kid learning online

Online Music Lessons: How You Can Make Each Session Count

Taking online classes for any subject can be challenging, but for music classes, distance learning presents a new set of unique challenges. For one, taking music classes online means that your teacher can’t physically guide your fingers to the right note or easily show you how to hold your instrument properly. Moreover, there is a problem of latency that comes with online classes, and it can affect the quality of your learning to some extent.

Nevertheless, it is still very well possible to learn music online. Here are some great tips on how to make each lesson count:

1. Get familiar with the technology

If you’re a parent with a child taking piano lessons for kids online, for example, help them become familiar with the technology that is going to be used during lessons. Teach them how to use the controls on the video conferencing software (mute the mic, turn the camera on and off, etc.) and how to plug in their instrument (if it’s electric).

If you’re an adult taking music lessons, on the other hand, familiarize yourself with the tech you’re going to use, including the video conferencing software and any necessary accessories such as microphones, speakers, and amplifiers.

It is also a good idea to invest in high-quality accessories to increase sound quality. In this way, you’ll be able to hear your instructor well and they’ll be able to do the same on their end.

2. Prepare a learning area

Designate a quiet spot in your home as a learning area. This could be your bedroom, a corner in your kitchen, or the home office. This area should be away from the main living areas in your home so that other household members don’t disturb you during lessons. If possible, conduct lessons in the most soundproof room in the house with minimal noise coming in or out.

Furthermore, this area should have adequate lighting so that your instructor will be able to see you clearly on the camera. Natural light is the best, so sit beside a large window if possible. If not, sit in a room with adequate overhead lighting and use a lamp or ring light to eliminate shadows on your person.

It is also advisable to hang a sheet as a background if you can’t face the camera with the wall behind you. This will help avoid any distractions from family members or pets coming into view.

3. Wear noise-canceling headphones

Noise-canceling headphones can provide the best sound quality you can get, as opposed to using your desktop or laptop computer’s stock speakers. And for online music lessons, having the best sound quality is imperative to learning efficiently.

Aside from providing great sound quality, noise-canceling headphones also reduce distractions around you, which is especially useful if you live with other people or live in an area with lots of neighborhood noise.

kid taking piano lessons

4. Deal with latency

The time delay on video conferencing platforms makes it impossible for musicians to play at the same time online. No matter how in sync you and your instructor may be, there will still be a one or two-second delay in the sound that comes out of both of your speakers–yes, even if you have ultra-fast Internet.

The only solution for this is to play your instrument with the accompaniment playing on your end instead of the teacher’s. Doing this eliminates latency and allows your teacher to hear your instrument and the accompaniment at the same time. If your online music teacher is not yet aware of this trick, let them know when they tell you to play with an accompaniment.

5. Zoom in when necessary

If your instrument requires delicate finger movements, zoom in on your hands so that your teacher will be able to see what your fingers are doing, and thus will be able to offer you better guidance. Avoid moving the camera itself when not necessary to keep the set-up consistent–just zoom in the camera whenever you’re playing.

6. Practice, practice, practice

There’s only so much that music lessons can do, regardless if it’s online or not. In between lessons, make it a point to practice at least half an hour to an hour every day. Watch tutorials online and self-study. If there are certain difficulties that you can’t overcome on your own, ask your teacher for help during the next lesson.

Thanks to modern technology, taking music lessons is still possible amidst the pandemic. Although learning an instrument online can be much harder than taking in-person classes, there are many ways you can make online music lessons easier, starting with the tips mentioned above.

E-Learning

Optimized Online Learning: Best Practices for Your eLearning Studies

Online courses and programs have become more and more common, and for good reason: it’s convenient for students and even professionals who wish to study at the comforts of their home, and can reduce the costs for both the enrollees and the school (as they no longer need rooms and other physical assets and overhead costs). However, many are still failing their online courses, with some studies showing around 50% failure rate in internet-enrolled courses.

So, whether you’re taking an online course on certain languages such as Japanese or Mandarin, or studying a full program to get your paralegal certificate through paralegal online schools, it’s important that you develop good study habits and follow these tips so that you won’t only pass the course, but also make the most out of your online schooling experience:

Meet the (Technical) Requirements

By requirements, we don’t mean the projects and other assignments assigned to you, but even before you enroll in your online course, you should make sure that you meet the technical requirements of the course. Before you enroll, it’s important that you have a stable internet connection, and the necessary devices (computer/laptop, webcam, scanner) needed for your course. Many students end up failing either because they’re not able to get their modules or attend the live classes due to technical issues. More importantly, your daily schedule should allow you to take the online class or courses — if you’re working part-time or full-time, make sure that your work schedule doesn’t cross with your work schedule.

Time Management

time management

You should treat your online course like an actual job wherein you have to manage your time properly, and also schedule your projects, assignments, and other requirements wisely. If you’re both working or busy at home and taking an online course, you’ll want to plot out your weekly schedule and stick to it. You’d also have to allocate time for studying for your online course’s exams.

Optimize Your Study Space

One reason why classrooms are conducive for learning is that they’re designed for minimal to zero distraction. So, when you’re doing your online course or study, make sure that you have a designated work or study space that’s free from food, videos, games, and noise. You’d want to be “in the zone” physically and mentally, so find a good quiet spot at home with a desk and ample lighting and a comfortable temperature, and let that be your designated study space.

Participate

This may be the most underrated study habit, but active participation both in online studies and in the classroom can help you learn more. When you actively join in on the online class by asking or answering questions can help you better understand, be more involved, and be more motivated in class. If your course is more module-oriented, then don’t hesitate to ask your instructors for tips and other clarifications if there are any.

Conclusion

Online courses and programs are a gift. They allow you to study, learn and even be certified without leaving your home, letting you take care of household chores, take care of kids, or even get a part-time job easily. But as with all gifts, we shouldn’t take them for granted, so it’s best to take these study tips and habits at heart so you can succeed in whichever online course you’re enrolled to, and get the most out of it.

hands on an old typewriter

Believe It: No One is Born a Writer, but You Could be One

Even the child of world-renowned authors doesn’t necessarily grow up with the writer gene. Their ideas may be boring and bland, the exact opposite of what their parents are known for. It may be frustrating if they want to follow in their parent’s footsteps, but it’s normal. No one is born with a big vocabulary and a good grasp of grammar.

Anyone who wants to be a writer starts somewhere.

Writing Requires Imagination

As a child navigates their first few years in school, it’s crucial that they retain that eye for wonder and excitement for learning. No writer lives a solitary life. Encourage them to socialize and play, to spend time with their peers.

For those who always ask about learning to write, worksheets are available, but you’ll also need to help them come up with topics they can write about in their exercises. Those topics will come from their experiences and when they look at life as an adventure, it will show in the colorful words they use in writing.

Writing Needs Correction

Children should be allowed to flex their imagination and write whatever they want, but a guiding hand should help them correct their mistakes and improve their writing. The basics of grammar are taught in school, but children should also be taught how to write cohesively and without losing their train of thought.

Encourage them to write different prompts. An essay will teach them how to limit their ideas to a certain word count or topic. A short story will give them more room to expand their ideas and come up with different storylines, still with a central theme. Introduce them to poetry, as well.

a man deep in thought

Writing Needs Emotions

It’s not enough that your student knows how to construct their sentences properly. Writing is not just about the composition. It’s also about the topic and how the writer connects with readers through emotions.

Some of the most powerful works of literature are those that left a big impression because of how emotional they are. No one will remember the literature that was just written well. Teach children to open up and show their vulnerabilities in what they’re writing so that they can connect with their readers. This also helps writing become a therapeutic activity, which can be beneficial to the child’s mental health.

Writing Needs Readers

A child may be writing on their own and they may feel shy about letting other people read it. This is normal, as they are afraid of being told their writing is not good enough. To get them to open up, you may show some of your best and worst, and share some of the feedback you got. You may even tell them the story of best-selling authors who also started in the same way. Remind them that if these authors didn’t let other people read their drafts, they will not be able to improve on them and they will not be the author the world knows and loves.

Children don’t need to have an extraordinary background to be a successful writer. All they need is guidance so they will learn to improve their writing and be confident in their achievements.

Father playing with his daughter

Fascinating Facts About Your Toddler’s Amazing Capabilities

When your pregnancy test announced the arrival of your baby around two to three years ago, you probably wanted to know everything you could about this future family member. Just when you seem to know everything about your child as a baby, they surprise you with what they can do as a toddler. Here are a few amazing and essential facts about your preschooler’s skills, interests, and abilities.

Senses

Toddlers, by nature, are curious explorers. However, they will use all their senses to discover these new experiences and knowledge, so be careful with whatever it is you give them. Expect your child to put these items in their mouths or throw them around. Also, their sense of hearing has been proven to be more acute than adults. By the way, they are experts at observing and mimicking their elders. Therefore, it is critical to choose the right toddler school in Phoenix and avoid discount day care services where they can pick up bad habits and get traumatized by negative experiences.

Language Skills

Yes, all those goo-goos and da-das have turned into words that you can now identify and understand. That’s because toddlers can easily pick up words and their meanings even at their age. It’s a linguistic explosion of some sort where they can learn an average of one word within two hours. Of course, just because they understand them doesn’t mean that they can already use them. In most cases, your kids will continually repeat and use words that they’re more comfortable with.

Physical Prowess

These kids have a better chance of learning if their bodies is in action because their brains are more active when they’re physically involved with their discoveries. Examples of such learning activities involve stalking blocks, drawing, and even feeding themselves. Surprisingly, they are ambidextrous even at the early age of one. Take note that they also learn most of their mobility skills, such as walking, jumping, climbing, running and even tricycle riding, during the first two to three years of their lives.

Mental Activity

Mother and daughter playing

Not a day goes by that toddlers will try to learn something new, and it’s not surprising. Not only are their bodies and senses continually active, but their minds are also at their optimum and have a higher rate of learning than adults. It’s in these early stages in life that one thousand trillion brain connections are formed, and that’s twice the number of an average adult’s count. No wonder a typical four-year-old would ask more than 400 questions on an average day. They will insist on your answering them, too.

Parents view their children as a source of joy and pride. That is the case when you realize the true potential of these little tots and how their bodies and minds work. Although many of the facts here are common among most youngsters, it’s your responsibility as a parent to find the unique skills, talents, and characteristics of your child. Remember that your child is special, and they will only feel that if you truly treat them as such. This parental principle is applicable whatever age your children are.

preschool kid

First Day of School: Helping Your Child Deal with Separation Anxiety

“Will my child be able to survive a few hours without seeing me?”

“How can I prevent them from throwing a tantrum once I leave the classroom?”

If you’re about to send your little one to a preschool, these might be some of the questions that would constantly bug you, especially if you think that your child might experience separation anxiety once school starts.

Why Do Children Experience Separation Anxiety?

Children form close relationships with their parents and as they grow older, feelings of security and familiarity can be difficult to let go of. This is why making the transition from a home environment to a childcare or preschool setting without their primary caregiver in sight can cause feelings of dread and anxiety. These feelings can even worsen when children see unfamiliar faces around them. According to experts, separation anxiety and autonomy are closely related. When children learn to walk, they begin to assert their independence but at the same time, they are not ready to fully separate from their parents. This explains why children tend to cry or cling to their parents once they see them leave the classroom.

How Can You Help Your Child Overcome Separation Anxiety?

The good things is, separation anxiety is temporary. There are ways that you can employ to help your child relax, overcome separation anxiety, and learn to look forward to going to school every day. Here are some strategies that can help you manage separation anxiety:

Practice at Home

dropping child off to school

Before the big day arrives, you can prepare your child by “playing school” at home. This is a great way to show your child what can be expected in a real classroom setting. Sing nursery rhymes, read stories, and then take a nap. You can also role-play and take turns playing the teacher, parent, and student.

In addition to practicing at home, you can also visit the child care center a few times so your child can meet their teachers and feel more familiar with the new environment. You can also ask the teacher how the daily schedule is structured so you can pattern your at-home role-play after it.

Make Goodbyes Short and Quick

It may sound simple but saying goodbye is the hardest thing to do. Goodbyes usually trigger outbursts and screams. While it might break your heart to hear your child cry as you leave the classroom, it is something that you must do. Don’t delay, don’t linger, hoping that they’d miraculously stop crying. Establish a goodbye routine so your child will know that it is time for you to leave. You can give your child a quick hug and kiss and then tell them that their teacher will take care of them while you’re away. Let them know that you will come back soon to pick them up.

Trust Your Teacher

Teachers are trained to handle preschool outbursts. They know how to divert your child’s attention and calm them down once you step out of the classroom. Once you and your child have said your goodbyes, muster up the courage to leave the classroom and let the teacher take over. Walking away doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent – you’re just letting your child and their teacher work it out together.

Always remember that it’s normal for some kids to feel sad, uneasy or have a meltdown during the first few days of school. While you’ve done your part to prepare your child for the big day, there’s no way you can predict how your child will act when the first day of school arrives. With the above tips in mind, you will be able to support your child during the transition.