This year, 2020, will go down in history for significantly more than this, but for us here at Music Education Solutions it’s been the year that everyone else caught up with us, in discovering the brilliance of online learning!
Here at MES we’ve been offering online self-study courses since way back in 2014, including of course the Trinity Level 4 Certificate for Music Educators, which we deliver right across the world through our online learning programme. For us, the beauty of this type of online, self-guided learning, is that it can be done at your own pace – a godsend for busy music teachers who can often only engage with CPD in their own time.
However, self-study can be a lonely business, and the pandemic has highlighted the need for human connection in all of us. It is perhaps for this reason that our live webinars have also proved increasingly popular this year – helped not a little by the fact that everybody now understands what ‘Zoom’ is! The recent upgrade to Zoom has even started to make group practical music-making within webinars more possible, and it will be interesting to see how this aspect develops over time.
Here at MES one of our central missions is to support music hubs across England with their core and extension roles. During this year we’ve provided live and self-study CPD for hub instrumental tutors, as well as a plethora of hub-sponsored live webinars for primary teachers, and discounted rates on our online self-study courses to pass on to schools. The beauty of working mostly online this year is that we’ve been able to reach far more teachers than we would have under our usual model of dashing around the country fuelled by tea and buffet food.
There will, of course, always be a place for live, in person training, particularly for sessions which require practical music-making, but we hope that the online learning revolution won’t be a flash in the pan, but something which teachers continue to engage with over time as part of their overall approach to CPD.
None of us know what 2021 will bring, but we will be here to support hubs, schools, and teachers with research-led CPD options online, offline, or by carrier pigeon if necessary!