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Brad361
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Joined: 16 Dec 2007
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Location: Houston, TX.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 6:04 am    Post subject: Virtual teaching Reply with quote

Given our situation today, and I don’t see it changing anytime soon, like many teachers I have been required to teach “virtually”, in my case, teaching private lessons.

I’ve been doing it on a limited basis all summer, now I’m scheduling students, who I would have been teaching in the public school system, for virtual lessons. I’m aware of some of the inherent challenges, as I’ve experienced them this summer, but I thought I would toss this out to those of you who have been doing this for some time, ie, teaching private lessons via skype.
Just looking for ideas and suggestions here, thanks guys and ladies.

Brad
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

use zoom
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Troy Sargent
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Joined: 13 May 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd highly recommend zoom. They are the most robust as far as sound quality. Here is a page on my website I send to my students if anyone needed instructions on how to turn on the higher quality audio as its not enabled by default.

http://tsargentmusic.com/lessons/zoom-settings-for-online-lessons/

I have also found screen sharing any sheet music we are playing to be very useful especially with younger students so they aren't fiddling with books so much. You can also draw on it which is great if you are pointing out specific issues or working on specific sections.

There is a lot that isn't perfect about this solution but overall I actually haven't noticed a huge disruption in one on one lessons. Group sectionals on the other hand do look quite a bit different.
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mafields627
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Joined: 09 Nov 2001
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Location: AL

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're teaching any kids that use Essential Elements there is now an online version that might be cool to have to screen share with. It can be purchased from the Hal Leonard website.
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BrianBetts
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2020 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Virtual teaching is not a bad thing.
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Bill Ortiz
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Joined: 02 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2020 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been using FaceTime with students that use Mac and Zoom for everyone else-had good results with both.
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Brad361
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Joined: 16 Dec 2007
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Location: Houston, TX.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BrianBetts wrote:
Virtual teaching is not a bad thing.


Thanks, very helpful.

Brad
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HaveTrumpetWillTravel
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Joined: 30 Jan 2018
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Location: East Asia

PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Work on tech skills:
-screen sharing
-explaining playing with a microphone

Practice online teaching skills
-"I play then you play"
-Playing with metronome
-Help with tuning, etc.

Figure out what resources you have to share and wish to share:
-Public domain practice materials
-School resources

Figure out how you wish to assign homework and follow up:
-Recommended practice routine and what to prep for next lesson (or how to share recordings)

Other tools
-Consider using a timer so you and the student know when the lesson is done or almost done
-Have a back-up plan for terrible internet, for instance sending a message: "Please record A, B, and C and send them to me in this manner and I'll offer some feedback."

For internet lessons, a big part of it is having working internet and working around technical difficulties. Many teachers ask their students to get a certain type of mic, but I would just let them go and ask them to to use the best device they have available (phone, ipad, or computer).

Best of wishes on it! (Dad of a middle school student who's done some online lessons.)
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Jeff_Purtle
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2020 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’ve been teaching online since 2004 and played with video chat as early as 1994 with the beta versions of CU-SeeMe. It’s just another mode of communication and has to be treated like that or we will get frustrated like some have. Prior to that I became a Ham Radio operator and played with all the various modes in that hobby. I remember telling someone in 1996 that I would have eventually teach online and the reaction I got.

There are limits that will always be there. No matter how fast the internet there will be lag. You can’t play along with students in sync. If that’s the way you teach then it will be frustrating. If you have a decent connection with 15 ms of lag then by the time the student plays with what they hear and it returns to you it will be 30 ms late. That can’t be completely overcome because of all the switching through the internet. There are ways to sync audio recording software through MIDI time code but lag is still an issue even with that.

What can be done well is to have the student play with a metronome to evaluate their sense of time and rhythm accuracy. It also can reveal if the internet is having issues if the metronome from their end isn’t steady.

Of course we are all using our ears so catching pitch and sound issues shouldn’t be hard. I sometimes discreetly grab a tuner to see if the student is sharp or flat and ask to look at their tuning slide to see if that might be an issue. Once I know thing are where they should be with that then it’s very similar to how I teach in person.

My way of teaching is more focused on showing the student how to practice a certain way and systematically work through various books in a complete practice routine. I want to see specific things so I tell them to stand a certain way with the camera and then that part is easy from that pint on.

Years ago I knew I wanted to be 100% portable and in the cloud so I scanned EVERYTHING I have. It’s over 50,000 pages of stuff. And probably much more now. I paid services to do that and did lots of it myself especially with delicate collectable old books. All those files are named to quickly locate and they are in multiple places in the cloud and backed up on multiple drives.

I am very specific for assignments with each student so at first I used a database program called FileMakerPro but that tied me to the computer with that software. I later re-designed my site and discovered what I wanted was expensive so I taught myself Drupal and eventually moved all student assignments into the website database under user accounts for each student. I now can pull-up a student and every single lesson on my iPhone and review what I’m doing with them and create the next assignment.

All I need is my trumpet, laptop and iPhone and I literally can teach from anyplace. I’ve taught at the beach and even taught from the back seat of a car driving from Miami to South Carolina. I used AirPods to hear better with that.

I personally prefer FaceTine to anything else because long ago when I started iChat was Apple’s solution and they try to keep improving the video and audio CODECs for high quality and low bandwidth. FaceTine gives priority to audio so if the bandwidth drops the video cuts the frame rate and keeps the audio working well then resumes as the connection improves. I have used Zoom but hate it for teaching a private lesson. Zoom is nice for a larger group talking sort of thing. Skype is what I usually use for PC and Linux people. Skype got worse when Microsoft bought it but it still works. At my home studio I usually have multiple mics and speakers and cameras to hear better. I rarely wear headphones because I want it to feel similar to teaching in person. At home I use nearfield speakers with the mids turned up which makes me hear harshness in the sound of the student more so I can be more aware of that.

At home I also have a 43” 4K TV connected to my MacBookPro. I project two giant pages of music on that when practicing. I also like being able to zoom in close on thei student’s face, which would be awkward in person. For that reason I like online better than in person. I still prefer starting a young beginner in person and I have even done that a couple times during this virus time because little kids are harder to keep focused online. I have some absolutely crazy stories of various things that have happened online and in person with lessons.

I have an external LogitechBrio webcam on a boom that can be moved around so I can stand and smell in lessons too. I got started using that when doing some clinics with multicam. For more clinic things I use Wirecast Studio Pro by Telestream and that does WAY more than Zoom can do.

Rethink how you teach.

Jeff
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dbacon
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Joined: 11 Nov 2001
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm very surprised at how well Private Lesson are going on Zoom, an efficient approach to teaching.
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