PERFORMING: Alcide Dixon shows off his new musical skills during the virtual piano recital. (Photo: Contributed)
PERFORMING: Alcide Dixon shows off his new musical skills during the virtual piano recital. (Photo: Contributed)

SILVER LINING: How COVID-19 changed music lessons

A SILVER lining for families spending extra time at home has been more opportunities for music practise.

A Nanango piano teacher has been impressed with the way her students have embraced learning virtually after coronavirus restrictions forced in-person lessons to cease.

Brilliante Piano teacher Kelsey Anderson stopped teaching at her Nanango studio and in-home lessons in Nanango and Kingaroy during the week of March 16.

She decided to continue lessons virtually on online video platforms Facetime and Zoom.

“They are doing so well at adapting, I’m really proud of them,” Mrs Anderson said.

As the busy family schedule started to cancel things like sports training and school events, Mrs Anderson saw some of that time diverted into music practise.

“I’ve found a lot of kids are improving more than they normally would,” she said.

VIRTUAL MUSIC: Kelsey Anderson with some of her students who are ready to perform in the virtual piano recital. (Photo: Contributed)
VIRTUAL MUSIC: Kelsey Anderson with some of her students who are ready to perform in the virtual piano recital. (Photo: Contributed)

Mrs Anderson hosted her first virtual piano recital over Zoom last Saturday to showcase her students’ hard work.

“It was so lovely, so encouraging and supportive,” she said.

The 18 students, ranging from five-years-old to a lady in her 60s, all introduced their own songs before their prerecorded video was played for the group.

“It still somewhat puts the pressure on them as soon as someone hits record on the camera, some of them said it was their ninth take,” she said.

“It’s definitely a different set of skills.”

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The virtual recital allowed family members from Victoria, Roma and Brisbane to be involved rather than travelling or missing out.

Mrs Anderson has found the support of global music communities online as teachers joined forces to innovate how to keep guiding their students.

She was surprised at how well the online lessons were received.

“It’s been interesting seeing all of the different setups at home, see their piano and meet their pets on Zoom,” Mrs Anderson said.

“There has definitely been some positives, it’s not just elements of this is what we have to do to get by,”

Emily Coe presents her song for the virtual piano recital. (Photo: Contributed)
Emily Coe presents her song for the virtual piano recital. (Photo: Contributed)

Parents and families have been very supportive of the changes.

“There has been a bit more pressure on parents to help the little ones,” she said.

Students have been encouraged to keep up with their music through practice challenges like playing the Last Post on Anzac Day and performing a song for mum on Mother’s Day.

She has trialled online group tutorials and found call and response pieces translate well in online lessons.

Marietta Wetzig performs in the virtual piano recital. (Photo: Contributed)
Marietta Wetzig performs in the virtual piano recital. (Photo: Contributed)

“The delay over the internet makes it impossible to play live duets so we now record them separately and put together using software,” Mrs Anderson said.

“Technology is now an everyday part of piano lessons.”

Since school students went back to school this week, Mrs Anderson is evaluating what will be

“the best way forward” for her piano lessons.

Zachary Hills performs in the virtual piano recital. (Photo: Contributed)
Zachary Hills performs in the virtual piano recital. (Photo: Contributed)
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