Tewkesbury piano teacher explains how music teaching changed forever after lock down
From teaching a 90-year-old woman how to use Skype and teaching total beginners through a screen, life has changed big time for one music teacher. Simon Probert, 45, lives in Tewkesbury but he teaches piano and keyboard all over Gloucestershire, including in Behall Infant School in Cheltenham for eight years. He started playing piano himself when he was just 8, but ended up reading political history at the Royal Holloway, University of London.
But he never lost his first love of playing the piano and turned what he called "a fairly serious hobby" and "something he always loved", into a very successful teaching career.
Simon has been teaching for over 20 years as a full time job, saying that he is "completely focused on teaching".
Although he has been teaching for such a long time, Simon would never have expected the change that was to come to his methods in 2020 when the Covid-19 hit and lock down across the county and country started.
Simon says that piano lessons are traditionally 1-2-1 and that he'd never have thought you could do it online before, but that the new learning landscape had seen some serious revolution in teaching methods.
He said that he is teaching up to 50 1-2-1 lessons a week still Monday - Saturday and that he considers himself "incredibly lucky", because the "desire to learn is as strong as ever" and the "curiosity for music is as strong as ever".
"Prior to March of this year," he said, "I have almost all of my life taught 1-2-1 using the school piano and before I had a few people that would come to me for their lessons a few times a week because they like to have an environment where they can focus in a learning environment."