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Bach with New Ears

The recent discovery of a new portrait of J. S. Bach opens up to the question: if we can see Bach with new eyes, how can we listen to Bach with new ears? One of the most remarkable contributions to the idea that there is a world of Bach on the piano after Glenn Gould is the recording of three Bach concertos by French pianist David Fray. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Teaching with Skype  (Read 6553 times)
kawaigs40
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« on: January 23, 2009, 05:31:56 PM »

Any teachers out there give piano lessons using Skype?   Pros/Cons?
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allemande
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2009, 01:40:27 PM »

I personally think it's a ridiculous idea.
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lostinidlewonder
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2009, 12:52:54 PM »

Hey if someone wants to pay me I'd do it Smiley lol
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dan101
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2009, 08:21:34 PM »

There are websites businesses that are into that sort of technology. My feeling is that its time may come, but there's just something about 'in person' communication that can't be replaced by the Skype setup.

Having said that, I am a fan of Skype as a means of communicating with far away family and friends.
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a-sharp
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2009, 04:06:51 AM »

Hey if someone wants to pay me I'd do it Smiley lol

I'm with you on this one! Wink
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avguste
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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2009, 06:27:24 AM »

agreed on that one.Pay me and I will do it Smiley
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aslanov
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2009, 06:39:52 AM »

There's a major problem here. Your quality of teaching will be limited by the quality of both YOUR and your students microphone and speakers AND your internet connections. not to mention the webcams...what a horrible idea.
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a-sharp
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2009, 03:26:25 AM »

It's only horrible if you're able to eat & pay your bills, or better, have a thriving business. If not, one might consider lots of things that might be otherwise horrible. All things are relative.... Wink
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lostinidlewonder
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2009, 06:50:18 AM »

Charging for a lesson over Skype would have to be cheaper than a lesson in person. So with the money you save you could easily invest in better quality equipment. I have listened to people over MSN and Skype and offered suggestions, its not that difficult. Better to try it out before you make a decision.
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kawaigs40
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2009, 12:07:10 PM »

Seems to me that the student would already be saving on transportation, gas and time.  I wouldn't reduce the rate.
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keypeg
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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2009, 03:49:34 PM »

I had two lessons via Skype - real consultation-type lessons, not just tweaking of a piece.  In such a case the equipment of both parties has to be adequate since the student must also be able to see and/or hear what is indicated.

The purpose of the lesson should be planned out ahead of time, and both parties need to be organized and prepare ahead of time.  I learned how to use the equipment before we went ahead.  Ours was primarily in a visual context, so I tested what the other person would see by placing objects where I would be.

Expenses (incurred) by a client (student) should not be a consideration in fees for services.  The quality of service, expertise of the service provider, true expenses on the part of the service provider, and market rates - that is what determines a fee.

If you are simply listening to another person playing, then I don't see why it has to be on-line.  Submitting a video or audio would be easier and more effective since less of the uncontrolled factors would creep in.

Quote
Aslanov:
 Your quality of teaching will be limited by the quality of both YOUR and your students microphone and speakers AND your internet connections. not to mention the webcams...what a horrible idea.

A-sharp's response:
It's only horrible if you're able to eat & pay your bills, or better, have a thriving business. If not, one might consider lots of things that might be otherwise horrible. All things are relative....
The purpose of teaching is to help another person learn or acquire a skill - not just to earn a living.  If the equipment and conditions will not allow true teaching and learning to take place (Aslanov's concern) then it is indeed horrible.
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a-sharp
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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2009, 05:21:24 AM »

While we would all like to think of our purpose as altruistic, we still have to earn a living (unless you are otherwise fortunate), so one cannot entirely remove that element. This is why it is a job, or a career, vs. a volunteer position.

Surely I never suggested that earning a living was the ONLY reason for teaching music (or anything else for that matter)... (online or otherwise). If all one cared about was making money, surely they'd choose a different career! Wink

I think it's cool you found a way to make that the situation work.
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keypeg
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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2009, 06:08:19 AM »

I was not suggesting altruism.  One person said it was a bad idea because of poor equipment and the impression I had is that essentially teaching could not really occur.  You then stated that as long as money could be earned it would be ok.  Perhaps I misunderstood both posts.

In regards to my experience, the situation worked to some degree because of the huge amount of effort that was put in by both parties.  It was nothing like a lesson in real person. You had to squeeze yourself into a corner in order to fit into a camera shot and I found that difficult and unnatural as a student.  It was the only choice open.


KP
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a-sharp
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« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2009, 05:11:20 AM »

That's not exactly what I said... I was eluding to being so desperate as to needing to eat... that's a bit different than saying 'as long as money can be earned it's OK."
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a-sharp
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« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2009, 05:22:26 AM »

As an indirect example - I currently have students who, under better personal circumstances, I might otherwise consider dropping - even for their sake - however, I am not in a position right now to do that. I suspect the perhaps - I am not the only person who would consider a less-than-ideal situation if it meant  being able to make ends meet and still be able to do work in our chosen field. Quite frankly, I am a 43 y/o single parent, with a roommate I'd rather not have to have, a full-time college student commuting 60 miles/day, 4 days/week, I have 13 students, but could use 18 in order to be "in the black" and not be actually going into futher debt, paranoid from month to month of the possibility of losing my home that's been in the family since 1942 - if someone suggested they needed a few lessons via Skype, you would not finding me turning it down, simple because it was a less than perfect teaching situation. If they want me, and they are willing to pay me, and if I thought I could help them, however it could happen, be it Skype or whatever - I would jump on it.

That said - If was independently wealthy, didn't have to worry about *eating or paying my bills* (which is what I mentioned), OR, married with a spouse who shared ANY of my expenses, I might reconsider it. BUT, it would depend on who and what, exactly was needed.

Also - I have seen some in-home situations that were borderline "horrible," so I'm still not sure this would be something I would consider to be such - especially seeing as it has been done - at least with some success.

I hope this helps to clear things up.

I would LOVE to be able to turn work like this down, doing something I LOVE to do, simply because it was "horrible."

that is all I'm saying...

Cheers!
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a-sharp
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« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2009, 05:29:45 AM »

ps - I find it more important to turn work down when the student has NO instrument whatsoever to practice on... Given how I teach, this doesn't make sense at all - so, even in my situation, it's not like I don't turn down work - but a few lessons via Skype? I don't think so. Set me up, please & Pay Pal me the $$. lol

I don't mean to joke, but, seriously. I am currently that desperate I suppose. I love all the people who aren't, and someday I won't be, but this is me in this moment.

Sorry - call it horrible - that's JMNSHO, sad as it is. Smiley

... Please note... I would consider this for someone who *already knew me* and had had lessons with me... and really wanted MY feedback. But for a new student? No way. I would help/encourage them find a teacher in their area - cuz that would just be silly not to... I hope this makes sense.
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keypeg
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« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2009, 11:56:13 AM »

You said an important thing:
Quote
they want me, and they are willing to pay me, and if I thought I could help them ....
And hey, if you were in the black, filthy rich, and some student had no access to teachers, all the more reason.  Some people are in rather less than ideal circumstances, as you have pointed out.   Smiley  <3  Thanks for explaining. 
KP
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lostinidlewonder
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« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2009, 12:43:13 PM »

I've never asked for payment when people play for me over the net, only because when I am online I usually have free time and would be more than happy to help people out with music, it is afterall a very interesting topic for me.

 However I don't take these sessions very serious, what I mean is that I wouldn't go into detail to get to know the persons way of thinking or their hands completely, that is something that takes many lessons and is very hard work for me as a teacher as well as the student. But it is great fun and I don't know why people do it more Wink

I have to tell some people on my MSN who always ask for advice not to be offended if I say I don't feel like it or have no time to listen to them. I am sure they all understand afterall, you get what you pay for Smiley
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rachelj
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« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2009, 07:03:50 PM »

Interesting that I see this post here! I was just talking to my husband about the feasibility of offering this service. I'm very interested in trying it. I bet there are advanced pianists in places where they might have trouble finding people to play for. They might want a consultation with someone long-distance to help prepare for an audition or something.
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pianoteacher09
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« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2009, 09:03:45 PM »

I haven't used Skype to teach, but I have for personal use. I suggest doing a short-term trial run with one of your current students who's up for a little experimenting before offering it to everyone. Its hard to tell how successful something like this will be without a little market testing first.
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avguste
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« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2009, 03:06:38 PM »

well,I am actually thinking about offering lessons over Skype once I upgrade my computer,although I could do it now,but I would have to talk to the student on the phone cause my mic connection is not working.
But I think I will wait till I get my new computer and it will give me time to see how much I would charge and such
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cjp_piano
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« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2009, 01:03:17 PM »

I've thought about it, but only for isolated circumstances. For example, if there was a blizzard. Since I live 35 miles from where I teach, it would be great to just sit down and Skype with my student instead!
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