Learning and Teaching Beyond the Pandemic

By Kristina Lee

By this fall, we will have been living under the pandemic for 20 months. And there are still many unknowns when it comes to what this next school year is going to look like. 

One thing is clear for sure. Remote learning is here to stay.

While we learned that in a three dimensional world, the preferred learning mode for a vast majority is in-person with a teacher, classmates, and hands-on activities, we also learned that virtual learning is not just a substitute for in-person learning. 

First off, virtual learning solves many logistical issues with transportation, scheduling, and access. It is a preferred mode for some students due to their learning styles and/or temperament. Even for those who prefer in-person learning, virtual learning can facilitate flipped classroom better, allowing students more control over learning. 

During the pandemic, [after the initial panic], many private piano teachers like myself have gained greatly through the wide acceptance of remote learning.

It did not come easily nor without pain. It was difficult to communicate, especially if a student didn’t learn the technical language of music (musical terms and theory). I remember how tedious it was for a number of students, until they were able to understand and communicate music with words. In many ways, virtual learning revealed the laziness of both the learner and the teacher. 

I don’t believe that piano students missed out during the pandemic because they were learning virtually. Yes, there are areas that were not addressed as effectively in virtual learning, such as technique, posture, and subtleties in advanced pieces. But because we had to figure out what works best in a remote learning platform, we got to focus more on things like theory, listening, and executive functioning skills. 

Looking forward, and looking beyond the pandemic, I am excited to be able to do fully functioning hybrid teaching and learning. This, I believe, is the future of education — educators who can take full advantage of both learning modes, not just to solve logistical or access issues, or to make things more convenient, but to expand the potential of education by taking full advantage of the two learning modes

Learning is the most dynamic human experience. Some might say that love is. But love, in its essence, is learning, too. And because learning is the most dynamic human experience, teaching is, too. 

Our future as humanity lies in the hands of learners and teachers, who will rise and run with this incredible opportunity we have, to make learning dynamic, creative, and accessible to everyone.