How Mary's Work and Life Have Changed Since COVID-19

Hi, my name is Mary. I’m director, teacher, performer and event manager at my home-based music studio, Mary’s Menuet Music Studio. For the most part, I was already working from home before COVID-19 came along. So COVID-19 changed the format not location from where I work, which was a huge adjustment in my routine and career. My performing, accompanying, adjudicating and event managing sides of my career have come to a complete halt because of COVID-19, though I started performing and sharing my music more online than ever before. I also took on new online students from across Australia, which has been a change in routine but ultimately really great for my career!

After the first 2 weeks of online teaching, I made a major change in my regular teaching routine from having my students booked back to back to adding a 15 min gap between each student. This extra time is for me to calmly type out and record lesson notes for my students and upload them to the online platforms we use. This change of routine has made my teaching hours longer but has helped me stay relaxed through the change of teaching format and also eventually saved time in not having an extra load work to do for my students after teaching hours (for the most part). So I am developing my routine and systems and transferring my teaching recourses online so that my workload gets easier and more efficient. So even though I’m still working the same number of hours a day, I had to change my routine to suite the different sort of roles I’m doing these days.

I try my best to wake up and sleep on time, eat healthy, go for walks to keep myself at my best physical, emotional and mental health. I also love to dress up nicely and wear make-up for online teaching and performing just as though everyone was still attending lessons in-person (I just stay in my cozy slippers not shoes!). This really helps my motivation, and sense of continuation of my work and life. I also allocated specific times of the week that I’d do my pre-lessons plans, do recordings for my online performances/music sharing or Church band, and professional development and self care and recreation.

Mary Chalaby teaching piano online from her home studio.