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Discussion Starter #1
I'm wondering what peoples thoughts are when comparing online lessons vs. in-persons. Obviously in-person is the ideal choice, but if you can receive lessons online via videos and Skype lessons, do you think it would create greater access for people to have a chance to learn an instrument?
 

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I have taken lessons in person for years and I have also taken online lessons. The advantages of in person are clear: there is no microphone to distort the sound so the teacher hears exactly what is coming out of the horn, the teacher can see things about how you hold the horn and blow that may not be evident on skype, there are no delays or connectivity issues caused by the network, etc. However, skype lessons allow you to access teachers who are some of the best around even if you live on the North Pole. I really enjoyed my lessons with Steve Neff and I hope to get back to them soon. I was skeptical at first but I really found that skype was not a big limitation during our sessions.

As for the "access" part, I am not sure what yo are referring to. I guess if you live in a rural area with no teachers than perhaps it would help. I think a skype lesson would be much harder for a beginner than an advanced student. I remember my fourth grade music teacher positioning my hands properly on the keys and you could not do that with skype.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Correct - "access" is referring to your geographic or even physical setting. It would be very convenient for people with mobility issues.

I think Skype lessons would definitely be for the intermediate to advanced player and not beginners for the reason you stated such as physically correcting hand positions and such. Some of the sound issues could be resolved with the type of mic you use if you're doing Skype lessons on a regular basis.

I wonder if anyone has tried it on Google hangouts.
 

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Hi Sharon

I've been teaching via Skype, Google Hangout and FaceTime for three years now, (I use whatever is most suitable for each student). As a teacher you really have to be super organised and design the lessons so that they work over Skype, (preparation of backing tracks, material to be printed for the lesson etc - you can't just grab a duet book and work through that!) Initially I went over to Skype so that I could keep teaching students from Northern Ireland when I moved to Cambridge, I hated leaving students I'd spent years working with, and when I needed to move, the technology enabled me to keep these students and add more from all over the world.

One great example was a student I teach who lives in Greece, (I'm in Cambridge). This student only physically 'met' me the morning of his grade 5 exam. I had been teaching him for over a year and he flew to Cambridge to take the exam as it was easier than getting to Athens and finding an accompanist. He scored a very high distinction in his Grade 5 ABRSM exam, he's only 12 - (143/150) and all my Skype exam students actually outperform my 'in person' students when it comes to exam marks - this was not something I expected.

I wrote a blog post about this and you can read in more detail about it here, http://cambridgesaxophone.com/wp/skype-students-100-distinction/ and view what my students say about Skype lessons here, http://cambridgesaxophone.com/wp/testimonials/.

It really is quite incredible that my student who lives on a Greek Island can receive tuition that only a few years ago would have been the preserve of large cities.

It is a teaching style that is still very much in its infancy, but it will be mainstream in a few years time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Very nice Dan. thanks for that input. The sound coming across the computer seems to be on of the main struggles. Are you and the students using any special mics in order to improve the sound heard?
 

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I gave a Skype lesson to a Lady from Norway who had learnt to play purely from the videos on my website. (this might sound like shameless self promotion, but so be it...sorry!) I was amazed at how good she sounded despite NEVER having any feedback whatsoever. She even recited some of the random licks I'd been doing to demonstrate various things throughout the course and I'm not ashamed to say, she nearly sounded as good as me!

I've seen that videos work but I also think she gained a lot from the Skype sessions with regards to personal feedback which is almost impossible to give through pre-recorded material. My pre-recorded content focuses on every problem I have ever come across whilst teaching that technique. I also make sure I constantly remind viewers about bad habits that can form when playing.

As a teacher and ever learning student I would say: Take physical lessons if you can attend them, Take Skype lessons if you can afford them, watch videos when you have time for them and use all 3 to motivate you to spend more time PRACTISING than watching. Gain knowledge from everywhere but make sure you spend time going over it in the practise room.
 

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Very nice Dan. thanks for that input. The sound coming across the computer seems to be on of the main struggles. Are you and the students using any special mics in order to improve the sound heard?
A number of students invested in this USB mic and it has had considerable improvement from the standard webcam mics. http://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_c1u.htm

I use an AKG 414 if I'm at my iMac, I want to make sure everything I do from my end is the best I can produce so I've invested in and learnt how to use a HD camera, 3 point lighting and designed the website etc myself.

Hope this helps.
 

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I've done both.

I liked both for different reasons.

I disliked the teaching style of some of my other teachers but the one who laid everything out for me, didn't beat around any bushes but also wasn't afraid to give a compliment as well was Tim Price. And that was of course over skype.

I dropped so much stuff on me that I still practice all the time. And most of it I still never get to.

Some people are just natural communicators/ teachers. The medium shouldn't matter as long as you feel you're getting your moneys worth.
 

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I think the biggest thing is that I want to study with someone who I want to emulate or sound like. I picked my current teacher Tevet Sela for that reason. I think it would be cooler to go to his house but he's in Montreal and I'm in Northern California. In my 4 years of retirement I took from Tim Price for one year off of skype, One year from a local guy Dan Zinn, and then i'm almost 2 years with Tevet. I constantly tell myself I'm done, got enough info, off in the world but then tevet surprises me with an area of playing I never considered. Anyway, I picked him because I heard his itune tunes , liked his alto sound and he comes from a european style of study that differs greatly from the normal college track of what you should do to get better. I did college and wanted some thing different. Also Tevet has 4 CDs out and I'm working on my first so he has done all that I'm trying to do. If you do study on skype make sure the guy or gal you pick 1. can play well 2. can listen well. 3. will hold you to standards 4. is paying attention to you at all times in the lesson.
I have taught one student myself on skype and really it is tough if they are beginners because you cant see finger position or posture/embouchure as well as in person. Also, in person I think they seem to commit better to regular lessons than online? For me I'd gladly go and study with someone local if I heard someone I wanted to sound like. There are better teachers and players than me locally but I'm happy with my direction with Tevet. Good luck K
'
 

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I also had one lesson with Randy Hunter and he was fantastic. I'd also recommend Matt Otto. I didn't get around to lessons with him because I decided to go alto but in our conversations its was obvious that he'd make a great teacher . In the old days I got some great tips from Steve Neff. I'd send him an Mp3 and then he'd comment and send me back stuff to practice. K
 

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I've done both.

I liked both for different reasons.

I disliked the teaching style of some of my other teachers but the one who laid everything out for me, didn't beat around any bushes but also wasn't afraid to give a compliment as well was Tim Price. And that was of course over skype.

I dropped so much stuff on me that I still practice all the time. And most of it I still never get to.


Some people are just natural communicators/ teachers. The medium shouldn't matter as long as you feel you're getting your moneys worth.
THANK YOU....It's nice to be appreciated. I know your doing great- your a hard worker and keep on.
 

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I've been enjoying teaching on SKYPE for a long time. Both Candy and Jeff Coffin insisted I start teaching on SKYPE. Jeff was saying about the material he knows I have at hand- and that I do NOT teach rote lessons. Candy- her words are self-explanatory.

I've been blessed with GREAT STUDENTS.My goal is to help people clarify their life musical purpose and reach their goals, and to have more balance, joy and true fulfillment when they play, not matter when or where.

In short SKYPE works :)
Thank you.




Tim Price is one of a kind. Not only does he posses incredible talent and a vast amount of knowledge, he's willing to share it with other people, which is rare.
"I have benefited enormously from his advice, friendship and large cd collection (haha). I count on him as friend and mentor, and I only wish he would come and live in Holland so I could bother him every day with all questions relating to saxophones and music."


CANDY DULFER
 

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I also had one lesson with Randy Hunter and he was fantastic. I'd also recommend Matt Otto. I didn't get around to lessons with him because I decided to go alto but in our conversations its was obvious that he'd make a great teacher . In the old days I got some great tips from Steve Neff. I'd send him an Mp3 and then he'd comment and send me back stuff to practice. K
Thanks Keith! It was my pleasure working with you! Remember everyone, I've got a series of video/PDF lessons too for beginners and intermediate-advanced jazz players at: www.beginningsax.com

Randy
 

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I'm wondering what peoples thoughts are when comparing online lessons vs. in-persons. Obviously in-person is the ideal choice, but if you can receive lessons online via videos and Skype lessons, do you think it would create greater access for people to have a chance to learn an instrument?
Sharon - I teach about 30 people via Skype - and a lot in person at my house and at KU - I find both to be very effective ways of teaching although I design the curriculum differently. One draw back via Skype is the difficulty of playing along with the student.
 

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I am working with Tevet Sela via Skype and I confirm: Skype works well - on the condition that you use a nice mic but that seems evident, no?
I have a Zoom Hn4 as a microphone and Tevet is using a good USB mic and so the connection is Perfect! Just as sitting in the same room. I hear every nuance of his playing and vice versa - with his sound coming through my stereo system.
That is very serious. Tevet is a great player and an excellent teacher - challenging in a good way, with a straight forward teaching philosophie and if I have weak points in my practice he will put his finger there, at the same time he is very nice and encouraging.
 

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Below are some important pros and cons of music lessons

Pros

Quality of the teacher

Weekly Convenience

Convenience of recording lessons

Immediate Practicing

Less off-task behaviors

Increased student performance

Cons

No ability to physical work with hands

Sound quality

No recitals

No teacher
 

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online can work although I like having a real teacher
I absolutely agree. I teach a ton of live students in my studio near Atlanta, but I also have a number of Skype students in different parts of the country and around the world. The Skype advantage for students is that they can find a teacher that works in a manner that is compatible with them- in the comfort and convenience of their own home. It's also often possible to schedule a lesson from time to time, rather than making a weekly commitment that a lot of music store teachers require. The other advantage is that you can take lessons from different teachers over time, experiencing different approaches to learning. I love the one on one live situation, but Skype, at least right now, is the next best thing.

Randy
www.beginningsax.com
www.randyhunterjazz.com
www.youtube.com/user/saxtrax
 

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Online Learning :

Allows for learning in in distant or disadvantaged locations
Online education is easy to access and provides a convenient way to obtain course materials such as homework, exam schedules, test scores and more. Most online learning environments are accessible from a standard internet connection and typically require average home computer system requirements.
Facilitates easy information transfer


Classroom Learning:

Provides interactive classroom setting that promotes the open exchange of ideas.

Having numerous students learning in the same classroom has the added benefit of allowing students to exchange ideas and questions with one another providing another valuable learning medium that online environments cannot replicate. First-hand interaction with the educating professor also allows for ideas to be exchanged freely and without any communication barriers.
 
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