Piano teacher gives lessons on her porch during the pandemic to keep students comfortable

Posted at 7:21 AM, Aug 30, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A piano teacher in East Nashville found a creative way to continue teaching piano lessons during the pandemic to help her students feel safe.

Leslie Hinson said it was simple, she just re-arranged her furniture.

"I'm teaching outdoor piano lessons, it was something we came up with, because of COVID," explained Hinson, "The 6-7 year olds didn't do too well transitioning to Zoom or FaceTime. So, one of their mothers just suggested, ‘Why don't you do it outside?’ And I had a keyboard so just plugged it in outside."

She had her porch screened in, began wiping down her piano between each student and keeps her mask on during her lessons.

"We have weathered the weather," Hinson recalled as it started raining. "I have a little space heater I bring out that's not very helpful, but we'll put it right at their feet for the winter and then the fan does help in the summer."

During the coronavirus pandemic, piano teacher Leslie Hinson moved a keyboard to her front porch and screened it in to continue lessons for those who no longer felt comfortable having instruction indoors.

Hinson said she has been formally teaching lessons for about four years with a goal of giving beginners the basics.

"I try to just give them a good beginning piano -- an intro to music. So some of my students are interested in singing, and so I get them playing chords and singing at the same time, and then they learn all the basic theory," she said.

One of her students, 7-year-old Julia Haynes, said playing outside was not a big change.

"It really isn't much different from playing inside except I'm wearing a mask, it's hotter or colder out," said Haynes.

An inconvenience that the 2nd grader said is worth it.

"I'm really glad that she found a different way," explained Haynes, "I would be really sad if she said, 'There's COVID. You're not allowed to play anymore.'"

Piano teacher Leslie Hinson teaches a lesson on her front porch in East Nashville in August 2021.

Hinson said she hopes other music teachers will get creative and continue lessons as the pandemic continues.

"This generation of kids doesn't need to miss out on music, especially living here in Nashville. Because of COVID, if we can find a way to do it safely and keep their education and their engagement, we should do it," explained Hinson, "I hope other people bring their keyboards outside."

Leslie's lesson spots are currently full but she can be reached via email:

A 7-year-old student practices chords on her piano teacher's front porch in East Nashville in August 2021.