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#2552156 - 06/26/16 08:36 AM Essay about music lessons via Skype  
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indigo_dave Offline
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On a site called Pianodao is a piece by one of our posters here (Mark Polishook) about piano lessons via Skype. In my experience, latency is the big downside. On the upside, Skype is free and easy to use, and is a miracle when you consider alternatives, say 30 years ago.


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#2552167 - 06/26/16 10:34 AM Re: Essay about music lessons via Skype [Re: indigo_dave]  
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dmd Offline
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Originally Posted by indigo_dave
On a site called Pianodao is a piece by one of our posters here (Mark Polishook) about piano lessons via Skype. In my experience, latency is the big downside. On the upside, Skype is free and easy to use, and is a miracle when you consider alternatives, say 30 years ago.


Well, latency is only an issue if you are trying to play along with your instructor. Otherwise, the latency only delays the start of what the other person hears. After that, it is not a factor.

The downside I believe is present is that the sound quality is lacking and the instructor is not hearing the sound that you are producing. Maybe not a biggie, but a factor.

On the upside, it gives all of us access to instructors that we could never have dreamed of having.


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#2552228 - 06/26/16 04:38 PM Re: Essay about music lessons via Skype [Re: indigo_dave]  
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Dfrankjazz Online content
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Very nice comprehensive article)

#2552230 - 06/26/16 05:19 PM Re: Essay about music lessons via Skype [Re: indigo_dave]  
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keystring Offline
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An excellent and comprehensive article. Thank you for sharing it.

One thought I've had recently has cropped up again here. Namely that when we think of Skype lessons, we tend to think within the parameters of the traditional lessons that they are "replacing". In a traditional lesson, the student and teacher get together for 30 - 60 minutes in real time and they do their thing during that time. In between the student practices and the teacher might do some preparing for the next lesson, or just wait for the next lesson. So we do the same thing on Skype, with a few extra challenges, but the inconvenience of travel nixed. But in fact it is a new medium with new possibilities.

For example, whoever can access Skype also has a computer and Internet connection. A student can record his playing or video his playing and send it via private Youtube or similar; a teacher can create video lessons and video responses. Links to these can be sent by e-mail or otherwise, and the other person can study them as often as he likes, in his own time. Right away you get away from the problem of poor sound transmission, latency etc. A student can also be assigned listening to what is out there.

If by doing so, some of the teaching is not done in real time, then maybe the fee structure can be figured out differently. But the point is that it doesn't have to be totally the traditional format just because that's how lessons have always been done.

There are also some hybrids emerging. Personally for another instrument I have gotten involved in ArtistWorks this year, which provides a platform for selected teachers, and you pay a monthly, half-year, or annual subscription to have access to pre-recorded video lessons, plus supporting material. In addition you will get a video response for any homework (playing) you submit, and get to see the homework and responses of / to fellow students. I have also seen similar things set up privately by a few teachers. Jaak Sikk is one, and I'm sure there are a few others. This brings us into something like masterclass + private lesson of sorts.

#2552305 - 06/27/16 01:45 AM Re: Essay about music lessons via Skype [Re: keystring]  
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Nahum Offline
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The lessons through Skype have a very big advantage: no need to go anywhere to get the study materials (well, not all); and last but not least: with notation software, the teacher himself can create specific training material for a particular student - what I am doing constantly.

Last edited by Nahum; 06/27/16 01:47 AM.
#2556036 - 07/11/16 09:35 PM Re: Essay about music lessons via Skype [Re: indigo_dave]  
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As I recall from my brief 4 lessons with Skype one end of the connection has latency and the other doesn't. I think it is the caller who ends up with the short straw. So it is probably best for the teacher to call the student if they don't like the fingers not matching the sounds. I had to give up my lessons because they were ridiculous, but that's another story.

#2556230 - 07/12/16 03:09 PM Re: Essay about music lessons via Skype [Re: indigo_dave]  
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Mark Polishook Offline
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As I point out in my essay, my online experiences have been nothing except for wonderful. That's not to say the technology's perfect because it's not. But in my essay I also cover one situation where the connection with a student in Iran was absolutely miserable. But we made that situation work.

Given that I've had such great experiences on Skype, just had two yesterday for that matter, and given that that so many other here have as as well, I wonder if the miserableness of it that many describe has to do with factors other than latency.

Or it may be exactly latency but for whatever reason, the student/teacher combination in any particular circumstance doesn't know how to either work with it or solve it, one or the other.
I've said this before, and I think it has some meaning - I taught for decades in classrooms and in situ in studios with students in studios. I know exactly why that's desirable and am not lacking in experience in that area (he says modestly). But I've also taught for several years now on Skye and found it to be a remarkable medium.

But it really and totally depends on connection - connection meaning collaboration - between the student and teacher.

F4tunes81 .... If you want, send me a PM and we'll arrange a Skype session w/out charge. I don't care if you continue on with me or not! But I'd like to discuss with you online, pianist to pianist, why it's not working for you! To be sure: No presssure to take up the offer and totally your choice!

To be honest, an online chat with you would fall into the category of research for me. I'm the "online artist-in-residence" at the University of Maine at Augusta, so that's a university music program that's put it's name behind the capabilities of online teaching. My sessions with students there have gone well, as have the other Skype experiences I explain in my essay.

If you haven't read the essay, perhaps it'll make interesting reading for you ... But that's up to you. Anyway, send me a PM if you want to chat on Skype piano to piano, as it were! Am happy to try and help you with it and as I said, I'd like to see firsthand where the unsolveable problems are ....

And it may be just that I'm eternally optimistic ..but would love to chat with you, as I said, piano to piano, to see what kind of problems you're encountering.

#2556270 - 07/12/16 07:10 PM Re: Essay about music lessons via Skype [Re: indigo_dave]  
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acacmilan Offline
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Skype piano lesson or music lesson work quite well from my personally experience.
First, there is no more feeling of nervous in missing an extremely expensive long distance call.
Second, you can feel more comfortable than face to face music lesson as there is no way other people can directly hurt you.
It is true that it may lack some of the connection between a teacher and a student, but no matter what it is working for most of the students and it is the only way most of us can study from a good teacher or even a master.
Believe it or not, once you tried it with a qualified teacher, you may not want to go back to traditional lessons.

More professional tips regarding learning to play piano better in:

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