How music students can learn online

Check out some must-read advice from our Associate Dean on online learning... 


As we have transferred our teaching into online modes of delivery, it might be helpful to consider some ideas and tips about getting the most from this way of studying. 

Most importantly, we want to provide you with opportunities to continue engaging with your learning, but we do understand that you may be feeling anxious about the current situation. 

Current ICMP students can continue to communicate with us, and we will support you as best you can. We have uploaded guidance on Online Learning to the MyICMP pages.  

For ICMP students and anyone else now engaged in online study, read some top tips on making the most of the remote learning experience below... 

Establish a routine 

Online learning can feel totally different from your face-to-face experience.

This is normal because in some ways it is a totally different experience! And due to the current challenges we are facing, everyone is working in an exceptional context. So try not to expect too much from yourself if this is the first time you have undertaken learning in this way.

If you can, and find it useful, try to set up a routine both for your general day-to-day activities, and your learning.

If your tutor has given you preparatory tasks, try to complete them to help you structure your time. Ensure you give yourself breaks just as you would if you were working in a classroom environment." 

Talk to your tutors and/or the Wellbeing Team if you would like guidance in managing your workload.

Stay engaged with tutors and the rest of your community

At times, preparing for your learning activities and assessments may feel daunting. We are making the assessment process as streamlined as possible – follow your tutor’s guidance and keep communicating with them.

If you are struggling with engagement due to anxiety or illness, likewise keep communicating with us so we can support you. It is important to note that engagement with peers and tutors in online learning contexts is different from how you might engage with peers via social media networks. This may sound obvious, but sometimes conflation of social media and online learning platforms can lead to awkward situations.

Continue to collaborate with others

It might feel that your peers are a long way from you. But there are lots of tools available to you to help facilitate collaboration.

Investigate these alongside the platforms Canvas and Microsoft Teams that we are using for ICMP activity. Be creative! You are all creative individuals and you can experiment with these tools as much as you like!

louise jackson associate dean at icmp

Try to keep up to date with your emails

We appreciate that you have received a lot of messages over the past few days, plus whatever other communications from friends and family. We do, however, need to try and stay connected, providing you with as much information as possible.

Familiarise yourself with the platforms we are using

At ICMP, this is Canvas and Microsoft Teams (look at the guidance page on My.ICMP). But you can also stay informed by engaging with our social channels

Don’t worry if the tech goes wrong! 

Sometimes there will be a lag and the speaker may look frozen – again be patient, as it will buffer and resume.

Remember we are all engaging with technologies in new ways so be patient with yourself and others."  

Share best practice 

If something works well for you, tell your peers and your teachers.

Think about how you participate in video chats or live sessions

If you are engaging in live (or synchronous) sessions, where you are using a webcam, sit facing the light, otherwise, you could look like a silhouette.

If you are participating in a live/synchronous session, but you don’t feel confident or comfortable speaking, message ideas to your tutor using that feature.

Similarly, if you have a question, send a message to your tutor via chat (at the moment Microsoft Teams doesn’t have a raised-hand function, although this will be rolled out soon).

Remember some etiquette for video calls

If you’re not speaking mute your mic! Be clear on how to mute and unmute it. Also, try to avoid too much background noise when on a call (e.g typing or shuffling of paper). 

We hope these simple tips will help you in the first few days of learning online. Remember, we are a community and your programme team and all staff at ICMP want to support you.

Many thanks to Louise for offering her advice for this article. If you're looking for free audio resources to use head to our extensive latest list of top-quality apps, samples and tools that have been made available during the COVID lockdown period.

Take the first steps in your music career with ICMP

We've been developing and delivering contemporary music education for over 30 years – longer than any other music school in the UK. With a proven track-record, countless music industry connections and unrivalled access to facilities, it's easy to see why hundreds of students choose ICMP each year. 

To completely immerse yourself in your music career, chat with our friendly Admissions Team via email or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

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by Louise Jackson (Associate Dean)
April 1, 2020
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