The Long-Term Impact: How will Remote Learning Affect Music studies in the Future
The common opinion amongst many of the music professors we interviewed is that the experience of remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has opened up many in higher education in general, and in music in particular, to considering e-learning. This might bring about a transformation, even after the pandemic when things can go back to - relative - normalcy. Having experienced the comfort of teaching - and learning - from home and the elimination of hurdles such as traffic or heavy snow causing cancellations, staff might be less likely to cancel lessons until a storm lets down, and more likely to just switch to digital format.
Many interviewees have referred specifically to the piano issue. Many of the students who, up to the pandemic, relied on the campus’ rehearsal rooms now understand how crucial it is that they have their work tool - the piano - accessible at home. When the shift to online learning started, many of the students didn’t have a piano, especially those studying it as a secondary instrument. As times passed, more and more of the students bought MIDI keyboards or electronic pianos, and all of them indicated their intent to continue using these instruments even in the post-pandemic era.
Systematically, there have always been concerns in the higher education world that the online learning phenomenon might hurt universities, making them redundant. The last few months have unequivocally proven that this fear is far from becoming a reality. Professors discussing this matter with students understood that for young, single students the social experience is an integral, indispensable part of the college experience and of this stage in their lives. Students understand that experiencing difficulties, challenges and successes alongside their peers shapes their personalities and in many ways, prepares them for work. Creating personal connections at this point is important and has a direct impact on the career opportunities which will be available to them.
At the same time, while the frequent use of technology has proven that it won’t make universities redundant any time soon, it has also shown ample advantages that may be applied continuously even as schools go back to the routine of frontal learning. Hopefully, with time, more digital tools will be developed to allow a more efficient experience of remote teaching and will open teachers up to a new world of employment opportunities, which will not be limited by travel time but rather open to students across locations globally.
What are your takes from this remote teaching experience? Share your thoughts with our readers.