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Tips on Improving Your Video Lesson

By now, more than a few of you have opted for the virtual lesson. The live video music class has it’s advantages and it’s short falls. Once we are passed this phase, we can still use video lessons as tool during more ordinary times. When the student can’t come in but is still at home, lessons while at the cottage, lessons when the student is sick but not bed ridden, etc.

Make up lessons maybe completely avoided this way but classes can also be made up this way in the future.
We are using www.zoom.us

The Upsides

Of course the obvious upside of the video lessons is being able to continue them through this interruption. Going forward, the upside will be in the form of making attending lessons weekly even easier.
One hidden benefit of music lessons via internet video, is that it is great for the ears. Our ears are an obvious, but sometimes overlooked, learning sense.
Hearing the teacher play the piece or passage correctly, combined with watching the music, really reinforces the co-relationship between what we see and what we hear and what we play.

Another upside, we are hoping for, is getting away some families and students away from confusing the lesson with the practicing. When I hear a parent or student refer their lesson as ‘practice’ (as in Johnny can’t make it to his music practice, see you next week) It may be a slip of the tongue in this sports oriented world, but it may also be indicative of thinking lesson time IS the practice.

Time Lag

The number one difference and downside is the time lag (AKA latency). This prevents the teacher and student playing at the same time. This can vary but is always there. We have souped up our internet connection at the school but here is what you can do at home:

  • Wired connections are best but that is only practical for portable instruments like guitar, ukulele, sax, etc.
  • Avoid using a phone, the screens are just too small and the speakers too poor for students to see and here the teacher
  • Move the tablet or laptop so the teacher can see the student and their hands (and feet in the case of drum students) and the student can still see the screen.
  • With younger students and the more prone to distraction types, a parent really needs to be near by.
  • To combat lag, stutter and freezing, make sure that no other heavy WiFi resource is hogging bandwidth. That means Netflix, YouTube, general streaming, etc.
  • Where possible use plug in ear buds (the kind with the built in mic) this can combat a number of sound issues
  • Typically these lessons are, demonstration by the student, critique by the teacher, corrected playing by the student, demonstrating by the teacher etc.
  • Where we are seeing the most issues are voice and drum set lessons. With drum lessons, acoustic drums overload the mics on tablets and laptops. With voice, the teacher is always the accompanist and since real time isn’t possible this can present some issues. For drums we may need to switch to practice pads or just sticks on a pillow for a few lessons. For voice students, we are going to make some vocal warm-up videos and post them on our YouTube. During your lesson you can sing a long with them for the teacher to hear. Hopefully we can find karaoke style backing tracks in each student’s key, send links and those can be used during lessons as well.

Thanks to all for sticking with us through these changing days! Your support means so much to us!
Hopefully these few tips can help us make the video lessons a decent replacement to real life lessons until real life returns to us.

Take care, Robert Burton

Tax Receipts

Because the federal liberal government removed the tax credit for the arts, we haven’t arbitrarily sent out tax receipts to families with children enrolled in our music school. There is a tiny provincial credit that a few are eligible for. If you still want a tax receipt for music lessons, please send us an email.

Holiday Hours

That time is upon us when families of Winnipeg, Canada and most of the world, get together to celebrate Christmas and/or Hanukkah and of course, New Years.

We are close for lessons from December 20th until January the 2nd.

Lessons resume January the 3rd

We are still answering our phone through the is period and you can still buy music lessons for gifts via our on-line store

Lessons as Usual Nov 11

Here in Manitoba, Remembrance Day is a half day holiday. It is not a statutory holiday in as much as not every province has it and federal employees still have to work. So your mail gets delivered and there are music lessons.

As a rule we are closed all federal holidays March Break and Christmas Break

Lessons As Usual Halloween.

We are still open for your regularly scheduled music lesson on October 31st

Why you may ask?

  • Not all of our students are kids
  • The younger kids have lessons before dinner and before going out trick or treating
  • The older kids (who maybe shouldn’t be going out) have their lessons later
  • It is not an actual holiday. School work and business’ are still open.
  • It’s only a half hour

Come in your costume!

We’ll have candy for you!

Because we have 5 full studios running and our teachers are here, there is no way we can accommodate ANY make up lessons.

Regular Lessons Resume September 3rd!

We are back at our regular hours and lessons schedule as of Tuesday September the 3rd. If you haven’t registered for the Sept-June session, you still can!
Because all our lessons are private, you can sign up for music classes any time of the year. But if you have specific needs like a particular day and/or time you need then sooner is better than later as those good times get snapped up quickly!

Summer Hours

We are open for music lessons in the summer. We reduce the schedule to keep them off the summer weekends.

We are open Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday from 4pm-7pm.

These are only for the 5 weeks of July and August.

If you have any questions please call 204-487-3664 or write info@riverheightsmusicschool.com as we are answering our phone and emails outside of those hours.

Music Lesson Registration Winnipeg

Music Lesson Registration Now Open

The River Heights School of music is accepting new and returning students for our September to June 2019-20 Music Teaching Year.

We are also accepting students for our Summer Session.

Come to the best private music school in Winnipeg. Study Piano, Voice Guitar and much more!

Closed Monday May 20th

While we are open Friday the 17th and Saturday the 18th of the May Long Weekend (Victoria Day) we are closed our usual Sunday (the 19th) and closed the holiday Monday.

Reminder that we are closed all stat (federal) holidays as well as Spring and Christmas breaks