WARNING: I’m about to sound tone-deaf to the reality of this pandemic, but let me explain.
Some time ago (maybe April?), the entire world suddenly discovered Zoom. I remember vividly the two weeks my internet and my online appointments started crashing all day. My internet provider explained it was due to everyone being online now, bogging down the system. Zoom made many apologies and worked tirelessly to keep those of us who rely on it daily, able to continue working.
See, that’s the thing: I’ve been coaching performers and singing teachers online for 11 years now, so I was fortunate enough to be able to continue working while everyone else’s careers were being suspended, terminated, or just thrown into the abyss of the unknown.
I realize how truly lucky I am in a time like this to have worked out all the kinks with bringing my vocal coaching business online all those years ago. I have an unfair advantage because I conquered the learning curve for figuring out how to make it work effectively and with as little interruption to the student as possible so long ago that I take it for granted. It became so normal to me so quickly back when I first moved it online that for years, I even forgot to mention in my marketing that my coaching all happens online and not in person, which led to some awkward conversations. As a result, my reality throughout this crazy time has been very different than most, and, consequently, sometimes I forget that we’re in a pandemic.
Gross, I know. And I’m sorry.
I’m in a few groups with other voice teachers, and it’s been interesting, to say the least, to read about the questions, discoveries, frustrations, and aha moments of teachers as they navigate moving into the virtual space which feels galaxies away from their comfort zones. Some are willing to totally remodel their home studios to make accommodations for teaching singers in person. Some use the group forum to vent about the frustrations of not being tech-savvy and losing clients left and right because they can’t figure it out. Some are spending hours researching, reading studies, and getting as informed as possible, so they can decide what level of risk they are willing to take.
And then there are some who are starting to see how teaching online versus in-person really can give you a competitive edge.
When I first moved my coaching business to the online space in 2009, my initial reason was to expand my reach. Through the advice of a friend, I realized that if I could bring the transformations I create from my piano out of my home to the online space, I would be able to teach singers anywhere in the world. Then, when full-time travel suddenly became my norm, it also afforded me the ability to teach from anywhere in the world. The first advantage was that I could continue to work with singers I’d started coaching once it was time for me to move on to another city, rather than having to re-establish myself with every move.
But once I overcame all the obstacles I first faced with online coaching, I discovered some HUGE advantages to it and said repeatedly that even if we settled down in one place long enough, I doubt if I’d ever go back to teaching in person.
Here are some examples of the edge teaching online gives me:
- My nose isn’t buried in the piano or my client’s sheet music, which allows me to focus all my attention on them, making me a much more effective teacher.
- No more clients showing up without their wallets, checkbooks, cash, etc., which meant no more excuses for not getting paid on time.
- Clients have to fully participate so they can describe how things feel to help me assess what’s going on, which means they REALLY are advancing quicker in terms of building muscle memory.
- Most of the time, clients feel more comfortable singing in their own homes than they do in mine – it helps them open up faster because they are learning in a safe space.
- No more canceled sessions because of the fear of spreading germs, or because they got stuck in traffic, or because they got lost, etc.
- I can record our sessions and share them with my clients without having to set up some kind of film set in my studio. This means they’re able to not just listen to a voice recording of what we do in each session but to watch. They can see themselves along with my feedback about it. Along these lines, I’m able to take effective notes and email them to my clients because my fingers aren’t glued to a piano.
I could go on, but these are some of the powerful results that made me a convert to the online space.
I’ve created more significant results in my clients online, made more money coaching online, and felt much more confident about the staying power of what I’m teaching. Plus, I have the empowered feeling of knowing I’ve created a way to expand my reach to singers worldwide instead of just from my zip code.
Would you like to feel more empowered as you make the shift to teaching online? Let’s talk. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will be your power source.