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Brad361
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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MarkFoster
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My teacher and I use Zoom and sometimes Google Meet. We need to take into account current circumstances. It's great that modern technologies allow using different tools and resources, e.g. https://assignmentbro.com/us/law-assignment-help, for learning. As I'm a student at the law department and also visit music lessons, online platforms are really helpful, for those who want to get professional assignments help or get new knowledge.
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A “progress report”, since I started the thread:

For me, Facetime works better than Zoom; audio is somewhat better.
I do generally play along with students in normal lessons, but teaching virtually it’s very difficult to do that, between the slight time lag and volume levels. Especially with beginners, I see this as a fairly significant negative.

I do notice that the students I have who are attending school online only are considerably behind those attending classes in person. Why? I don’t know for certain, but I think it’s much easier for a kid to sort of “hide out” when attending class online.

Virtual teaching of lessons is most definitely better than no lessons, but I think kids are being shortchanged, and not just regarding band class. Locally there are reports of much higher numbers of failing grades in public schools.

Brad
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supercow216
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2021 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I am a trumpet student who take zoom lessons regularly for a year now.

I use zoom uniquely for lessons. The smoothness of audio, which I think is the most important, is way better than Teams, Skype or Google Talk. I attends many seminars online and zoom have been consistantly the best (but my work place doesn't like them because of security concerns).

Overall, the audio quality is good enough for my teacher to distinguish articulations and expressions (and know when I don't breath enough). We are still focusing on fundamentals, slow himms and Arban (now in the public domain), so it is quite effective.

What I miss is duet. My previous teacher sometimes play piano or euph along. Also I would like to see how jazz lessons would be without real time interactions, other than prescriptions of homeworks (chords, scales, transcripts,...).
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victorhaskins
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2021 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brad361 wrote:
A “progress report”, since I started the thread:

For me, Facetime works better than Zoom; audio is somewhat better.
I do generally play along with students in normal lessons, but teaching virtually it’s very difficult to do that, between the slight time lag and volume levels. Especially with beginners, I see this as a fairly significant negative.

I do notice that the students I have who are attending school online only are considerably behind those attending classes in person. Why? I don’t know for certain, but I think it’s much easier for a kid to sort of “hide out” when attending class online.

Virtual teaching of lessons is most definitely better than no lessons, but I think kids are being shortchanged, and not just regarding band class. Locally there are reports of much higher numbers of failing grades in public schools.

Brad


Sometimes I'll record things for my students to play with (since I would usually play with them on trumpet or piano during lessons in person). I'll give the count off verbally on the recording and then they could simulate a duet to some degree. Email it to them ahead of a lesson so they can practice with it. Then, if it's a duet, I'll record the other part so they can switch.

And it makes sense that kids aren't doing as well with virtual instruction (in general)--music (and a variety of other arts) is something that needs to be transmitted via human vibes in person. There's a difference between receiving information digitally and receiving the information from a human spirit. The same goes for drawing, sewing, cooking...you can figure them out from a written instructions or a video, but being in the kitchen/at the machine with another person showing you is a whole other thing. That can't be replicated.
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EBjazz
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2021 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Students can play along with you, however what you hear will be behind. I'll mute them if it's screwing me up. This would only be once they can play something well and want to play with you.

Eb
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Jeff_Purtle
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EBjazz wrote:
Students can play along with you, however what you hear will be behind. I'll mute them if it's screwing me up. This would only be once they can play something well and want to play with you.

Eb


That's the one issue I don't think can ever be done well online. There are physical limits because light and electricity only travel so fast plus you have lag time with the network switching from one place to another on the internet and the error correction that insures all the data makes it from one point to another. Elon Musk's new satellite internet might cut that lag time down even more though.

I've heard some band directors mention turning their sound off to not hear the students while they conduct. I don't think that's a good solution.

The only solution I can think of is to record yourself and send the sound file and have them play with that sound file so you then can listen to tell if they can really stay in time and in tune with what they are hearing. I usually have my students play with a metronome on their end so I can hear if they are in sync with the metronome and if the internet isn't as consistent, which rarely is an issue with audio over FaceTime.

Apple and various streaming platforms usually give priority to the audio because our brains can tolerate the video dropping frames and not noticing it as much as when the audio has issues.

About 10+ years there was a software plugin that let you link two DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) like LogicProX or ProTools and keep them in sync with MIDI time code and do video chat and remotely control the other DAW. The recorded audio would be referenced to the MIDI code then when mixing it could be lined-up. It was a solution for some things but still not so useful for teaching online or conducting a group in real time online.

Jeff
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Jeff Purtle
Trumpet Lessons Online since 2004, teaching since 1983
MultiTouch book on Claude Gordon
+1 864-354-3223 iPhone w/ FaceTime
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