Teaching music online is a different ballgame than teaching academics. An online music classroom is a creative space ruled by great excitement, anticipation, and energy brought by the students. As a music teacher, you would surely want your students to be filled with enthusiasm, wonder, creativity, and curiosity as they attend the virtual classroom. But how do you harness such massive enthusiasm and creativity and ensure that your students use it for ‘good’ and not ‘evil’. The answer lies in the appropriate behavior management of your students in their online music classroom.

Here are some tips that can help you to steer your students in the right direction and channelize their enthusiasm and energy into creating something constructive.

Be the example your students can follow

Don’t lose your patience. Don’t shout or scold your students the moment they create some disturbance or become inattentive. Stay calm and remind yourself that as an adult, you need to act responsibly. Typically, students acting out in your online music classroom would rarely be personal. But even when their behavior and actions seem to be directed at you, you should remain detached and handle it wisely. Remember that your own behavior will have a profound impact on the behavior of your students. This means you need to be respectful, courteous, attentive, curious, kind, and passionate. And when your behavior reflects these traits, you’ll notice your students’ behavior reflecting these attributes as well.

Don’t always rely on ‘the carrot and stick’ approach

The ‘carrot and stick’ approach may have been a tried-and-tested method but using it always, especially when teaching music online, isn’t a good way to manage your students’ behavior. At times, you could implement the system of rewards (carrots) for your students to drive home the point that appreciation and rewards are on offer when students behave as per the norm. But when it comes to punishments (sticks), you need to use them sparingly and even think of innovative ways to make the students detest them.

The key to managing student behavior in your online music classes is to motivate them to learn and enjoy music. That’s because such motivation is much more meaningful and effective for students than working to avoid punishments or earn rewards. Thus, your aim should be to encourage in your students a genuine desire to learn, contribute to the group, and actively support others. If you can achieve this goal, you’ll end up making music learning fun, interesting, and engaging for your students, who’ll then be on their best behavior.