Susan Barak: Scholarship Story Fall 2020

By Susan Beth Barak, BA (Hons), MEd, OCELT, RMT, RYT-300

Sincere thanks to the SAO, for assisting members to enhance their teaching skills, particularly during this time of ongoing extraordinary challenges.

To ensure that I can offer optimal online lessons and programs to my studio, I took a brand new course recently approved for registration by the SAA: “Strategies for Engaging Your Beginning Students for Online & Distance Environment.” I grateful for the partial scholarship from the SAO, to help access this cutting-edge training.

As the saying goes, we get what we give, and this course was quite rigorous in its demands. In addition to the 15 fascinating hours of class time together with six other teachers from around the world, there was a lot of homework: academic reading, writing papers, video-recording teaching assignments, live teaching to colleagues, and a minimum of 8 hours of observations to be thoroughly reported on in detailed analysis.

The benefits and rewards of this outstanding course are unquestionable, and I would highly recommend specifically both this course and the masterful training of cellist Dr. Shu-Yi Scott. Shu-Yi has been a pioneer in doing distance teaching also recording all her own teaching for more than a decade. Despite the unfavourable cost of taking a US-based course, the challenge of late hours necessitated by the time zone factor, occasional glitches with intermittent internet connections and variable audio-visual quality, and the heavy workload, this course is well worth the commitment and investment for the knowledge and resources shared.

Also, generally speaking, I would definitely recommend continued/continuous online learning to/for everyone!

Thank you again for all the good work the SAO does on behalf of its membership. All best to everyone for a safe, marvellous, and musical Winter 2021!