Virtual attendance to events, meetings, family gathering & education are here to stay!
The live video music lesson has its advantages and it’s short falls. In some cases they work wonderfully. We have found that with the more experienced and/or older students or parental involvement with younger or beginner students, the video learning format works well. Particularly if technical issues around, the quality of the device used (hint not a phone) and Wi-Fi connectivity are sorted out.
You can certainly try but young new beginners do not do well unless there is a parent right there, not to teach , but to keep the child on track, ask questions and other things a parent would do at an in person lesson.
Either way you can choose to never have a video lesson, Choose only video lessons or do a mix changing as your needs change
Some situations where the Video Music Lesson Might Be Preferred
- Out of Town Families
- Any situation where there is a tight schedule
- Transport problems
- Inclement Weather
- At the cottage, on vacation or at a relative’s home.
- When the student is sick but not bed ridden
Those formats are fine for what they are but they were designed for talking. Particularly one person talking and all others listening. We found that all sorts of settings had to be made so that MUSIC could be heard beyond the first few notes. Meeting software gives everyone the same size screen.
The System We Use is Designed for Music Lessons Only
Our video lessons
- requires no software download
- Peer to peer web based interface (doesn’t need to bounce off a server somewhere)
- the music settings are built right in
- the student views the teacher full screen
- the teacher views the student the same way.
Getting the most out of your Video Music Lessons
We have souped up our internet connection at the school and supplied all our music teachers with Laptops 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.
- Refresh your browser (IE close it and reopen it). Particularly if you have had it open for a long while
- If using Wi-Fi, park the device as close to the router as possible
- The Bigger the device’s screen the better the lesson experience!
- Avoid using a phone!
- Desktops and Laptops are best but even a tablet is better than a phone.
- 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.
- Use a dedicated room for the lesson. Some place where others won’t walk through or noise from an adjacent room will distract the student and/or clog the mic
- To combat lag, stutter and freezing, make sure that no other heavy Wi-Fi resource is hogging bandwidth. That means Netflix, YouTube, general streaming, etc.
- Where possible use plug in ear buds or headsets (the kind with the built in mic) this can combat a number of sound issues.
- In general, these lessons are, demonstration by the student, critique by the teacher, corrected playing by the student, demonstrating by the teacher etc.
Music is an Aural Experience
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, what we hear and what we play.
Differentiating between the weekly lesson and the daily practice.
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. The lesson is the lesson and the homework is the practicing! Tips on practicing.
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.
Newer music students have a harder time with the video format. Whether new to music lessons or new to a particular instrument, we find those building block fundamentals get lost.
If you have difficulty with the video lessons but don’t want to come in full time, you can opt to come in once in a while or or every other week to balance the learning.
Hopefully these few tips can help us make the video lessons a decent replacement to real life lessons until real life is returns to us.
River Heights School of Music
2025 Corydon Ave. #202