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Teaching Music During the Coronavirus Outbreak

For a major concentration of the world’s population, the Coronavirus has brought life to a grinding halt. For many, isolation puts a strain on a psyche that’s wired for human contact. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of inactivity and self-pity, or even self-medication for those who have no other outlets. As musicians, whether you’re a teacher or student, we have something that sustains us through the darkest of times, which are then transmuted into a thing of beauty or comfort through music and song.

How musicians deal with isolation

For many musicians, spending time alone is just another day in the life. Our involvement with music prepares us for isolation. Musicians tend to be introverted, despite appearing gregarious onstage (the stage isolates you from the audience) and tend to have a very small circle of friends.

We practice our instruments alone; we write songs alone; we work alone in our home studios, and even in professional studios, we often sit alone tracking in a live room or booth and watch the engineer through glass. Those who compose music for film sit alone at a workstation while all the action occurs on a computer screen. People who make instructional or performance videos for YouTube do so alone, and many prefer it that way.

Music is our meditation, a source of inner peace, and keeps us sane while the noise and static from all of those busy minds crowd the world. That’s also why many of us are night people. We come inter our own when all those buzzing minds are asleep and the world is clear and quiet and creative thoughts travel more freely.

Use this time to improve your skills

When we want to up our game and improve our technique, the word “woodshedding” comes to mind. The connotation is that we isolate ourselves for a stretch of time and practice away from the eyes and ears of those who would either discourage or distract us, only to emerge some time later to wow our friends and audience with our new accomplishments.

That said, perhaps one of the most difficult things to do is set aside not just the time, but a quiet place to study and practice. The founders of the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire understood this. The Colony comprises 36 cabin/studios in beautiful natural surroundings, where artists go to create in solitude. (The MacDowell Colony is where Leonard Bernstein composed his Mass and Aaron Copeland composed the musical, Billy The Kid.)

Music education during and after the pandemic

If there is to be a silver lining to the Corona pandemic, it’s that we now have plenty of time to work on our music skills. And thanks to online education, the opportunity exists not only to continue teaching music, but we also have the ability to reach across the world to find and engage with new students.

In your local community, there’s a saturation point in terms of available students, but thanks to the Internet and online teaching, the entire country becomes our backyard, and the only thing limiting our reach to other countries would be language barriers, unless of course, you’re multi-lingual.

If these trying times teach us anything, it’s that music will always find a way to propagate itself and that teaching online is something that should not end when this particular pandemic does. Online education provides the means for music education to continue and thrive regardless of the times.

If you’re ready to take your first steps into a new and exciting world of musical enjoyment, or wish to continue your learning after a long (or short) hiatus, please visit https://vibomusic.com/online-music-lessons/ where you can sign up for a free lesson. For more information, email us at info@vibomusic.com or go to Contact Us page and a VIBO School representative will contact you ASAP.