Practice Pal’s Guide: How to teach music lessons online

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There’s no denying it: the COVID-19 pandemic thrust the music education industry into the digital era, requiring music teachers around the world to set up camp online almost overnight. 

According to a survey of over 1,000 music teachers from 31 countries, 91% said they migrated to online lessons during the pandemic.

Now that the world is slowly opening up again, many music teachers continue offering virtual lessons – and they should. UK children aged 5-16 spend an average of 6.3 hours online every day, with many using the time to watch videos related to their hobbies, such as tutorials to further their passion for music

Interest in online music lessons continues to be high. And the pandemic has shown that virtual lessons are not only very much possible, they also broaden the horizons for teachers by allowing them to work with learners all over the world, and take on more students with the removal of travel time.

Luckily, you don’t need to have high-tech equipment to give music lessons online. At Practice Pal, we’ve built everything you need – from initial set-up to our online Lesson Room and post-lesson admin – taking your career as an online music teacher from beginner level to digital pro in no time. 
If you’re considering going digital, here’s everything that you need to know to teach music online:

How to do online music lessons like a pro

1. Get started: setting up your online music room

First things first: one of the most important elements is a strong internet connection. It might sound simple, but just under half of the teachers surveyed reported that intermittent internet access caused them problems while trying to give online lessons. Whenever possible, we recommend using a hardwired LAN cable over Wi-Fi.

When choosing your platform for online lessons, you want to make sure it prioritises a good audio interface. Poor-quality audio from video conferencing software was reported to be an issue by 41% of teachers. You can spend all the money you have on excellent headphones and speakers, but if the platform doesn’t focus on audio quality, your lessons will suffer. So if you want to save yourself the hassle (and the cost!) you’ll be pleased to hear that at Practice Pal our video and sound system is set up so that audio quality is prioritised. As we built our Lesson Room specifically for teaching music, we provide you with the best audio quality to teach your lessons.

Finally, make sure you’re able to use and record video on your computer so your students can review tricky sections as they practice during the week. If you decide to use Practice Pal, you don’t need to deal with tricky external video conferencing platforms like Zoom or Skype. Everything is set up within the Lesson Room, ready for you to use at the click of a button.

Fundamental in all our decision making when we build Practice Pal is keeping everyone safe online, especially children. That’s why our software is fully safeguarded and provides a lot more security than an external video conferencing platform ever could, or wish, to provide. For more information, have a read of our safeguarding procedures.

2. Start teaching online: Your first lesson

Now that you’ve got everything set up, you’re ready to start teaching online. Make sure that you’ve arranged a time and date with the student in advance, and that they have access to the video conferencing software via an online invite or link.

At Practice Pal, we make music lesson scheduling easy. All you need to do is select a time slot for your student in the lesson planner and everything else is arranged for you. We send an email to notify the student and send them reminders closer to the time to make sure they know how to sign in and there is no time missed during lessons.

Make sure that both you and the student have copies of the music before the lesson starts and have these in front of you, either via a tablet or another screen. Practice Pal lets your student upload their sheet music before the lesson begins. You can then view the music on the screen during the lesson.

And that’s it – all that’s left for you to do is be the superstar teacher you are in person in your new online Lesson Room. Depending on your student’s needs. You can also just as easily teach music theory lessons online too.

3. Online billing and other admin made easy

Once the lesson is over, make sure you’ve sorted out all admin associated with that student before you jump into your next online class. Make sure to send any lesson notes, as well as a practice plan for the next lesson, to the student you’ve just taught. If you recorded clips during the lesson, you can share them as well, which will be hugely useful in their practice.

With Practice Pal, any lesson notes and video clips you make will automatically be shared with both the student and their parent or guardian, without you needing to take any extra action. This protects them and you as you will only be sharing video and text through our platform. It also removes the process of copying, pasting, compressing videos and finding email addresses. You can also store private notes on the lesson, viewable to you only, to keep track of their progress.

We also recommend sorting billing for the lessons right away by sending invoices to the student’s parent or guardian. This way, you can ensure you’re on top of your invoicing and get paid on time. If you use Practice Pal, your learners will be billed automatically via a Stripe connected account. Nothing for you to worry about or do – other than watch the money come into your bank account on time and all together!

Online music lessons sorted with Practice Pal

The music industry, and particularly music education, is heading toward a more digital future faster than we may have ever imagined. And music teachers that stay on top of these changes will find themselves ahead of the curve and more in demand.

At Practice Pal, we offer a one-stop-shop solution to teaching music online with no prior digital know-how required. You can easily teach online with HD Audio and Video built for musicians and fully safeguarded to keep everyone safe and connected.

We also ensure that all your music admin – from storing contact details to scheduling lessons and billing parents – is in one place and fully automated. We take the headache out of teaching so you can do what you love, stress-free and hassle-free.

Interested in learning more? Create a free account and see how Practice Pal can transform your music teaching business with online music lessons.

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