Sunday, January 29, 2023

Dionne navigates virtual instruction

Tyler Dawson

Between juggling being a mother and piano instructor, Plattsburgh alumna and current Professor Louise Dionne has found the pandemic troublesome. As a member of the music faculty since 2001, Dionne is the instructor of the group keyboard courses in the piano technology classroom. Dionne has also been an applied piano instructor in the Plattsburgh area for more than 25 years, teaching all levels and ages.

The first ball juggled was home life. Dionne found work and everyday life to be a “huge adjustment and isolation rather difficult in the beginning.” Usually spending quite a bit of free time performing for nursing homes and shows, Dionne used to provide an hour of classical music in three places for people that were almost like family to her.

“Applied students are so enthusiastic and never missed class or anything of the sort,” Dionne said.

Discussing the change to remote learning, Dionne said teaching remotely was difficult because students didn’t have keyboards at home.

“I opted to save time and give them two early assignments on YouTube concerts and do their write-ups,” Dionne said. “Get them done and when we get back in person, resume playing the keyboard together.”

Professor Dionne is a mother on top of her instruction on and off campus.

“My son had to do the same as me. Everything was a big change,” Dionne said.“You don’t get the same experience from home as you do at school. Kids really need that hands on learning.”

She prefers her and her son to be in person for class rather than be virtual.

“Covid took a huge toll on everyone and it’s sad,” Dionne said. “I feel so bad that this has happened, because look how it affected all of us.”

Dionne said she is proud people have really made an effort to come to class, given that they have masks and all the restrictions.

This situation almost has “rekindled some of the students’ love for the subject matter because they were prevented from doing what they loved.”

 

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