Judy O'Dell doesn't normally do piano lessons over Zoom — but there's nothing normal about living in a pandemic. She's one of many private piano teachers who's had to adapt to the realities of the pandemic.
Many private piano teachers in Great Falls have seen drops in students enrollment since last March, as families struggle to shell out extra cash to pay for lessons. Luckily, O'Dell isn't one of them — she's kept all her students — but she's had to adjust to the pandemic by changing her teaching style. Although most of her classes are in-person at this point, when her students experience any symptoms, they opt for Zoom just to be safe.
"It's a whole new world," said Carla Bell, another private piano teacher in Great Falls.
Bell is also being extra cautious during her lessons — most of which are in-person — through social distancing and wearing face shields. Both she and O'Dell sanitize their pianos after every in-person lesson, and clean their studios thoroughly and regularly. Throughout the pandemic, they've kept in touch with their students, hoping to maintain a sense of normalcy during the pandemic.
"I think it speaks to the expression of the emotion and the ability to lose yourself in music and have all the problems of the world drop away," said O'Dell.
For more information on private music teachers in Great Falls, you can visit the website for the Great Falls Music Teacher's Association.