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Growing in Flexibility: the (Online) Teaching Experience!

by Jennifer Geise

On June 5th I had the opportunity to share about my online piano teaching experience and specifically to talk on the importance of flexibility as a music teacher. Our audience was a great mix of experienced and new-to-online teachers from many instrument backgrounds. This afforded a rich discussion on experience and questions about online challenges.

I started teaching online in January 2012 with many questions and some significant reservations, but with a desire to reach students who would otherwise not be reached. Music is a universal language we all can speak (with many different dialects of course!—classical, pop, Mongolian throat singing to name a few!—but not all of us have quality access to learning about it! So with this desire to reach students, I started online teaching with a flexible and open mind.

I came to find that my reservations (such as compromised tone quality and teaching technique remotely) could be “rerouted” if I had a flexible approach to teaching. I had to discover NEW ways to teach OLD principles, musical concepts, sounds and technical movements. The results were encouraging! I found myself growing as a teacher to be better equipped to help all my students grow and enjoy music and I found my online students succeeding and becoming independent, happy musicians!

This slideshow details the principles of being an adaptive, flexible teacher who seeks to be equipped with the right tools and awareness to be able to lead students to a rich understanding and enjoyment of the musical topic at hand.


I also talk about the important counter-balance to flexibility, the need for consistency. If we are nothing but flexible, we are out of balance!

These concepts of flexibility, re-routing and consistency are of course applicable to both online and traditional lessons. I hope that you find them helpful and stimulating.

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