It’s the most wonderful time of the year but we’re still hard at work with the last Christmas music lessons! But how do we add that little bit of magic to the last few lessons of the term? Just how do we keep our lessons festive online?
With most of us currently teaching online still (can anyone else believe how long this has been going on for?!) how can we still bring the magic of Christmas to our lessons?
Normally I would be getting out the duet books, perhaps some backing tracks, organizing extra ensemble lessons, Christmas concerts… but unfortunately all of this is not available to us this year (especially for us poor flute players!).
Here are some ways you can keep your online lessons fun during this strange year…
1. Make use of screen sharing
I know this may seem obvious but I think it is often overlooked. All that good sheet music you’ve built up over the years? Scan it into the computer (this can be done so easily now with all the scanning apps available!) and then screen share this! This means you can still use all of that wonderful Christmas music that you have built up over the years.
If you don’t fancy scanning anything in then there are some wonderful websites you can use to simply screen share music from there! Check out www.scribd.com or www.sheetmusicplus.com ! There are many more but these are a good place to start!
2. Games for Christmas Music Lessons
Playing games in lessons is a sure winner!
What about name that tune? This can either be done by playing music for them to guess the title to or perhaps using sight reading without the title written in to see if they can guess what the piece is! (Use the screen sharing in point one to make this even easier!).
You could even use Christmas songs to explore different music features. Can you describe the dynamics? How does the composer create the emotions they are trying to portray? etc.
3. Use christmas worksheets
Using worksheets that are Christmas themed are always fun! You can still ensure that your students make steady progress whilst using a Christmas theme to get there! There are so many available on websites such as teachers pay teachers! You can also find a range of sheets on my website here!
4. Put together an online ensemble
This is actually something I have done throughout lockdown! Although students aren’t playing together as a real live ensemble it does begin to improve skills such as playing with a metronome or click track! You can then put these together using different tools available on your computer. I have been using Garageband for the audio and Adobe Premiere Pro for the video, both fairly simple to use! However, if the idea of doing this scares you then why not use the amazing app called ‘Acapella’!
5. Have fun… it’s christmas after all!
Encourage your students to wear Christmas jumpers, Christmas antlers, tinsel! Try to make your lessons as engaging and fun as possible. This is what you would have done for the Christmas concert so why not bring it to the last few lessons of the term!
How do you keep the Christmas spirit alive while teaching online?! Remember you can still keep your lessons festive online!
Need some help with how to motivate your students to practice during the Christmas period? We have some ideas to help in our guide to festive practice.