Canadian Musician recently surveyed private music teachers and lesson studio owners across Canada to get insight into their plans and approaches for delivering lessons this fall amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are the results:
CM: When the pandemic restrictions were implemented, did you:
Cease lessons entirely for the foreseeable future 7.5%
Immediately switch to virtual lessons 67.9%
Took time to assess options then began virtual lessons 23.6%
CM: What are you doing right now to teach lessons?
In-person lessons only 6.1%
Virtual lessons only 45.3%
Combination of virtual & in-person lessons 37.3%
Still closed 11.3%
CM: Did you offer virtual lessons before the pandemic made it necessary?
Yes, I offered them pre-pandemic & will continue to do so 15.2%
No, I did not offer them before & will stop offering them in the foreseeable future 27%
I began virtual lessons during the pandemic & plan to continue offering them as a service 57.8%
CM: Once you were/will be legally able to do so, were/are you keen to go back to in-person lessons or plan to delay?
Resumed in-person lessons immediately 9.4%
Kept to virtual lessons only for time being 31.1%
Offer both & work with individual students/parents to come up with a plan 53.3%
CM: Did you take on any NEW students during the pandemic that you didn’t teach before?
Yes, several 6.6%
Yes, a few 36.8%
CM: Is your total number of current students, as compared to February 2020 (i.e. pre COVID):
Significantly higher 0.5%
Somewhat higher 1.9%
About the same 39.2%
Somewhat lower 40.6%
Significantly lower 17.9%
CM: How hesitant are your students or their parents about returning to in-person lessons amid the ongoing pandemic?
Majority opted to return to in-person lessons 32.5%
Majority opted to stick to virtual lesson for the time being 30.5%
About an even split 37.1%
CM: With in-person lessons resuming, how concerned are you able possibly contracting COVID-19 from a students, or spreading it yourself?
Very concerned 42%
Somewhat concerned 32.1%
Not that concerned 17.9%
Not at all concerned 8%
CM: Generally speaking, what is your outlook about the health of your teaching practice from fall 2020 and beyond? (Select anonymous responses):
Uncertain. Confident with my ability to teach virtually with continuing older students. Unsure of the future with regards to starting young beginners. Plan is to be flexible and see.
I will keep teaching online only during the fall. Since not all my students are into online lessons, I plan to advertise and get some new ones to fill the spots. After the fall we will see how things are and decide if I go back to in-person or not.
-New Westminster, BC
My student numbers decreased to about half and being a singing teacher, I am very concerned about health issues for myself and my students. I think those numbers may even drop further since there aren't any real performance opportunities for singers.
I'm angry, frustrated, and tired of online teaching. It's not why I started teaching voice. I love the human voice. I like to hear it in the same room with me. It's difficult but I will adapt. My studio at home will never ever be the same after this.
Excited and inspired by the new opportunities that grew out of moving online as well as being able to stay connected in person with those students who are comfortable in person.
My studio has stayed vibrant. I am in a province with low numbers. If numbers become significant again I will resume virtual lessons only but for now have safety measures in place. A few of my students will suspend lessons if in person isn’t allowed.
I do have many concerns about in person lessons in the fall and keeping everyone safe. I have ordered plastic shield guards and will have one to protect the pianist, one for the singer and one for myself.
My number of students will remain about the same for the coming year. I will continue to offer online and in-person lessons to try to keep everyone safe and happy.
-St. Albert, AB
Business looks good for fall 2020, but as students graduate, I am not sure what following seasons sill be like if I remain online.