Taking Risks: Learning to Teach Musical Instruments During the Pandemic and Beyond


The pandemic crisis has had a significant impact on musical education worldwide. Although virtual instrumental education has existed for quite a while, it was generally considered a substitute for in-person instruction pre-pandemic. Many teachers, students and parents regarded in-person instrumental instruction as the optimal format for transferring performance techniques and cultivating musicality given that much non-verbal communication such as demonstration, deictic gestures and interventions create positive interpersonal dynamics. However, private instrument lessons, used to relying on face-to-face interaction, had to swiftly move to virtual contexts. And virtual instruction has been the first option for most instrumental teachers during these three years. The purpose of this study is to examine instructors’ perspectives on the effect the COVID-19 pandemic is having on private instrumental education. For this purpose, the discussion topics will include how instructors have had to make a shift to a virtual setting, what changes they have made regarding pedagogy and educational philosophy and how they reflect on those changes, and what their insights are into virtual instrumental learning during and after the pandemic.
Three to five piano and violin instructors who have virtual private teaching experience during the pandemic will be samples of this study. Data will be collected through questionnaires and interviews (individual interviews and group interviews). A communicative space will be created in this study, enabling instrumental instructors to recount their experiences and verbalize their thoughts on virtual instruction. Meanwhile, they will reflect on how the experience influences their teaching practice during and after the pandemic.

Author Information
Xiao Dong, Western University, Canada

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2022
Stream: Teaching Experiences

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon