students

Every music student will eventually face one of the most exciting and scary moments…the live performance.

As teachers, it’s important to prepare students to be ready when it comes to playing in front of an audience. There are a few things you will need to address.

First of all, it’s important to know that the focus here is going to be about music students in general, which could lead to all sorts of genres of music.

Everyone is different

Remember that every student is different.  Some students may have a harder time performing in front of people than others.

While as teacher you should give the same attention to every student, it’s important to ??

Stage Fright

This is the main hurdle for some musicians when playing for the first few times, however the worst aspect about stage fright is actually before actual performance.

For many musicians, stage fright, nerves or butterflies in the stomach go away the second they begin their performance.

For some it may be a bit more of a problem as it gets in the way of the actual performance with a cloud of doubt and insecurity.

This is normal and the best tip out there is to get used to it, like many things in life, being out of the comfort zone is not an easy thing. It’s scary at first but it’s also easy to overcome those fears with time.

You have to remind your students to not worry during the pre show routines, the most important thing before a live performance is to be focused and prepared, because this will carry your students throughout their stage fright when the time comes.

Live Behaviour and Mistakes

A musician’s focus is of course the music, but it is a show, and you need to let your students know that the show must go on, always.

As musicians get more comfortable in their “live performer selves” they will develop a stronger presence, but the most important thing for beginners and music students is to deal with mistakes in an elegant way.

It’s almost impossible to avoid mistakes, and you need to remind them of that hard fact.

What can be avoided is a poor way to handle those mistakes, which is to stop playing or making funny faces to indicate they made that mistake.

This is one of the most common mistakes young music students make, and the best way to overcome this, is to practice.

It should be clear however that there are two ways of practicing, general rehearsal and practicing specific parts of a musical piece.

When practicing a specific part, stopping is necessary, going back and doing it again, listen closely and fix every little mistake as much as possible.

But when rehearsing, the idea is to play or sing as if you were live.

What this does is that you get used to following the general structure of the music no matter what, making every mistake a tiny bump on the road instead of a stone wall.

Live Supervision and Support

For the younger students, it’s always good to let them know you will be there, not just as adult supervision but support.

If your students see a figure with whom they feel comfortable, their eyes will turn to them and it will no doubt give them confidence.

On the other hand, it’s always good to supervise and keep things under control if there are any unwanted surprises or negative behaviours.

A Few More Tips

Live

For pianists, it’s a good idea to have them practice the entire sequence from coming up to the piano bench to finishing the piece and bowing.

If you test them by placing the bench incorrectly on purpose and let them adjust it the right way, they will be better prepared for small situations like that.

In order to overcome their nerves, it’s a great idea to have them play in front of people, maybe start small, playing in front of their family, then small groups of friends.

This will help them get used to being heard and seen, while maybe also have a bit of feedback on where they lose strength throughout the performance which can be very helpful and important in their career as musicians.

Performances in the Calendar

Having a music organization software program like Music Teacher’s Helper can help you organize all of your performances. You are able to keep a calendar and add which students will be attending that particular event. You can also keep track of cover charges in the event as well! Come try us out for free for 30 days by clicking the Sign Up button at the top of the page!

 

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When you choose to become a teacher, one of the most important responsibilities is to have a good relationship with your students.

There are many reasons as to why this is a priority but the most important is that if you don’t get along with your students, your lessons won’t get through to them, even if they are well thought out and planned.

Of course there are many teachers out there that keep things very strict and are considered good teachers but it’s also not as simple as being friendly or not.

Having a good relationship with your students is about getting to know them and be friendly without crossing any lines, you have to remember you are a teacher not a friend.

To make things a bit clearer, these are a few tips you can keep in mind that will help you build a good relationship with your students.

And of course, try to remember their names!

Know What Your Students Like

The first impression of a young student is that the teacher doesn’t have the same interests at all, whether it is in music, movies, TV shows or clothes.

One of the best ways to get someone’s attention is a pleasant surprise, and you will, without a doubt surprise them if you show interest in what they like or maybe mention something that they weren’t expecting like talking about a videogame soundtrack or something out of the ordinary in terms of traditional music education.

Of course, connecting through music would be the best scenario in this regard, as it not only helps you make that connection but it also gives you inspiration to develop your class.

Be Ready to Learn From Your Students

Yes, you may be the teacher and it is your job to teach them music but, a teacher that is willing to learn from their students is even better.

Students are always being pushed to think and work around things, so sometimes they come up with amazing ideas or music that cannot be overlooked.

Some teachers dismiss many ideas from their students because they “clearly know less than the teacher” but this is far from the truth.

Having this approach in mind will also make you be more excited with each lesson, with the hopes you might learn something too, and that excitement will be displayed when you teach.

A Sense of Humor

A teacher with a sense of humor makes everything a more pleasant experience, which is a very important thing in order to make students really appreciate your lessons.

No matter what is being taught, it’s easy for a class to get heavy and hard to process, however, these moments of humor to loosen things up a bit helps keeping things fresh.

Students

Story Time

One of the best way to connect with your students is sharing things about you, maybe an annecdote from another group of students or just a funny story related to the class.

This makes the whole experience a bit more human, which is necessary.

Students, especially younger ones, can see a teacher as this big authority that is very far from their world that it’s almost impossible to empathize.

These “storytelling” times can help you avoid this and maybe spark a few laughs or inspiration.

MTH Features

As a part of the MTH team, we recommend that you make the most out of the features we offer in order to help build your relationship with your students.

Remember to use birthday reminders, as your students will appreciate that you are aware of those important celebration dates.

From automatic lesson notes, to easy scheduling, Music Teacher’s Helper will assist with your needs as a music teacher giving you the space and time you need to build a good relationship with your students, based on trust, respect and a genuine love for music anywhere in the world.

 

 

 

 

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It’s true that the internet has been around for quite some time now and we are quite used to video conferencing as a means to communicate with friends and family.

It’s also true that when it comes to other things such as teaching, video calls were not a first choice even more so with music lessons.

However we have been forced to embrace video calls and other tools in order to keep teaching, and we’ve learned that it is actually a great alternative even if we think of a world 100% free of Covid 19.

It’s been almost a year since we adapted to this way of teaching, but that is a relatively short amount of time.

That is why it may be a good idea to stop for a moment and review the tools available in order to make the most out of video conferencing.

Video Conferencing as a Music Teacher

This is not a tool but,it is a reminder that you must find the tools that suit your job.

There is a focus on sound quality and a good connection when it comes to online music lessons.

Video conferencing can be messy at first but there are some things that have to meet a certain standard if you are going to teach music.

Under this idea, let’s review a few tools.

Zoom

It’s no secret that Zoom was the most used video conferencing platform in 2020. It’s very stable, it offers great video and audio quality, it lets you record calls and it’s very easy to use.

One of the pros of this platform is that it has the highest capacity of people in one call without any issues. Of course the limit is 500, and you’re probably not going to be giving a lesson to that many students at the same time but, it does show how stable the platform is.

There is however, a free version and a paid version. While the free version covers most of the features you’ll need as a music teacher, there are some things such as scheduling and a cloud recording storage that are only available if you get the pro version at $14.99 a month or the enterprise version which gives you access to an unlimited storage for $19.99 a month.

In general Zoom is a very good choice and it will work just fine for your music lessons.

Rock Out Loud

Video Conferencing

There are many reasons why Rock Out Loud could be the best choice for you, but the main reason is that it is a platform with a focus on music.

This is important because not only does it offer a higher quality audio codec but it also offers features that enhance the learning experience such as on screen chords and on screen music sheets.

This is one of the features that set it apart from other video conferencing tools as it allows you to see your students, and teach with the instrument in hand without having to switch to a presentation mode to screen share or get the camera close to a book.

It’s very useful, but if you want to screen share, you also have that option.

When it comes to all the other important aspects of a video conferencing platform, it’s very good, offering a great quality audio, video and a stable connection.

However it doesn’t get close to the amount of people Zoom can hold in a call, with a limit of 35 people, although most teachers probably have less than that in one online lesson.

It’s also very easy to use for both teachers and students.

It also offers a free version, a paid version with lesson rooms for $9.95, and the most expensive version at 13.99 for multi lesson rooms and the ability to assign sheet music to each room.

for more information check out the Rock Out Loud Live website.

Skype

Skype has been around for a while and most people are familiar with it which can be one of its strengths.

It’s free and offers all the basic things you need for a video call but it is one of the most limited and it does have some issues with performance and there are some problems sometimes when adding contacts.

They’ve recently added the Meet Now product, which enables hosts and participants to create and join a video call without making an account or downloading the app.

Skype has been around for quite some time so it’s safe, easy to use and it offers a seamless user experience, but if you want to think outside the box when thinking of your music lessons, it may be best to think about other options.

Google Hangouts

After all we’ve mentioned before, what could Google Hangouts offer that the other platforms don’t? one of the good things is that, like Zoom, you don’t need to have an account, you just need the link to go to the call which can be useful sometimes.

The big thing about Google Hangouts is its connection to all other google platforms such as gmail and google calendar, which helps with accessibility.

Other than that is good, it’s free but nothing particularly amazing.

Others

There are other options that can be of use but not as the main platform, such as Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, and many others.

These shouldn’t be your main platform mainly because it doesn’t offer the level of quality that other platforms have, due to the fact that social media isn’t specialized in video conferencing, but still, it can work as support tools.

As always if you got the video call covered but you still need to manage your own studio and music lessons, Music Teacher’s Helper can be a great tool to support you as a teacher.

 

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