were you able to connect? Does my voice sound clear? I couldn't quite hear the notes, can you play them again? I think there is a problem with the sound and the picture not coming at the same time. The tempo accelerated in an instant, you froze again…
I don't know how many times I have said these sentences since March 2020. Indispensable phrases of our online days?
The days of the pandemic, which surprised us all and forced new experiences, started in March of last year, and when it started, we found ourselves looking for the most efficient way of teaching, not knowing where to hold on. We have experienced that in the platforms on the internet designed for video conferencing, instrument sounds can be seriously lost and deteriorated, especially in high and low (thick) pitches. With all these facts and with the hope that the process would take at most one academic semester, I started to take classes with my own students on registration. At least, I had a piece of data that allowed me to hear the sounds in a healthy way and listen to the work as a whole (as we entered the process in March, our works were almost in their final form).
My students were sending me recordings for the lessons, and I was preparing recordings to guide them on the works, when the first difficulties began to appear. You cannot send videos longer than 10 minutes very practically. This time we had to explore other platforms. Let me share with you too: Wetransfer One of the healthiest ways to send videos. After long video sending sessions, we encountered another problem: memory issue in our phones. When you prepare a lesson not only for 1 student but at least 10 students in a day, memory turns into a problem for both you and your phone? These recording days, which lasted a few months, were a bit painful. In the early days when each of my colleagues used different methods, I even had students who resented me saying "we would like to see you and teach". On the other hand, I was after the most efficient form of teaching.
It has been seen that the process will continue, thanks to the infrastructure studies and directions of the universities, courses have been started on certain programs. We are lucky that the platform provided by our institution has minimized our professional disadvantages and offered us the opportunity to do our lessons in a healthy way.
At the beginning of this academic year, we remembered and experienced that simultaneous lessons are of great importance in order to guide our students in the process of solving new works and to instantly answer the question marks in their minds. Internet breaks, freezes, etc. in online lessons. It was inevitable for me to reactivate the recording system in the next stage, that is, when the works have settled in structure and musically, in order to re-observe and intervene in details that may have been overlooked due to problems. At the same time, another benefit of this method was that it guided our students, who involuntarily distanced themselves from the stage performance, to a comprehensive, holistic and performance-based study. It was inevitable to get good results when the advantages and disadvantages of each method were determined and activated at the right time. Moreover, not only during the lesson, but also in terms of motivation and in order to exhibit our works, concerts made on record have become one of today's activities during the pandemic process.
We have learned to cope with this process somehow, and we try to complete it by minimizing the negativities and by following different methods for each of them from time to time so that our students do not suffer professional losses. Unfortunately, we cannot say that it is a process in which every student can use their capacity at the highest level and be emotionally motivated. There are students who started university but could not meet their friends face-to-face, and could not take any lessons at school. I can say that we look forward to the days when we will work even harder to compensate for all our losses with normalization in these difficult days when the same troubles are experienced all over the world and we are not alone.
So what will be left for us with normalization?
Classes that can no longer be held due to physical reasons will become history. We will be able to request instant performances from our students outside of class days. You will be at a recording distance from the important teachers you want to introduce yourself or listen to your performances abroad. Nothing can replace face-to-face meeting, but we will see that these methods are preferred from time to time. I am one of those who think that many things will change not only in our profession, but in our lives in general, and that these changes can benefit us if they are put into action correctly. However…
By emphasizing the necessity of face-to-face instrument training, the advantages that I shared with you above and the advantages it can provide for us, not to stay online, to have private lessons with my students at school as soon as possible, to organize concerts and share their excitement, to take them on the stage like a life coach. I wish that these days will end as soon as possible.