My family is on Day 12 of self-quarantining and it has been…interesting.

We are slowly getting our bearings and figuring out this homeschool/work from home/teach from home life.

If you’re a music therapist or music teacher who has suddenly shifted from in-person services to virtual services, I have some tips for you.

In this post I share some ideas for going virtual with your music therapy sessions. It takes a bit of an adjustment, but these tips should help.

If you’re teaching music lessons, I’ve got ideas for you too!

Snap a picture of the lesson book. If you’re like me, you had zero preparation that you would suddenly be stopping in-person services. I don’t have all my students’ lesson books at home, and often on video it’s hard to see the music in the lesson book clearly. So, in a pinch, I asked my first student to hold her lesson book up to the camera lens and I snapped a picture on my phone. Then, as she played, I followed along on the picture on my phone. It worked perfectly!

(UPDATE: If the student or parent can snap a picture of the lesson book page and text it or email it to you, that is even better!)

Screen share. Many of us who are now teaching virtually are using the program called Zoom. Zoom has a screen share option, which is great for showing your keyboard or chord diagrams.

Have a helper in the room. Depending on the age and level of your student, it may be beneficial to have a helper in the room. If you’re trying to teach a chord on ukulele, and the student can’t find the right position, you can explain to the helper where the fingers should be and have them do the physical prompting.

Get creative. I have lots of tips for adapted lessons on my blog. I wrote these posts with “in-person” lessons in mind, but the ideas can easily be used in virtual lessons. Use these resources to help you as you teach virtually:

A few creative adaptations for your lessons

A Few MORE creative adaptations for your lessons

Incorporate this one thing into your adapted lessons and watch what happens

Jazz up your students’ improvisations with this technique

Finally, remember to be patient with yourself and your students. We’re all learning as we go!

If you have tips or suggestions for making the most of these virtual lessons, please drop a comment below.