When the 2020 pandemic began, most private music teachers had to quickly adapt to a new style of teaching. For oboe and bassoon, this has impacted the ability to adjust student reeds and instruments as well as playing duets. But, I have noticed a positive change in student independence: they are learn to adapt to their reeds, adjust their own instruments with on-screen help, and they are playing music for longer periods of time alone during lessons (rather than always with the teacher). These are some tips and resources that have helped me.
Have Skype, FaceTime, GoogleDuo, and Zoom installed on your device ahead of time. Sometimes when a connection is poor, switching to another app mid-lesson helps.
Setup your teaching environment in a well-lit area with a device charging cable handy. Be near your wifi router and have all teaching materials within reach.
Scan your music library if possible or find digital copies. I know it's time-consuming at first, but I promise it's worth it. You will be doing a lot of emailing/texting music.
Scan fingering charts, scale sheets, adjustment guides, and other resources so you can quickly send them during a lesson.
Tell your students to be signed in before the lesson start time, have a light facing them, make sure their faces and fingers are visible on-screen, and have them send images of band music 24 hours in advance.
Be ready and willing to makeup a lesson if the wifi connection is poor. Sometimes it's just best to find another time.
Read your own adjustment guides and be ready to help a student with repairs. Most students will have floss, teflon tape, a mini screwdriver, and rubber bands at home. If you cannot help a student fix a problem via a screen, let him/her drop off the instrument (I've done many curbside repairs!)
ForScore - I highly recommend ForScore for organizing and viewing your music. It allows you to mark the music and even text it directly to your students. If using an Android device, MobileSheets also works well.
Post-It - This app is easy to use for writing down assignments. I created a "board" for each student and can text a post-it directly after each lesson. It allows handwriting or typing and a choice of colors/sizes. You can always take a picture of an actual notebook, but this looks much cleaner.
Google Docs - This is another way to have assignments available. Share student folders and let them access it on their own. However, I find that texting a picture directly will ensure they will look at it!
Whiteboard - This is a simple no-ad app that allows you to draw images and send directly to the student (or just show them on screen). I use it for drawing rhythms and reed diagrams.
Pop-Out Timer & Stopwatch - This app allows you to view a timer on screen while using another app. It is great for setting a 30-second study time for sight-reading.
Box.com - I use box.com for storing my entire music library. My students can access it with login info I provide, so I can save time not needing to send all music to them.
Clip-on phone holder for music stand - I like the Lamicall brand from Amazon because it has a large, easy-to-open clip that doesn't pinch your fingers when trying to remove your phone. It can also change height/angles easily with a bendable gooseneck.
Clip-on ring light if you do not have a light already facing you
Large-screen tablet for music-viewing. It is time-consuming to be digging for paper music.
Stylus or Apple Pencil for marking music while students are playing
Use playing cards to have students pick random scales to play. I hold 2 cards up to the screen and ask "top or bottom?" - the suit and even/odd number correlates with a scale. If you want to get fancy, The Practice Shoppe has scale dice.
Do ear training exercises (Guess the song, finish the song, intervals, melodic dictation, etc.)
Theory - Now's a good time to focus more on music theory, since reed-making will need to wait.
Be silly - I often use puppets, decorate for holidays, play bingo, etc. Make up games like "I eat a gummy bear every time you play a wrong note" - you get a snack and the 6th-graders think it's hilarious.