Although teaching online will never replace in-person lessons, digital platforms like Zoom can present many opportunities to explore new methods to teach and share information.
Here are a few ideas to shake things up at your next Zoom studio class:
- Organize a listening quiz. Create a playlist and use screen share to see how many students can correctly identify each piece. (Make sure to allow sharing of computer audio so students can actually hear the music, and make sure to hide the names of each piece.)
- Compete in a trivia challenge. You can use Zoom’s poll features to quiz students on repertoire, history, theory, pedagogy, and other important fundamentals.
- Host your own TED talks. Have each student prepare a 5-10 minute presentation on a musical topic of their choice, such as a piece of music, teaching concept, or other subject they want to present. This will allow your students to develop valuable teaching experience and let you discover more about what interests your students. (I did this at Iowa State University and it was a big success!)
- Host a virtual show and tell. Ask students to find a piece of music, interesting article, website, or other relevant piece of information to share on Zoom using screen share.
- Make your own game show and have students compete for prizes. Sites like Rusnak Creative allow you to use templates to create popular games like Family Feud, Jeopardy, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Game shows are great ways to keep your students entertained while they learn and review material.
- Use virtual backgrounds to travel around the world. Encourage students to use backgrounds from famous concert halls, conservatories, or other locations important to your field and see if others can guess where the photos are from.
- Take a virtual field trip. Many museums around the world now offer virtual exhibitions which you and your students can explore by using screen share. (Here are some virtual museums and exhibits for clarinetists.)
- Invite a guest lecturer. It’s easier than ever to host guest artists using Zoom! Invite performers or educators to be a guest speaker or performer during a studio class so your students can learn new musical ideas and perspectives.
- Organize studio warm-up sessions. Much like breakfast is the most important meal of the day, warm-ups are the most important part of your practice routine. Use studio class to review the components of a proper warm-up routine, demonstrate effective exercises, and suggest resources for students to continue developing their own warm-ups.
I hope these ideas help you to educate and engage your students during the school year!