is a friend that doesn’t force you to give when you are empty. It will fill you up. You can pour your sadness into it if you want to. This week, play what you want! There’s no homework.
- “I got a new puppy!” Yes, that is amazing! What’s the cutest thing the puppy has done? One of my students wrote a song about their puppy. Do you want to play it? Maybe you can write your own song or change the lyrics of this song to make it about your puppy. I can’t wait to hear about all the fun you have together next week!
- “I’m bored.” Yeah, it can be boring not seeing all of our friends or going out as much. One of my other students dug a hole in their backyard, put a tarp down as a liner, filled it with water, and made their own pool! Isn’t that hilarious! Would your parents let you do that? What other ideas can you think of to make your own fun?
When I hear that something exciting or terrible has happened, I give my students the space they need to discuss it if they’d like to. It helps me gauge my expectations of their ability to learn during the lesson, and it gives me an opportunity to give them perspective on the ups and downs of life.
For some of my students, I’m a long-standing influence. I outlast the temporary nanny, the schoolteacher, and the camp counselor. I show up once a week, year in and year out, and I teach them. Just because COVID has changed our routines, it doesn’t need to change our hearts. Be sure to leave room for your students to talk if they need to. Otherwise, play lots and lots of songs. Hopefully, this time ends with a lot of kids having been turned into musicians.
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