Transmuting Face-to-Face Private Lessons to Successful Virtual Lessons During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic illustrated the harsh need for the arts to update its training from the generations old method of side-by-side mentoring by a master craftsman. For too long the technology was clunky and not ready for the challenge presented by arts educators. COVID-19 proved it was time for a test run. There were a plethora of great discussion forums that sprung up to help transmute the excellent teaching methods of a studio into the online world. Finding a way to get a good audio and video of the student was essential, so many of the questions and comments were centered on technology of that nature. Webcams quickly sold out in the pandemic as educators and students rushed the market in March. Only a lucky few that had extras of their favorite webcams were ready for this problem. The microphones were a much easier solution as they were not as in high need like the webcam. Lighting and internet connectivity were addressed with students early. For the faculty member, he had front, fill, and back lighting so he was adequately lit. He had two cameras to toggle between for his instrument and facial view with a microphone overhead on a boom stand. Wearing headphones for his sound, using a small mixer for the microphones into the computer, he was able to get superior quality audio and video to/from his students. Changes to his teaching style made the leap from studio-based lessons to virtual lessons a success.