What Is The Future Of Music Education After The COVID-19 Pandemic?
Like every other part of our lives, the COVID-19 pandemic affected music education differently and cast doubt around the future of music education. However, now that everyone’s recovering, we see that there is a glimmer of hope for music education, especially for the younger students.
Music Education: Moving Online
Although it is easy to translate many subjects online from the offline world, this is very difficult to achieve with music. For instance, many music students rely on ensemble training sessions, mentorship programs, and the school’s musical instruments for learning. So, school closure and their lack of access to these amenities make it difficult to continue learning.
What are the students of music education missing?
While many people sit at home and live their lives behind their computer screens and mobile phones, thinking about the best ways to make the most of the present predicament, the teachers and students of music education are questioning themselves about the implications of the pandemic on their musical future.
It sounds like a big deal that they are missing music events, but that’s the least of their worries. Students are missing out on many other things from their music classes, like the physical, psychological, and emotional connections they can make while in physical classrooms. If the pandemic did not happen, music teachers around the country would have arranged for spring concerts, rehearsals, lessons, musicals, field trips, etc. However, none of that could happen.
Several music students also rely on their music class to survive every day in school, and in the absence of the positive reinforcement that they get from the music class, choir practice, or band, they could fall through the cracks.
Why music education must continue
COVID-19 pandemic seems to affect music education more than other areas of public education. Students that depend on several music items that the school provides are missing out on them, and not all of them have alternative solutions at home. While distance learning bridges the gap a little, it is not accessible for all students.
To make matters worse, by the time schools start to resume, some schools will not have their music programs back running shortly. This could lead to depression for many more students who are denied the opportunity to learn and create music. For many of these students, music makes up a significant part of their lives.
There’s no substitute for music education.
Music education brings the students together and allows them to create music together; and unfortunately, this cannot be replaced. However, music is powerful enough to change people’s lives, and if it remains absent from schools, music education will only get harder.
Recording platforms, music apps, and online music education lessons may be of help. Still, it is impossible to substitute the feeling of being together in a room with other students learning and making music.
However, the online tools are going to be engaging. Also, kids are going to adapt easily to using technology. Unfortunately, the teachers can’t recreate the same experience they create in a classroom, but there could be live social media lessons, recording projects, and digital orchestras. The classroom experience will teach them that the best way to make these solutions work is by maintaining strong relationships with the students.
The importance of developing personal connections
As we advance, the key to success in music education is to create a strong connection with the students and also develop a sense of music community. While there is a lot of newness, neither students nor teachers must feel overwhelmed by it. Instead, everyone must try to keep things simple instead of bearing in mind that personal connections are important. Thankfully, there are different ways to create the connection, such as text messaging, video chatting, and phone calls.
Facilitating new connections
According to a dissertation service, the most exciting time of the week for many students is their online private music lessons, and the time spent chatting with music teachers and peers is their daily highlight. This shows the importance of facilitating good connections with and among the students.
An instructor could go the distance to share a simple, positive, and heartfelt video message with their music students showing how much they mean to them. A video message like this during these uncertain times can be the guidepost for the student through their music education.
Never forget what music education is about
Music instructors must remind their students what band classes are about. It is about learning to express your emotions while creating wondrous music, having fun, and connecting with other people. So even though you are transitioning to online lessons, you must ensure that none of these things change.
Life will go on
Students also have to realize that life always moves on. Schools are going to be reopening once again. However, while this happens, the teachers have to realize their importance to the future of music education after the COVID-19 pandemic. Music instructors have critical roles to play:
- They must create an avenue for their students to express themselves.
- They must act as community builders.
- They must remain in touch and be accessible in the critical moments that the students need them. For instance, if an event gets canceled, the teacher has to remind the students about their worth and the hard work they have put in to get to that point.
In music education, the teachers now have to emphasize and focus more on the emotional part, such as connectedness, hope, and joy; and focus less on the learning mechanics such as balance, intonation, and blend.
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