A Letter to Teachers and Friends

March 20, 2020 Chuck Johnson

We hope you are all staying healthy and finding your way in navigating the “new normal”.

Piano teachers play a vital role in our students’ and families’ lives. You are a stabilizing factor, and now share a very special opportunity to soothe the anxiety in many homes.

We found a wonderful article on the role of music at this time:

Music soothes the soul: How music is bringing people together and spreading hope  

Excerpt from above: ...Professional musicians and singers to aspiring artists and average folks have begun posting their performances on social media. Why? How does music bring people together, even during the coronavirus? 

NAMM Webinar:

On Wednesday, the NAMM sponsored webinar “Bridging the Gap: Teaching and Learning Music online” was excellent. Though mostly geared to group teaching, much of it very applicable to traditional piano lessons.

There were 8,000 signups for this live webinar - but bandwidth for only 5,000 people. Therefore NAMM provided all registrants the replay link  https://youtu.be/CSUaMeIyCVc.   It has been edited to allow for pause, rewind and sharing.

A few notes from the webinar: 

  • While we all agree that online teaching does not replace the ideal of teaching in person, it was emphatically conveyed that our students need what we as (piano) teachers can provide.
  • Children, especially, are home with a lot of time, and their parents (and other family members) are under enormous stress.
  • A ”growth mindset” is encouraged. We can be mentors through music and also foster social and emotional learning.
  • In the struggle with isolation: find the people who help you thrive.
  • “Think Different”. Students will benefit from the richness of their teacher’s knowledge and creativity.
  • Expand listening.
  • Curate a virtual environment for your studio needs.
  • Start where you are, and start where they are. Keep it simple. Keep it meaningful.  Be a support for your students and let them be a support for you.

We hope the following links will be helpful as you curate your online teaching journey:

Free Student Resources from Piano Technicians Guild:  (This is a fantastic resource)  https://www.ptg.org/piano/students

Films about Classical Music and Musicians: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Films_about_classical_music_and_musicians

Quarantine Soirees - Classical music and Opera to stream at home -  https://www.br-klassik.de/concert/ausstrahlung-1225990.html (NAMM 3/18)

Piano Music from Sheet Music Direct from Hal Leonard: https://www.sheetmusicdirect.com/en-US/subscription

Video tutorial and Instructions on setting up Skype for Home Teaching, M.Steinert & Sons: Virtual Piano Lessons

Thanks for all you do!

Getting creative is one of our strengths as musicians.  Perhaps we can all use this time of challenge to inspire new ideas and inspire people of all ages to experience the joy of the piano.  Although our stores are open by appointment only at this time, we are available online to serve you at any time!


The Entire Team at M. Steinert & Sons

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