“To play without passion is inexcusable!”

Taking Theory and Musicianship Lessons Online

Theory and Musicianship lessons have traditionally been undertaken in one-on-one or group lessons in the same room as the teacher. This enabled the teacher to correct your work and discuss it in real time and for the teacher to see your working of examples as you did them, providing guidance along the way. Online tutorials abound, but they lack this real time feedback component. It is now possible to engage in live lessons via online video chat platforms and still take advantage of the instant feedback of a teacher.

Here's what you'll need to do this in my studio:
  1. An iPad or android tablet or Microsoft Surface or some sort of touch screen that you can write on.
    1. A stylus for writing is usually much easier and more accurate than using your finger
    2. Phones are generally too small to work well, but might be ok in an emergency
  2. A Zoom account - a free one is fine. https://zoom.us/
    1. I use Zoom instead of Skype, as Skype does not allow screen sharing from an android tablet (at the time of writing this information).
    2. I set up a regular ‘meeting’ on Zoom for each student; you will use the same link to join your 'meeting' (ie lesson) each week.
  3. An app that displays pdf files and allows you to annotate the file
    1. iPad users: ForScore is the go to app for this. There may be a free or lite version you could try
    2. Android and Surface users: MobileSheetsPro is the best available. There is a free version for you to experiment with before you purchase the full app.
    3. There are many other apps for reading and annotating pdfs, and your device will most likely have one already installed. It may be adequate for your needs - you’ll only know by experimenting. Try scanning a page of your theory book as a pdf and then work on it in the app and you’ll soon see how easy it is to correct mistakes (or not), to change colours, to erase etc.
Preparing for an online lesson
  1. Prior to your lesson, you need to either:
    1. make a pdf copy of your completed homework and email it to me, or,
    2. if you did your homework in the app, email it to me from the app as a pdf file (or a .msf file if you are using MobileSheetsPro)
  2. Make sure you have any pdf files you might need during the lesson, eg
    1. a blank manuscript pdf file available for working examples during the lesson
    2. any pages scanned from your workbook that you know you will be working on during the lesson
    3. any past exam papers you have purchased ready to work on
  3. Connect to the Zoom meeting - aim to do this 5 minutes or so before your lesson is scheduled to begin:
    1. On your device, go to the reminder email from your teacher with the Zoom meeting link in it
    2. Click on the link or copy and paste it
    3. Alternatively you can go to the Zoom app and click on ‘join meeting’ and type in (or paste in) the sequence of numbers at the end of the link. After the first time you have joined this meeting, you will only need to type the first one or two digits and it will prompt you with the full number to join.
    4. If I am already on line, you’ll get straight into the meeting. If I’m not online yet, or I’m online but still in the previous student’s meeting, you’ll be taken to a waiting screen.
Let me know if you need any further information.

Brenda Hunting's Piano Studio, Shailer Park.
Mobile: 0413 290 982
PO Box 7352, Loganholme 4129




© Brenda Hunting 2019