I decided from the outset that I was going to embrace the things that online teaching does well rather than try to replicate what we do in person with limited success. For instance, since netlag/latency makes it impossible to accompany a student in real time, I decided we could, by choice, work on some unaccompanied repertoire to target those skills. It’s actually been a gift to focus on things we normally might not have time to do.
The Preparatory migrated all operations, lessons, and classes online in 4 days – I think we adapted pretty well all things considered! At that point we were all still in shock about the shutdown and feeling rather overwhelmed in general; even though it was hard to “recalibrate” to the new normal that fast, I was very grateful to be able to meet with my students through it all, and I actually think it would have been harder for me if we’d taken a break.
I have a convertible laptop/tablet which opens up flat – I prop it on the music stand of my upright piano which puts it at just the right height. It makes it hard to type, though, as the keyboard is then vertical – I’m incredibly slow if I have to use the Zoom chat or send a link!
I really hope we all remember that, despite the challenges, we have CONTINUED TO SING. All of my students have actually made terrific progress; while it wasn’t the semester we planned, we have been able to focus on details while there is more time and less performance pressure. Most importantly, our community has been really supportive and continued to come together – we’ve had several departmental events, and I think we all have appreciated being able to “hang out” together, however virtually.