UK music teachers are adapting to online teaching

Published 18th June 2020
Our partner ABRSM, one of the UK’s leading music education organisations, has conducted the Teacher Voices Survey of 300 customers and examiners who work as instrumental music teachers, looking into the impact of Covid-19.

The survey revealed that lockdown has transformed the way in which UK music teachers deliver instrument tuition, with 87% of them adapting lessons for delivery online.

The survey also shows how more than a third of learners are actually progressing better than expected. It highlights how parents are getting more involved with their children's music lessons. 

However, it also shows some of the downfalls in online teaching such as, poor connectivtiy, issues accessing instruments and internet for learners from disadvantaged background and job insecurity for some teachers remain challenges for music tuition.

  • 87% of examiners/teachers have been able to effectively adapt to online teaching, with 39% of teachers reporting that their learners have made better progress than normal.
  • Many teachers report an improved relationship with parents who have developed a better understanding of the value of music lessons and are now better able to support learners when they are practising their instrument.
  • Both teachers and learners have encountered barriers to effective online music lessons. The biggest block appears to be intermittent internet access in some areas, and poor-quality audio from video conferencing software – 41% teachers say this was an issue for their pupils.
  • Some learners are also struggling because they may not have access to an instrument or a quiet place in which to have their lesson undisturbed.
  • Teachers who have been unable to continue teaching may need to rely on government financial support schemes until face to face lessons can resume.

ABRSM Chief Executive Michael Elliott said: “Lockdown is having some positive effects on music education in the UK. It has shown the adaptability of our music teaching colleagues and suggests that music pupils are devoting some of their extra spare time to practice and making greater than expected progress as a result."

Comments from teachers taking part in the survey show how parents have appreciated the impact of music lessons during lockdown. One teacher told the survey: “I have received numerous emails from parents mentioning that it has really helped to have some normality in their child’s life and they are very grateful for this opportunity.”

They also show how the lockdown has inspired permanent changes in the way many teachers give lessons. Another respondent said: “I'm glad this has given me the opportunity to get used to it … I will continue to offer both face-to-face and online lessons after lockdown.”

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