Online lessons are a relatively new choice for music education, made possible in recent years by improving speed and quality of video conferencing, software and the advent of smartphones.
If you've used apps like Skype or Facetime before, you'll find the transition to online lessons fairly straight-forward - and might actually find it more convenient than travelling to my studio!
While of course there are downsides and a little extra patience is needed, it is definitely more beneficial to keep going with online lessons rather than no lessons at all!
Online music lessons don't require much more than your device, instrument and an internet connection.
A laptop or iPad/tablet with a built-in webcam is ideal. Smartphones can work okay, but I wouldn't recommend these if you have another option.
Ideally, place your device on a surface such as a high chair, table, music stand or tripod
to one side of the piano at an angle. Alternatively, you can put your device on the music
stand of your piano, as long as there's still space for your music too!
Position your device so the webcam is at eye level - think about how I sit next to you
during the lesson, that's the ideal place for the camera to be. It works best if I'm able to
see both the student and the piano.
Set up your device so I can see your face and the top half of your body when standing. It usually works fine to place your device on a table, window sill or the top of your piano. Be aware that if you often play and sing, I'll likely ask you to accompany yourself during these sessions.
Please also have another device available that can play backing tracks for us if needed - you could use a laptop for the lesson and keep a phone to one side to play music from if we need to.
Please setup and check things are working before your lesson! If you need help with this, I'm happy to give you a 10 minute online setup session.
I, as many of you living out in the Waitakere ranges often experience a less-than-ideal internet speed and connection. However, if you're normally able to do things like streaming Netflix, your connection should be fine.
For reasurance, you can test your internet speed here: https://www.speedtest.net
All online lessons take place over the Zoom app - it's free and easy to download and use.
I'll send you an email invite to each lesson - all you need to do is click on the link in your email and the session will open in your Zoom app.
You'll find Zoom in the app store, or online here: https://zoom.us/download
Help with the Zoom App:
This is a challenging and uncertain time for many of us, and as we become more isolated in some respects, we can take advantage of some new ways of doing things and connecting!
I really believe that keeping in touch with music, continuing to play, be creative and learn new things can help to both keep a sense of normality and give an amazing outlet to cope with a new, different way of life.
Thankyou for continuing to support me and my little studio, and please reach out if there is anything I can do to help.
Let's keep building an awesome, strong and supportive musical community!