The end of 2020 had more of us holding our breath and breathing a sigh of relief than the year 2000. (Remember the whole Y2K thing?)
But despite 2020 being the rollercoaster you absolutely did not stand in line for, some good stuff happened too.
Take a moment with us to look back at the good from the last year and get excited about the awesomeness we have in the works for this year. 🥳
2020: We Found Focus in the Chaos
The amount teachers have on their plate is spotlighted for me every day in my emails, comments and Facebook feed. Our brains are full to the brim.
Although we all love new ideas – they’re a trap. Most of the time, what we need is the focus and clarity to use the ideas we have.
Enter the Teacher Tracker.
We launched this feature for Vibrant Music Teaching members in July. This just happened to be right at the peak of mental exhaustion for many of us, but we’d actually been working on it since January.
Remember January 2020? I was off travelling in Australia and you were probably…watching less news, at the very least.
If you haven’t seen the Teacher Tracker yet, it’s like a to-do list on lavender and chamomile. (You know how people say “like a ___ on steroids”? Yeah, this is the opposite of that.)
Here’s a little video if you’re curious about how it works. 🐈
2020: We Took the FUN Online
Of course, 2020 was the year that many of us taught online for the first time.
Teaching Online Training
I had taught online for occasional lessons so when this happened I knew I could help overcome some of the potential technology woes!
The day before our first lockdown was announced here in Ireland, I made and published a video on YouTube with a simple rundown of the tech required for teaching online. I also recorded a longer workshop for Vibrant Music Teaching members and put together the Online Lesson Essentials page so we could gather everything in one spot.
This was probably the fastest I have ever recorded and published a series of videos!
Of course, teaching online full time was a new adventure for me too. I kept my eyes open for what I needed and continued adding resources to make other teachers’ lives easier too.
Online Teaching Games and Creative Activities
We knew our community would not be satisfied with their lessons being ungamified just because they were teaching through Zoom. We immediately pivoted our next few releases to include games that could be done easily in online lessons.
But the biggest revelation in online games came from our community.
Members started converting some of the games for use in Powerpoint/Keynote/Google Slides. Pure genius and exactly why I love being part of an online community of teachers!
We opened up the new Vibrant Music Teaching forums so that members could share these games with each other there.
We began using Google Slides to provide an online option for all our new games too and we now have almost 60 screen option games in the member library. 😍
2020: We Creativised and Gamified
Yes, we had to do some adapting. But that didn’t mean we didn’t need fresh inspiration too!
New ideas and resources are what keep many of us fired up and excited to teach each and every year.
11 New Courses & Workshops
We added a total of 11 new courses and workshop plans this year. 😲
- Mini Musicians Two is a full year’s set of group lesson plans for young students in their second year of study.
- Back to Bach is a group lesson plan to learn more about one of our favourite composers through games.
- Online Lesson Essentials is the perfect online lesson starter guide.
- Dash through the Past provides a fun overview of the time periods in a group workshop format.
- Modern Music Teaching Studio Marketing is the marketing course that takes it beyond the flyers and into community impact.
- Interval Immersion is a great reading supplement or an antidote to bad reading habits.
- Performance Party is a wonderful way to get ready for a concert.
- Creativising Classics takes traditional repertoire to the next level.
- Lead Sheet Kickoff gives your students an amazing start with lead sheet playing – even if they’re only getting started at the piano.
- Lead Sheet Level-Up helping your students go from simple chords to awesome arrangements.
- Naked Piano workshop plans give your students the opportunity to learn about the piano’s inner workings.
11 Live Webinars
I also hosted 11 live webinars this year on a wide range of topics. If you’re a member you can find all of these and watch the replays in the Video Library.
60 New Games
We add 5 new games to the membership each and every month. That’s been our promise since the beginning and I’m proud to say a pandemic couldn’t stop us publishing new games on the 1st!
I won’t attempt to summarise all 60 games right here, but here’s a preview of one random and delicious one to enjoy. 😋🍫
This year, we’re going to be taking webinars to the next level. Our new masterclasses are going to go deeper and be even more actionable.
But that’s not the best bit.
We’ll also be following on from each masterclass a week later with an implementation session that’s exclusively for Vibrant Music Teaching members.
We’re calling these live calls “Member Huddles” and they’re going to provide an amazing opportunity to put the lessons from the masterclass into action.
We’ve all had the feeling of being totally inspired by a training we attended…
Only to discover that a month later it’s faded to an echo in our mind.
You need take action to make a change. And we’re here to help you with every step you take, whether that’s a tiptoe or a leap.
Oh my gosh am I excited about the courses this year!
We just kicked off the year with the Productivity Power-Up and we have so many more incredible ones on the way. 🤩
In March, we’ll have the Ear Elevator which is (not to brag but…) seriously going to revolutionise the way you teach aural skills. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Then in May we’ll be helping you streamline your business with the Smooth Studio Systems course.
July is our biggest release, probably ever. (Well, maybe Mini Musicians is an equal contender for that title.)
It’s called Foundations of Piano Teaching. It’s the perfect course for new teachers as well as anyone who’s feeling the need to hit the pedagogical reset button.
It’s been an epic project to put together and I’m so excited to get it into your hands. Just 6 more months to wait!
That’s enough teasing for now though so I’ll keep the rest of the year as a surprise. 😉
2021: Student Sleuth
We also have some amazing website features planned this year…but I’ll just tell you about one for now.
We’ve struggled from time-to-time with whether we’re doing it right.
- Should my student be better at reading by now?
- Am I expecting too much from my preschoolers?
- Do I not focus enough on rhythm?
The Student Sleuth is a system for figuring out where your student is at. It’s a tool for you to assess where each student is progressing more quickly and where they need more help.
We have the privilege of being able to go at our student’s pace since we’re not tied to a set of standards. But that can make it challenging to see our student’s progress clearly and guide them towards lifelong musicianship effectively.
This won’t be a prescription.
It’s still up to you what you teach and when. The Student Sleuth will just help you zoom out so you can see the bigger picture.
I think this will be one of the best imposter syndrome refuters ever.
Do you need more help teaching with creativity and games?
You can get access to all these wonderful resources and so much more inside Vibrant Music Teaching membership.
We’d love to have you as part of our growing community of over 1,000 teachers who are teaching better and having more fun while doing it.
2 thoughts on “What We Did in 2020 and What We’re Doing in 2021”
I am particularly excited about Student Sleuth to evaluate both individual student progress and to some extent how effective my teaching approach and choice of activities has been. Thanks to your innovative courses, workshops, games, and website.
Yes! I’m so excited to release that feature. It’s shaping up beautifully behind the scenes. 😀