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June 11, 2020 04:47 PM

How Do We Re-build Business After CORVID-19 Pandemic? – Piano Teachers Find Advantages in Online Lesson

As the coronavirus continues to spread and affect our life and business, music teachers have been hard hit by lockdown being unable to provide students with lessons at their studios.
The Piano Teachers’ National Association of Japan (PTNA) with 17,000 registered members throughout Japan carried out a survey at the end of February sending 2,000 members a question sheet to know how the piano teachers are coping with the present difficulties. A total of 340 music teachers responded.
Upon consent from PTNA and based with the survey result, Japan Music Trades interviewed 4 music teachers successfully keeping business online.
PTNA Survey Results
1. Do you provide online piano lesson?
*Have an interest but not yet 53%
*Ever tried on specific conditions 30%
*Getting involved regularly as part of regular lesson 9%
*No interest 8%
2. Reasons to provide online lesson
*For security reason under the coronavirus circumstance 85
*Moved, or live in remote area 51
*As an additional support before competitions and exams 39
*Parents are unable to accompany children to lesson 28
*Teachers’ and students’ specific reason 25
3. Service tools in use
*LINE 120
*Skype 39
*Zoom 26
*FaceTime 23
*Messenger 15
*YouTube (limited access) 5
*Mobile or phone    4

4. Advantages and drawbacks of the service tools
*Advantages:Save time (46); Used anywhere (44); Effective support of home practice(29); Can continue lesson when in lockdown/Help prevent drop-off(24); No direct contact (17); No need of transportation (13); Can know home practice of students (13); Can meet the needs of different lifestyles and conditions (12)

*Drawbacks: Difficult to assess tonal expression as it’s not acoustic sound(89); High latency (32); No physical contact sometimes causes difficulty in teaching(29); Lacks smooth communication (26); Unstable operation because of the difference of device and service in use (16); Can’t play the piano in the lesson studio (10); Difficult to deliver energy and passion(9); Only limited part is shown on the display screen (8)
On May 7 PTNA carried the second survey sending a questionnaire to selected 1,172 music teachers excluding those replied not provided online music lesson in the first survey, and 192 responded. The second survey showed 170 music teachers or 89% provided piano lesson on online or would be preparing to start, 15 or 8% expressed interest to go online when they are ready.
161 music teachers reported that they much needed information to improve tonal and visual quality followed by 89, to get better knowledge on applications and software, 86, to settle fee and payment method of online lesson, and 85, to get suitable devices and technical data.
The responded music teachers also commented on present online piano lesson.
The largest 56 teachers felt difficulty or have problem in network environment, 32 in tonal quality, 27 in communication with students and parents, 23 in maintaining lesson level at teaching studio.
Four music teachers Japan Music Trades interviewed are positive on online lesson as they can know home practice environment of students, provide students living in remote area with private lesson alternative to studio; can offer different approaches in teaching, for example, showing performance with web camera shooting from eyesight of teacher or shape of hands from under the keyboard; students can concentrate more on what teachers explain on online lesson.
One music teacher noted that video and communication platform like Zoom becomes a good tool of sharing communication and information among fellow teachers. She reported more colleagues visited her lesson session through Zoom than ordinary studio lesson.
Another teacher reported an online competition stimulated interest of students as they played well dressed and performance judged by themselves. Surprisingly, online lesson generated trade-up demands of pianos at home seeking better view.
They unanimously cite merits of online teaching as it helps them keep motivation of students to continue playing the piano while in lockdown. Recognizing limit of teaching online, they are optimistic saying they can deliver students energy and passion for music making via display screen.
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