MAIZE, Kan. (KSNW) – A Maize music teacher has changed her education tune and is now offering online music lessons to area students.
“A lot of local school districts, if they are in full remote classes, they don’t have music of PE or art available to them. They get core subjects only,” explained Christina Swedberg.
Swedberg is in her 17th year of teaching in Kansas and her 14th year working in the Maize School District. She said nothing compares to teaching during a pandemic.
“I think teachers are reinventing the wheel every day and it’s hard because we don’t have a playbook of what to do. Everything is just new,” she said.
Swedberg said she has created her own playbook of sorts. When she is not in the classroom with her students, she is sharing her love for all things music online. She offers classes through the Maize Recreation Commission.
“If kids aren’t allowed to sing in schools, it’s nice to send them lessons where they can sing at home.” They can also record videos and send video recordings to me, so I can hear them at home doing their lessons and also provide feedback to them so they can get better,” Swedberg said.
Addison Adair is one of Swedberg’s virtual students. He is working on mastering the recorder.
“I feel good about it and I know I can improve a lot,” said Addison.
Addison said the most challenging part about learning an instrument online is not getting immediate feedback. Swedberg agrees.
“If I am in class with a group of kids and I see them playing the recorder I can easily go around while I am doing the lesson and say, ‘oh, make sure to put your right hand on top, put your left hand on top,’ or I can say, ‘that rhythm, make sure to play it like this’ and then we can practice it, but if I am not right there with the students I can’t do this,” she explained.
Swedberg is one of only about 30 certified Quaver teacher ambassadors in the United States. She uses the Quaver curriculum and her own recorded videos to guide her students through online learning.
“There are music kits from each grade level and then I send custom lessons that use the things that they have in their kits,” she said.
Addison said so far so good. He said he encourages other kids to give it a try.
“I would tell them, ‘hey, you should try this because it’s actually a lot of fun,'” Addison said.
The Maize Recreation Commission offers numerous online learning opportunities. For a full list and program details, visit the commission’s website.