Coronavirus Prompts Temporary Shift to Online Lessons Only

Featured image for article about online music lessons depicting young girl practicing classical girl while looking at the screen of a laptop computer.

(By Ryan Byrne – 3/19/2020)

We recently had our Spring Break at Knoxville Academy of Music (KAM) from March 14th – March 18th, during which time it was decided that, due to Coronavirus, all lessons would be online-only beginning March 19th until further notice when it is considered safe to return to in-studio lessons. We have been offering online lessons at KAM for a couple of years now, and I have personally taught quite a few online lessons already over the last couple of years.

For me, it started when KAM offered me the opportunity to teach online banjo lessons to an adult student in Chicago. This particular student was referred to KAM by a local music school in Chicago that didn’t offer banjo lessons at the time. My journey into the world of online lessons broadened when one of my local students moved to the Indianapolis, IN area but wanted to continue studying with me. Online lessons made it possible. Then it happened again when another student of mine moved to northern California. Soon after, I had students who traveled to India for the summer but were able to continue their weekly lessons with me throughout the summer via the online option. So I can personally tell you that online lessons from Tennessee to India worked extremely well. The interesting thing about that arrangement was the time difference. We found a compromise that worked pretty well. I agreed to stay late at the school and begin the lessons at 9:30 PM (I’m a night owl anyway), which was 7:00 AM for them in India. Soon I had families that had a bit of a commute to the studio taking advantage of online lessons when things like school sports and other after-school activities meant that they may not make physically be able to make it to the studio in time for their lesson.

Though I had no idea just a few months ago that Coronavirus would force us into an online-lessons-only scenario, I am thankful that technology is at a place that allows us to continue regular lessons and that I personally was fortunate enough to get very familiar with online lessons. So, until such time that is safe to return to “business as usual”, I’ll see you online!