Music teachers returning to in-person lessons after more than a year of Zoom-ing

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Some music teachers are turning off their Zoom cams and getting back to the tradition of being in the same room with their music students — where they can see everything from the tapping of a foot to the fingering on a fretboard, keyboard or saxophone.

Others are holding onto distance learning for its convenience and safety. And still others are doing both.

“When the COVID shutdown hit last year, I took a week off of teaching and kind of freaked out for a minute,” recalled Jay Smith, a working musician, composer, bandleader and recording artist who, besides performing live, was providing piano lessons to 60 students a week.

Smith soon got busy adapting to the changes brought about by the pandemic. After much trial and error, he began to get more comfortable teaching keyboard to students who were at home, miles away.

“I like to be comfortable. I never would have done this unless I was forced to,” he said.

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