Last week’s Forum Q&A post was about saying “no” to potential students, and we received some great responses! Click here to check them out. Here’s today’s discussion topic:
Advances in technology over the past few years have changed the way we live in many ways. Online video conferencing services, for example, allow us to chat face-to-face with friends and family across the globe….and conduct piano lessons?! With internet services becoming faster and audio compression quality also improving, offering lessons via video conferencing services such as Skype is becoming a more and more viable option. It certainly is something for piano teachers to consider.
So, I’ve been doing some research to see what I could unearth about the set-up, feasibility, and success of Skype lessons. Here’s what I found:
- Sfrack’s thoughts on Skype lessons on her blog.
- This article is somewhat outdated already (2008) in its mentions of technology, but contains some interesting thoughts about the future of Skype lessons.
- This YouTube video is an interview with Kristin Shoemaker, a piano teacher who Skypes with students in Africa!
- Here’s another YouTube video which shows further possibilities for Skype lessons using Music Reader software.
- Valerie Kampmeier from the Music Teachers Helper blog recently wrote an article about how Skype lessons are going so far with a student. She is thorough in pointing out some pros and cons.
- Natalie at the Music Matters Blog is currently teaching a student in Germany via Skype! Check out this article to read more about it.
- Here’s an introductory YouTube video created by a music teacher who gives Skype lessons.
- Here’s a string player who offers violin/viola lessons via Skype. Her website has a very nice page about Skype lessons.
- Shirley Kirsten has posted quite a few blog posts recently with video samples showing how she conducts Skype lessons. Here is one example.
So, what are your thoughts?
Do you think Skype is a viable option as a way for independent music teachers to offer lessons? What are the biggest adjustments or changes that the teacher and student would have to make in order for Skype lessons to be successful? What pros and cons can you identify? Would you ever offer lessons via Skype?
Leave your comments below.
Update from Joy: I’ve decided to take the plunge and start offering live online piano lessons! Check out the link to read more about me as a teacher and about how online piano lessons work.