Across the country, confinement and social distancing has thrown quite a wrench in most conventional forms of music teaching. Without being able to see, hear, and play along with their students in real time, music educators were forced to adapt their methods and curricula to suit the changing landscape of education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alexandre Cattaneo is a multi-instrumentalist and Bishop’s graduate teaching music at Cégep Saint-Laurent in Montréal. When asked how being forced to make the switch to online courses affected his ability to teach, he said that it required a big shift in the focus of his techniques.
“A huge part of being a professional musician is self-discipline,” he said. “You have no boss, no schedule, so you have to be able to focus and make your own schedule.” Cattaneo explained that the pandemic gave him a good opportunity to instill these skills into his students. He had been working with the same students for weeks before confinement began, so he was able to swap the focus of his courses while still maintaining progress. “I did my best to give them some strategies to organize their time,” he said.