“The enthusiasm of my students remains”

A piano teacher keeps her music school running on her iPad.

June 25, 2020 | | Pandemic Journals

Grand Valley’s Karla Leger teaches her piano students via video chats.

Grand Valley’s Karla Leger teaches her piano students via video chats.

I achieved my dream of opening my own music school in 2013 in the beautiful Inglewood United Church in Caledon. I can’t put into words how fortunate and grateful I am that I can continue teaching my Inglewood School of Music students online from my home in Grand Valley during this crisis.

What I do is very organic and low tech. All I have ever needed to teach was a piano, books, the ability to print sheet music, my hands and my heart. The first step I took was to upgrade my PowerBook G4 (circa 2000) to a seventh generation iPad. As soon as my iPad arrived on April 6, online lessons began. I was teaching 40 students per week at the church and currently 22 are continuing their musical education online.

At the church, my students and their families, the Inglewood community and the church board members created an environment where musical comprehension, development and creativity thrive. The children come in smiling and leave smiling. So it was no surprise to me that when this pandemic hit, we all came together as a team to keep our weekly lessons rolling in the same spirit.

Although scheduling and teaching online has its challenges and I deeply miss the ambiance and acoustics of the church, the enthusiasm of my students remains. It feels wonderful to share an activity that gives them something to focus on and offers them great gains academically and emotionally. It also fills their time with something positive – music. All of this, plus seeing my students’ smiles and enthusiastic waves when we connect online, keeps me motivated to continue.

One challenge has been guiding and helping students with rhythm as they play through or sing through a piece. Many of my students are in the country, and with delays and lag times online, it’s often not possible to count along or play along with them in real time. What’s helped here is recording pieces for students to practise with. I send links from YouTube and access codes to listen through the Royal Conservatory of Music’s website. I also record myself playing and send those files as well.

  • Story Continues Below Advertisements
  • Together with my students’ parents, we have managed to overcome any challenge we have faced so far. We are continuing to work together in supporting and encouraging these kids to play on and keep trying, no matter what.

    About the Author More by Karla Leger

    Related Stories

    Pandemic Journals

    Pandemic Journals

    Jun 25, 2020 | Tralee Pearce | Pandemic Journals

    We thank everyone who shared a glimpse of their lives with us.

    Pandemic Journals

    Share Your Journal

    May 20, 2020 | In The Hills | Pandemic Journals

    Share your story with us using this Pandemic Journals form. Deadline is August 1.

    Lori McNeil-Chong quickly reimagined her interior design business as a virtual entity.

    “You can’t get all in a twist. You have to roll with it”

    Jun 25, 2020 | Lori McNeil-Chong | Pandemic Journals

    A hands-on Caledon interior designer gets it done from a distance.

    Vanessa Kreuzer and Terry Doel have had to reinvent Orangeville’s Lavender Blue Catering and Le Finis café during the pandemic.

    “There was no time to wallow”

    Jun 25, 2020 | Vanessa Kreuzer | Pandemic Journals

    How the duo behind Orangeville’s Lavender Blue Catering are keeping Dufferin fed.

    Sharon Edmonds set aside her jitters and now teaches her yoga classes using the Zoom app.

    “Slowly, day by day, it got easier and not as weird”

    Jun 25, 2020 | Sharon Edmonds | Pandemic Journals

    A yoga teacher discovers the Zen in Zoom.

    “I knew I had to say ‘yes!’”

    May 20, 2020 | Melissa Cianfarani | Pandemic Journals

    How this Bolton emergency childcare provider helps frontline workers do their jobs.

    Orangeville nurse Tray Nevin came down with Covid-19 in April. Her husband and kids followed soon after. All are well now.

    “I was sleeping 17 hours a day”

    Jun 25, 2020 | Tray Nevin | Pandemic Journals

    This Orangeville nurse contracted Covid-19 – along with her whole family.

    Sharyn Ayliffe spent one day in her new job as general manager of Theatre Orangeville before closing its doors.

    “I miss going to work and seeing three-dimensional people”

    Jun 25, 2020 | Sharyn Ayliffe | Pandemic Journals

    Two weeks into her new job as theatre manager, the curtain dropped and the house went dark.

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    By posting a comment you agree that IN THE HILLS magazine has the legal right to publish, edit or delete all comments for use both online or in print. You also agree that you bear sole legal responsibility for your comments, and that you will hold IN THE HILLS harmless from the legal consequences of your comment, including libel, copyright infringement and any other legal claims. Any comments posted on this site are NOT the opinion of IN THE HILLS magazine. Personal attacks, offensive language and unsubstantiated allegations are not allowed. Please report inappropriate comments to vjones@inthehills.ca.