You may be wondering why I am publishing a post about dance classes on pianoparents.net. I want to share with you my reasons for continuing to support my granddaughter Kaylie’s Irish dance studio for as long as I can even though they are closed due to the coronavirus.
Irish dance means a lot to our family. Actually, it’s a family affair for us. Every one of us is behind Kaylie’s dancing one hundred percent. She loves it, and she is always dancing. Even in these uncertain times seeing Kaylie bounce and step as she practices the jig and the reel brings all of us joy! She’s just a beginner, but dancing takes her to a place free from worry.
I want to be sure when this COVID 10 crisis is over that her dance studio will still be there for her. I see that her teachers are working hard to adjust and send out videos and other things to help her keep dancing. So, I will pay my tuition as long as I am able to.
I am a piano teacher, so I am kind of in the same boat. Many of us are. We have never seen anything like this in our lifetime. It is scary. Even people with stable jobs like first responders and healthcare workers are worried about the economy in general. These workers are facing high-stress levels. If you are one of them, thank you for your service to us all.
Those of us who are small business people are certainly losing a lot of sleep these days. Your child’s piano teacher is probably one of these people.
I’ll admit that just like everyone else I have no idea where all of this is going. I would never presume to tell my students to keep paying for piano lessons at the expense of more dire things. You need to feed your family and keep a roof over their heads. If you are not feeling well this takes top priority. Take care of yourself and stay safe!
However, here are a few things I am recommending for piano parents or any parents considering what to do about extracurricular activities.
Say yes to online lessons
Most piano teachers have switched to online lessons during the crisis. Online lessons are just as good as in-person lessons. There are some differences but there is no reason to quit lessons because of the online format. If you are reading this, you are online and there are many options for video lessons.
Ask for a referral
If your teacher is not offering online lessons and you would like to continue, ask him/her for a recommendation. (Or contact me and I will give you one). There are plenty of excellent teachers available.
Communicate with your teacher
If you are experiencing an income disruption, please communicate with your teacher about this. Believe me, she gets it. There may be some way you can barter for lessons. I did this with a few students during the market crash in 2008. I was happy to do it. For one thing, I care about my students. That’s the main thing for me. The added plus was that when the crash was over, I still had my students. So, ask your teacher if there is some way to continue. You never know what may work out.
Ask for some fun music and activities.
I have spoken to several of my piano parents who are working from home and trying to homeschool their children at the same time. You may feel like adding nagging or supervising piano practice is just too much! I totally get that. If this is the case, ask your teacher about some things he can do to take the pressure off of the situation and make it enjoyable for your child. There is great value in continuing with piano lessons.
See the post
Take a break if you must but don’t quit.
If you must take a break for financial or health reasons. Let your teacher know a soon as possible. Do your best to honor any contracts that have been set in place. Ask your teacher if she will be open to taking your child back when the crisis has passed. Teachers care about students, that’s why we teach.
Remember that this too shall pass. The human race has seen all kinds of challenges throughout history. I am amazed by the goodness and strength of people.
Again, I want to thank medical staff, scientists, military, first responders, and all of you who are out on the front lines fighting this invisible enemy.
I plan to do the best that I can to help where I can. To serve my students and other piano teachers. donate blood, check on older people, play music and then I will get on Facetime turn up the Irish music and watch Kaylie dance!
Wishing you all strength, health, and peace.