Tuesday, March 24, 2020

No lesson blues

NORMALLY AT THIS time on a Tuesday morning, I'm in the midst of five lessons in a row. When I get done I walk around in a daze for a bit to recover. It's intense and fatiguing, and I love every second of it.

We are not doing lessons right now, obviously. The store is closed for at least three weeks, and we can't have people in the store and in a back room. It's not just the students, it's often the family members with them. Flattening the curve is flattening the curve - no lessons in the store for at least three weeks.

There are conflicting thoughts here. Do I just not do lessons, or do I look for alternative lesson delivery? Sheryl and I rely on lessons to pay our mortgage and bills. Guitar strings don't grow on trees and I have expenses related to music equipment - no paying gigs for a while hurts too, though the Venmo thing Sunday night with Cori was a bonus and much appreciated.

So I have no guitar lesson income for three weeks. We will be fine and the real key is when we get back to normal, whatever normal is or will be. For the time being, we just need to watch our pennies.

My daughter is a professor of music at Western Illinois, and she's resumed her teaching online. Emily sent me a message the other day encouraging me to try the video lessons thing, as have several other people. I appreciate the advice. But it's not as easy as it seems.

When we contacted people to say we were not having lessons, only a few hinted at the online thing. Many of my students are older, and not all of them are Internet savvy. Neither am I, though I'm sure Sheryl could get it set up with only a few eye rolls and answering a thousand of my dumb questions.

For the younger students, there is apparently a lot of "distance learning," which is code for online classrooms. It's a great idea and I applaud the parents who have the stamina and fortitude. There's a joke circulating where a mom is seen removing her "Student of the Month" sticker off her back car window after a week of attempting to home school via the computer - it can't be easy.

So maybe even more screen time isn't such a good idea.

Who knows? A few days into this quarantine thing and I'm already starting to go crazy. Sheryl survived yesterday by binge-watching a real life soap opera called Below Deck. I wrote a short story, practiced a few songs, failed at trying to start a fire with water-logged wood, and watched an equally horrendous Arnold movie called Last Stand. It was so bad, it was good.

But I didn't give any guitar lessons, and it's a strange and empty feeling. I miss my students. I miss the store. Give it another week, and I might be ready to consider the whole online teaching thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment