Adapting A Routine Amid The COVID Pandemic
It's been 7 months since I had to make the move to online music lessons and people everywhere have had to make similar changes to their daily routine while we try to keep going in these unprecedented times. Here's what happened to my routine amid the COVID pandemic.
TO ROUTINE OR NOT TO ROUTINE
When I was younger, the idea of having a routine was something I didn't like the idea of. Instead, I tried to live each day with what I thought was a sense of freedom, trying to do something different despite the fact that I did more or less the same things every day. This led to a lot of procrastination and terrible organisation when it came to practice, doing homework, and university coursework.
Years later, when I became self-employed, I discovered that having a daily routine was essential to my well-being, mental health, and my productivity, as well as that of the business itself. In late March, when the UK went into lockdown, the threat of that routine being destroyed put fear into me.
Before lockdown, I had a nice littled routine of working at least an 8-hour day in which music lessons would (sort of) slot into. In those 8 hours I would: do at least 2 hours of music practice (an hour in the morning and again in the evening); write out invoices, send emails, and update spreadsheets; spend at least a few hours composing music, mixing it, and mastering each version of the track, uploading said tracks to royalty-free stock music libraries, writing in the metadata, and then making sure the royalty service was updated too.
On music lesson-filled days like Tuesdays and Wednesdays, where I would travel to Bristol and teach in my regular rented studio all day and well into the evening, other tasks were set aside for the following day. I looked forward to these two days in particular as it meant I was able to get a change of scenery and have a stroll round town on my lunch-break.
When lockdown came into effect, I immediately lost 5 regular students and 3 who were about to start, all declining the use of online music lessons for various reasons. I began panicking about the rest of my music students but they, thankfully, welcomed the use of online music lessons. The big part of my routine however, my trips to Bristol, were no longer possible, meaning I was officially working from home and no longer able to have music students come to the house either.
The good part of lockdown was that everyone was in the same boat. The bad part was that, because everyone was now at home, including their children, the routines we all had before lockdown became very difficult to maintain and in some cases a new routine had to be made.
For some of my music students, they wanted to stick as close to their routine as possible, and so kept their usual music lesson slot. For others, a new time was required and being at home all day meant it was fairly easy to find a time that worked for both of us.
A few weeks into lockdown, I had managed to settle into a new and regular routine. This changed slightly when schools reopened, then when people were encouraged to go back to the office, and again when university started up a few weeks ago.
It's surprising how quickly we can become accustomed to a new routine and yes, it's been 7 months, but I feel like I'm able to fit in all my admin, my music composition, my current music lessons, and still find time to fit any new music students in if they appear. Which has happened; I didn't think it would but I've already had a few folks start music lessons, happy to stick with video for the foreseeable future.
Before this second spike emerged, I was beginning to consider face-to-face music lessons again since a few students had been asking when this would happen. It would have only worked at home since the Bristol studio still wasn't open but that is no longer a consideration as there would be too much risk to those around me, let alone the music students themselves.
It has made me wonder though, when (if) the virus does recede and we're able to go back to our normal routines as they were before March, will I actually be able to fit all my music students in, having to factor travelling into the mix again? Something to worry about at a later date.
Let me know about your routines; how have you had to adapt to the pandemic?
If you are looking for a clarinet, music theory, or saxophone teacher near you, I offer face-to-face music lessons in Wells, UK and online music lessons to anyone worldwide. Feel free to get in touch!