Due to the present extraordinary circumstances, I’m now teaching exclusively online. Please feel free to use my contact page if you’d like to set up a video call piano lesson.
What you will need
- Before the lesson, please check your messages, and print any music that I send for us to use during the lesson.
- From experience so far, Google Meet seems to provide the most stable environment, but Skype on a laptop seems to be the next best option. Zoom is another viable alternative, but FaceTime only provides a limted learning environment.
- It’s possible to do a video link lesson with a phone, but bear in mind that if I’m demonstrating something using a screen share, there probably won’t be sufficient definition for you to see clearly what I’m doing. If possible, a tablet device, or laptop would let you see better.
- You’ll need to find a good position for your device. A laptop probably needs to be at about the same height as the piano keyboard. I normally use a good sturdy music stand, but, in the spirit of make-do-and-mend, even an ironing board would do!
- Position the camera so that it shows your face and hands, and make sure the piano keyboard is visible too. The room needs to be well lit, and don’t have a window in the picture as during the day, this will create a kind of halo effect. Ideally, your screen should look something like this:
- Have a pencil handy; you’ll need to mark up your music scores. I will send out practice objectives in a message after your lesson.
- None of the video call applications are designed for making music and therefore have limitations; they are all built around the assumption that when one person is talking the other is listening. This means that if the student carries on trying to work something out, it is impossible for them to hear the teacher’s response. So, in this learning environment especially, it’s vitally important that the teacher gives clear instructions, the student listens carefully and follows the instruction as closely as they can, then stop and listen for the teacher’s response. It’s also important that there is no background noise (for example, TV, washing machine, blender or coffee grinder!) that might confuse the software.
- If you’re using the desktop version of Skype, please go to settings and switch off automatic adjustment, and set the level about 7 or 8, like this:
- The lesson should take place in a public room.
- Students up to the age of 18 must have their lesson using a responsible adult’s account, and under their supervision. Younger learners will need an adult to assist in a practical way during the lessons; pointing to notes on the page, or keys on the keyboard, for example.
- At the end of the lesson, I will send you a link requesting payment. All you have to do is enter your card details.