As elementary and high schools across the country start to take action in case the Coronavirus necessitates closure, many are preparing online resources to support their students’ learning at home. But how do you re-create an environment as interactive as the classroom during an impromptu closure? And how do you effectively include arts and music into an online learning program? Or provide remote instruction for your choir or orchestra program?
The common perception of music education is often that it’s extracurricular or “nice to have” but not necessary. However, for those affected by school closures, online music education can be an integral way for students to stay engaged in learning and virtually connected with their teachers and classmates.
Music is Interactive and Connects People
Performing arts are one of the few highly emotive and inherently collaborative subjects left in schools. They are therefore uniquely capable of developing social and emotional skills including adaptability, emotional recognition, empathy, creativity, grit, and confidence. Through music education, students can develop strong listening, communication, critical and creative thinking skills as well as the ability to work as a team. These are many of the soft skills that they will need to succeed in the 21st-century workforce.
Being at home, especially during a health crisis, can be stressful, boring and isolating. Online music education programs can enable students to stay in touch with school and collaborate online whether through videos, ear training games, or tools that let them record songs and or practice their music.
Online music education programs allow students to work on assignments in small groups, or as a whole class and they can customize their compositions by changing the key, speed, and instrumentation of their song. Students can also record duets, create a virtual band or co-write a song together. There are countless collaboration opportunities.
Music is Fun
During a school closure, kids will have a variety of standard online worksheets and tests to complete – but how do you also keep them enthusiastic about their lessons, while promoting social and emotional learning and classes that they enjoy?
Musical activity involves nearly every region of the brain so music is a great activity to incorporate into any lesson that involves memory or as a stimulating way to take a break in between online instruction.
All kids love music, it can motivate, set the mood, and excite them, because music makes you feel. Music is inspirational and creative. Teachers can incorporate musical activities like having students choose and record a personal theme song to a popular song and explain why the song represents them. Or they can simply listen to music while working on an assignment.
Music also encourages movement for those stuck inside at home. Providing lessons that encourage kids to get up and dance while or bounce a basketball to the sound of the beat or different rhythmic variations will keep them entertained while they learn.