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

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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!
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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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Re: online music instruction ?

Post by Openmastering »

Hi Dave,
thanks for your input on this, it's really valuable as a lot might stay this way for a while. It's also an opportunity to teach people in remote/far away places.

I agree that theory might be asynchronous, but I'd add a short 1-on1 session for questions and also create accountability where you say at the end of your video: "I'll ask you a few questions about it on our 1-on1 session. It'll motivate the students not just to consume but also to reflect on what they just watched. And it's also a feedback about what you could improve.
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davephillips
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Re: online music instruction ?

Post by davephillips »

Openmastering wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:21 am
I agree that theory might be asynchronous, but I'd add a short 1-on1 session for questions and also create accountability where you say at the end of your video: "I'll ask you a few questions about it on our 1-on1 session. It'll motivate the students not just to consume but also to reflect on what they just watched. And it's also a feedback about what you could improve.
Thanks, I will add that to the list of Good Ideas for online sessions. :)

I'm teaching face-to-face in my studio again. I currently require protective masks. No more than three persons are allowed together in the studio, including myself and the student, and I've staggered the lesson times to allow time between arrivals/departures (to minimize contact), which also allows time to clean the studio between sessions. Incidentally, the studio space is ample, we don't feel like we're pressed into a closet.

Connectivity issues have been most serious impediment I've encountered with the online sessions. The reasons vary, but it is disappointing to have poor connections within a small city. A few students have never experienced dropouts or slowed connections, I'll ask them about the details of their systems. Alas, poor connections were numerous enough to be more than a little irritating.

Best regards, and thanks for the input !

dp

Jacob18
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Re: online music instruction ?

Post by Jacob18 »

Hey Guys,
Thanks thanks for your input

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