While there is no doubt that taking piano lessons in person is the ideal option, there are times when it is difficult to be physically present for a lesson. This could be due to:
- severe weather conditions
- transport issues (no car available, parent unavailable to bring a child)
- mild but contagious illness
- being away from home for extended periods but still having access to a piano
- living too far away to get to the studio
Online lessons via a video chat provider such as Zoom, Skype or Google Hangout provide a successful alternative to piano lessons in person. Thus far I have found Zoom to be the most satisfactory of these providers for lesson purposes.
Equipment requirements are minimal:
- a computer (with built in or external webcam, microphone and speakers) beside the piano
- a fast internet connection
- a Zoom and a Skype account (preferably at least two of these)
Some optional extras to facilitate the experience are:
- a high quality external webcam
- webcam software to enable use of multiple cameras (I recommend ManyCam.com - a free download is available)
- a boom microphone stand (provides a place to suspend a webcam over the keyboard)
- an external microphone
- headphones or external speakers
I use several webcams, to give you various views of the keyboard and my hands. Here are some screen shots of possible multicam views that you might see in a Skype lesson with me:
I use a microphone boom stand to suspend a webcam above the keyboard. The top down view is very helpful.
See Maximising Your Lessons (this page is still under construction) for ideas on how best to prepare for an online lesson.
Occasionally there are problems with a video chat provider, so it is helpful to have both a Zoom and a Skype account account, so that if one is not working, we can quickly change to the alternative. I am continuing to explore video chat alternatives and will post information here.
Contact me for more information.
Brenda Hunting's Piano Studio, Shailer Park.
Studio phone: 07 3102 7265
Mobile: 0413 290 982
PO Box 7352, Loganholme 4129
© Brenda Hunting 2016