Creating, responding, connecting…what music class looks like in a virtual world

We’ve all been thrust into a new existance overnight – unprepared, unsure and sometimes hanging on by a thread! One of the last things we have come to accept is that we cannot expect the same outcomes and experiences as we had when we met in person. Whether it’s music, meetings, work, school or any other real life endeavour that we are undertaking virually.

The transition to working and creating online has been a steep learning curve, so accepting that the outcomes as well as the experience will be different is a really healthy goal! The outcomes are not ‘less’, they are just ‘different’.

Specifically for our experience playing music, singing and working through all the fun and educational benefits of our early years music, not being physically together is challenging. There are mechanical elements to breathing and posture in singing, to holding guitars and making chords correctly, and following the actions of new songs and activities. In person, we could discuss more deeply, working around the group from person to person to see up close who is stuck, who is struggling, who is thriving this week. In our virual classroom, being singled out can seem more exposing, struggling with new material can be harder – even keeping your camera on can be uncomfortable. That’s all ok – we can work around it all!

When I started moving various workshops online, I was so unsure it would work. I was reminded by the first group hiring me to run my songwriting workshops online that this is new to us all – we are all trying and failing and suceeding as we move through the process. We need to remember our goals and outcomes cannot be the same now. For me those goals have become about creating, responding and creating with the children in my classes. Keeping music in their lives. Moving forward in our progress without pressure, keeping confidence growing, responding to the awkardness and difficulty children are dealing with as they too are propelled into this virual reality.

We start back to classes this week, and though I’m always anxious to see results, to perform, to make plans and record and schedule concerts and push the children to test their own limits, I will remember that I have three main responsibilities this season – Create – Respond – Connect. I think if we manage that we will be in good shape when we come out the other side.

Pls get in touch with any questions! themusicboxireland@gmail.com or http://www.facebook.com/themusicboxschool

Be safe out there!

Bernie xxx

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