Creative ideas are needed, especially in the times of corona. In order to maintain their music education despite school closures and the prohibition of any kind of club activities, the brass band of ebenhausen is taking a completely new approach. They have begun to hold music lessons digitally, initially with the teaching of brass instruments. Since direct contact between music teacher and music teacher can no longer take place, the children are taught via whatsapp video call. Skype or facetime would also be possible.
Richard dees has been taking care of the training of young musicians in ebenhausen for many years and has a lot of experience in this field. But he is still open to new ideas and was immediately taken with a recommendation from the north bavarian music association to switch to this type of distance learning in order to maintain the training program. "We tried it out right away with harald pelz, our brass instructor, and a family friend of ours. Whatsapp has almost everyone, so we tested it with it. It is basically just a video phone call between teacher and pupil. For the children it is completely new and they found it funny", he is happy.
The music teacher sits at home and only needs a second music stand, on which the cell phone is adjusted so that the student is well captured by the camera. He can see his music teacher on his cell phone and listen to his music on headphones or earphones. The two test children leni (eight years old) and paul (twelve years old) got along quite well with it. Leni is learning the trumpet and says, "sometimes it stops and you don’t understand every word, but it’s going pretty well." Her older brother paul says about his flugelhorn lessons: "it works, but sometimes it’s a little choppy."
But despite the minor technical difficulties, dad christian, himself a musician, thinks it’s a good thing that brings a bit of normality to the children’s completely changed everyday lives: "on wednesday afternoons there’s a music lesson, that’s fixed. It was like that before corona and it is still like that now. Moreover, the children stay on the ball and do not forget everything they have learned."
"It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved", says training manager richard dees. Not only the music students benefit from the fact that the lessons go on. The music schools and bands as well as the music teachers do not have to forego their tuition and fees because of cancelled lessons, because the performance can continue to be provided.
This is especially important for the instructors, who are mostly freelancers, and means a certain degree of financial security. Starting next week, the ebenhausen brass band plans to successively switch all individual lessons for the other sections, such as woodwinds and perhaps even percussion, to video lessons.