Teaching from a distance

I’m in my room. Flute and hand out with exercises on the table. Laptop in front of me. Zoom opened. One by one, the participants enter the virtual waiting room. I let them in and my online Flute Colors class can begin.

I have done this a lot in the past 1.5 years. Due to the pandemic, traveling and giving live workshops and masterclasses were no longer possible. Before the pandemic started, I was already thinking of organizing online classes to spread the Flute Colors word. Now I had the time to figure it out. I was invited to teach my first online class and that helped me a lot. The teacher who invited me had a lot of experience with organizing classes online and this way I could safely try out this new concept. I was very excited about it. I prefer to work live with participants, but as we had no alternative at the time, this was fine. Since then I have organized several online courses myself and I was invited by different teachers from different countries.

I like to use Zoom for these lessons. In the beginning of the pandemic, Zoom had its challenges, but the company worked very hard to improve their product and they did. They even added settings for musicians so that the sound wasn’t much corrected by the computer. What I also love about these online classes is that participants can experiment with the new sounds in the safety of their own homes without other participants hearing them. During a lesson, I often ask participants to try new techniques and I always ask volunteers to demonstrate their findings. I was surprised how easy it is to help participants improve. Not much different from teaching them live.

Online teaching challenged me to think about ways to teach extended techniques remotely, not by being in the same room with the student. It has helped me to improve my teaching skills. I learned even more to make the instruction very short and clear.

Another thing I like about teaching online is that it is very easy to record the session. A lot of information is shared during a two-hour lesson. It’s nice to be able to look back at the lesson later. I believe that every student should record their lessons at all times. We live in a time where recording is very easy. Recording and listening to a lesson is much more efficient. It is not only nice to be able to listen to all the information, but also to feel the energy of the lesson. Sometimes a teacher has demonstrated something or helped you transcend yourself. Listening back to such a moment can help you to return to that place more easily.

Online teaching was a discovery for me. While I love to travel and teach live, sometimes it’s nice to teach thousands of miles from my home, end the session and walk into my living room five minutes later 🙂


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