online music instruction ?

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davephillips
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online music instruction ?

Post by davephillips »

Greetings !

For many years I've maintained a teaching schedule of ~20 students (I purposefully restrict the number of students I'll accept) and I've been successful transferring most of them to online sessions due to the impact of the corona virus. So I have some questions for LM members:

1. Have you taken online lessons ? If so, how did you like them, and what would you suggest to improve the experience of the student ?

2. Have you ever taught anything using online tools, specifically any audio/video tools such as Zoom or Skype ? If so, what would you suggest to the developers in order to make a more satisfying experience for the instructor ?

3. As a student, would you prefer an interactive or an asynchronous method ? IOW, would you prefer to exchange pre-made videos or take part in interactive sessions ?

My basic working module includes Skype for the interactive a/v, Facebook Messenger or email for file transfer (tablature, music scores, text), and PayPal.me for online payments. So far it's been working out well. As I mentioned, most of my currently scheduled students are now taking their lessons via Skype, and I've picked up a few extra out-of-state students, mostly former students who have moved away from my home town. I intend to continue to offer the option beyond the corona crisis. I'm very interested in the experiences of other teachers and students, and I'd very much like to hear of alternative technologies that I could look into.

I hope you're all safe and well during these strange days. Thanks for your attention.

Best regards,

dp

Basslint
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Re: online music instruction ?

Post by Basslint »

Hello Dave, why not switch to Jitsi Meet? It's free software, it doesn't need any external programs other than your browser and does not even require you or your students to create an account!
The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. [Acts 4:32]

Wanna make music on openSUSE? Check out Geekos DAW!

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raboof
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Re: online music instruction ?

Post by raboof »

davephillips wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:54 am
1. Have you taken online lessons ?
2. Have you ever taught anything using online tools, specifically any audio/video tools such as Zoom or Skype?
I haven't
davephillips wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:54 am
3. As a student, would you prefer an interactive or an asynchronous method ? IOW, would you prefer to exchange pre-made videos or take part in interactive sessions ?
I would prefer a combination.

Especially in music making, a big part of the value of interactive teaching is that a teacher can identify what area's most need improvement. Doing that by exchanging pre-made video's is of course possible, but having a direct feedback loop there to know if you're going in the right direction seems valuable.

For other parts, especially around 'theory', working asynchronously (could even be in written form) is much nicer than spending 1-on-1 time on that.

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davephillips
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Re: online music instruction ?

Post by davephillips »

My thanks to those of you who responded, I'm grateful for your replies.

I've been teaching online since March 16. I'm in the process of writing a short article about my experience and what I've learned that was not anticipated in the online materials I consulted before starting. A few salient points:

The technology is a criticality. Unfortunately it's not one that's fully controllable on my end. High quality gear and connectivity are absolutely necessities. Nothing undermines the venture so much as faulty or slow connections. I can upgrade my own line but faster connections typically cost more, and it's a bit pushy to tell my students they need to upgrade their hardware factors.

Familiarity with the tech - the software especially - is also critical, but any lack there can be easily addressed either by referencing online instructions or by providing a short training session.

Document transfer is essential. Fortunately various channels are available, including email, FB Messenger, Skype, et cetera. Large files can be sent via ftp or any of the "big file" services like FileLink.

Payment services are equally varied. Currently I receive payment through PayPal, Zelle, and snail mail.

Having a backup plan is another Very Good Idea. I keep an extra machine handy in case the desktop goes down for any reason. I'm also considering adding a second line, i.e. adding a DSL connection in addition to my cable. If things go down completely I offer non-interactive sessions as a make-up option.

Being prepared before the session can wind up taking more time than you think. As a result, I'm charging more for the online option than in-house sessions.

Put a little time between each student. Running back-to-back sessions can be hectic, I prefer to have at least 15 minutes between each student, that gives me time to take a breather and prep for the next meeting.

Your personality makes a difference as a teacher online or in-house. You need to be prepared and at ease. Some people find being live online a distressing experience. As a performer I don't have any particular problem with online presence, others may need to study their production to become more comfortable with telepresentation.

Other factors are familiar but no less important. Punctuality and appearance still matter online.

All in all, teaching online has been a great experience. I intend to keep the option for students who can't make it in to the studio. I might also expand my online offerings to include basic instruction in a few other subjects (Latin, t'ai chi).

Lots of changes since COVID appeared but I've been able to keep my teaching practice open and active. It's been a great learning experience for me and for my students, but I am looking forward to getting back to live sessions in the studio.

Again, my thanks for the input, and I hope you are all doing well during these eventful times.

Best regards,

dp

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davephillips
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Re: online music instruction ?

Post by davephillips »

raboof wrote:
Fri May 15, 2020 11:00 am
For...'theory', working asynchronously (could even be in written form) is much nicer than spending 1-on-1 time on that.
I think you're right. I've been teaching two students some theory and music history, I agree that the presentation would be better as a standalone video than an interactive session. I'll have to try making a video or two on the topic.

Best,

dp

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