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 email inbox, and print any music that I send for us to use during the lesson.
- From experience so far, Skype on a laptop seems to be the best option. Please contact me and ask for my Skype name if we’re not in touch there already. FaceTime is a viable alternative if you have an Apple device, although it doesn’t appear to be as stable as Skype.
- It’s just about possible to do a video link lesson with a phone, but bear in mind that if I’m demonstrating something using my overhead camera, 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 wants 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 and your practice notebook handy; you’ll need to mark up your music scores, and make a list of things to practise.
- Skype and FaceTime are built around the assumption that when one person is talking the other is listening – they’re not designed as an environment for music lessons. 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.
- 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.
- Either at the beginning or the end of the lesson, I will send you a link requesting payment. All you have to do is enter your card details.