Simple and Inexpensive Setup
It's very simple to get started. All you need is the following:
(PC or Mac)
A high-speed internet connection (DSL, Fios, or faster)
A webcam (you must be able to transmit video and audio without a headset)
Skype or Google +
Your own musical instrument
How It Works
Webcam lessons function similarly to traditional private lessons. The student interacts with the teacher live in real time over the computer, regardless of distance! Students are able to play their instrument and receive direct feedback from Mr. Chambers. Your teacher is also able to play and demonstrate techniques live, or can create demonstration videos which the student will view online. The webcam studio also has instant messaging, a whiteboard, can display online videos, and has an interactive document interface where teacher and student can edit text in real time onscreen.
Webcam lessons are extremely cost-effective. There is very little overhead for either the student or the teacher, so the price you pay for lessons is going straight to instruction, not for a music studio or retail store to skim off the top.
Everything that can be done in a traditional face-to-face lesson can be done online with two exceptions:
can not physically assist the student with posture, fingerings,
and instrument maintenance and repair issues.
The student and teacher can not play duets together due to connection latency, or "lag" between computers.
that, anything the students' webcam can see, the teacher can see.
Anything picked up by the student's microphone can be heard by
the teacher, and the sound quality across my webcam studio is
Typical Skype Music Lesson Breakdown
Every Skype Music lesson is custom made to suite the students needs, but this is the standard breakdown of how a Skype music lesson would work.
1)As your Music teacher, I will let you know about the days activities. This may happen via email before your class, or at the end of your previous Skype lesson.
2)At the Skype lesson’s start time, you and I will log on to our Skype accounts and establish a live link.
3) I will use a combination of oral and written instructions to interact with you during your scheduled lesson time. The Skype chat window will be used to provide written materials and instructions and the share screen functionality will be used as the blackboard.
4) At the conclusion of each of your Skype Music lessons, I will give you a homework assignment designed to help you internalize the material covered in the Music lesson.
As your Skype Music teacher, I will help you adjust the curriculum based on your evolving needs and goals. You may cantact me through email if you have questions about your lessons, or for a small fee you can schedule a Skype consultation if you feel a face to face explanation would work better for you. I look forward to working with you to make sure your Skype Music lessons lead to your dream of learning how to make Music become a reality.
What the Experts Say about Online Music Lessons
Check out this article in the New York Times
My take on over-the-internet trumpet and brass music lessons.
With the ever-present dawn of new technology, sometimes it’s really hard for me to get all excited over the latest and greatest gadget to hit the market these days. Although, I have had a lot of gadget geek friends go all googley-eyed over some recent unveilings. I am definitely one of these people who say, “let’s wait and see how much the price drops” before we go running to local shop or estore. Furthermore, I am forever looking at a new technology or gadget with a large degree of skepticism, evaluating its direct benefit for me – a REAL benefit – not a starry-eyed, hopeful, “that’s cool” benefit. And it was with this skepticism that I viewed the video chat music lesson when it started to make its appearance a few of years ago.
I started taking online music lessons with ******* about the same time that many teachers were making switch from Windows Instant Messenger to Skype as their preferred video chat utility. He had already been giving online lessons for about a year and said that he was able to accomplish virtually all of his teaching tasks over the internet (pun intended ;) ). When he heard the skepticism in my voice he touted the unique benefits of online music lessons:
with a specific teacher even when they don’t live in your
Transportation issues are eliminated (really important in the metropolitan areas)
Travel time and gas money are saved
Rescheduling a lesson is less difficult
No lesson time is wasted setting up, packing up, coming in or going out
For parents, no need for childcare or lugging kids to your lesson
Those are all great and important benefits for me, but the nagging question was still, “how is the video and sound fidelity?” I mean, I am taking music lessons, and I want my teacher to be able to analyze my playing both visually and aurally, right? To this Bruce said that it is obviously not the same as being in the room with your student. However, the fidelity is high enough so that the benefits of online music lessons outweigh the fidelity loss, and with broadband connections, there is less of a sound delay then when using a cell phone (something that still drives me CRAZY!!!). Then he dropped the real bomb for me: he said, “let’s have a lesson, on the house, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.” And so it all began…
I’ve been with my teacher and online trumpet lessons for a little over two years now, and I couldn’t be happier. Except for an occasional high internet traffic day, our connection never even hiccups, let alone crashes or is distracting in any way (pixilation, etc.). I encourage all developing trumpet and brass players to give online lessons a chance before you discount it for whatever reason may be a stumbling block for you.
"“Never forget: it’s HOW you practice, WHAT you practice and WHEN you practice that counts.”"— Claude Gordon