Online Lessons: opinions

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by DS2014, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. DS2014

    DS2014 Active Member

    Hi all,
    am thinking of investing in some lessons, and wonder if anyone has experience or opinions about online lessons.
  2. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Personally, if I felt I needed lessons, I'd want them with a real person in front of me.
  3. DS2014

    DS2014 Active Member

    Thanks for the reply, Mike. I guess that maybe I could rephrase the question into two scenarios. The following are the real options open to me, and probably to most people; which scenario do you think is best?

    Scenario 1:
    Take face-to-face lessons from a local teacher of good quality?

    Scenario 2:
    Take online lessons from an internationally-renowned teacher/performer?
  4. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Unless you have out-grown the local teacher, don't get on well enough with them or they are overly expensive why bother with going on line? Have you a list of pro's and con's already?

    I do shop on line for many items, but some things are just better to buy locally because you can see and feel what you're getting and build a trading relationship with the supplier. For lessons I think the default position, if you have one available, is a good local teacher.
  5. DS2014

    DS2014 Active Member

    2nd tenor, I don't think it's a matter of out-growing your local teacher. Your statement presupposes that teachers everywhere teach the same way and that there is, in some way, a continuum of ability in teachers where you can study with one and then seamlessly transfer when you have out-grown them to another teacher who has a higher ability and who will take you to a new level.

    However, in reality I think, teachers (serious teachers) follow different systems and philosophies. If you choose the wrong teacher (for you), even though they may be good, when you move on to another then that teacher may want to totally dismantle your technique and start you all over again on the path that they see as the best for you.

    Your posting has turned out to be a very good one for me, though, because it has forced me to think about why I was having this dilemma in the first place. I think you've helped me make up my mind.
  6. x9ret

    x9ret Member

    I once took an online lesson from a jazz trumpet player in America, as I wanted my playing in that genre checked out. It was worth it. With favourable exchange rate it turned out reasonable. Sometimes online is fine; depends what you want the lesson for. It was on Skype.
  7. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    There are many of the top players/teachers now giving the option of lessons via they due to their schedules are often not in the country, and as x9ret said if you want a lesson from a particular person you either pay the money to travel ( I know of one west end pro player who travels to the USA a couple of times a year for lessons from Bobby Shew), or Skype is the cheaper/easier alternative!

    I know that Denis Wick now gives lessons via Skype!
  8. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    When you said 'online lessons' that doesn't really cover SKYPE. That is probaly the next best thing to one-on-one lessons, but there are limitations. Video quality isn't always as good as it might be and bandwidth can be a problem. Glitching at a critical moment can be very annoying, even when someone isn't trying to analyse your embouchure! In order of preference: 1. Face-to-face, 2. Skype, 3. Other online.
  9. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    Mike, auditions are now being done via Skype...such has the quality improved with high speed broadband, hd camera's etc!
  10. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    I agree however Mike's comment is also very valid. Local internet provision varies widely as do computing skills and the affordability of hardware.
  11. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    This is excellent news, it means that we will soon be able to have contests without messing about travelling to a venue
  12. x9ret

    x9ret Member

    I'm aware that agents record musicians over Skype to promote musicians for cruise line work.
  13. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    When I was away cruising, I tried my best to continue with some of my students online. I didn't like it. Sometimes you get time delays and you can't always actually see what they're doing with embouchure, posture etc. Sound quality over the net is so variable too. Your student could have awful tone quality that is being put down to bad mic/speaker?
  14. DS2014

    DS2014 Active Member

    A very quick update:
    Thanks to this thread, I made contact with Chris Turner (formerly of Cory, Dyke, and Brighouse). I had my first introductory lesson yesterday, which I really enjoyed and I am going to start by initially booking a suite of five lessons with Chris (who didn't even flinch once at my poor playing!). Will provide an update here on my experiences once I've had a few lessons. In case anyone is interested in taking a look, Chris's website can be found here:
  15. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the update, it's an interesting alternative to face to face lessons. Could you update us please with the technical side of 'doing' on-line lessons successfully (ie. what kit do you need and how does it need to be set up).

    I suspect that you are a very able player already but, with no disrespect intended to Chris, I'd be surprised if any decent teacher visibly flinched with an adult students playing. IMHO it's unprofessional the react like that and that's also a paying customer you're abusing ...... nice if they came back again with their money.
  16. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    My 2 cents worth: The GREATEST part of lessons is someone to keep you accountable. If you instructor says learn Peres Scales and Melodies Etudes and the next week you are not any better, the question gets asked "how much did you practice?". Eventually if you do not practice, the teacher will drop you. Accountability really makes you better, especially if put on a right path.

    There is one problem I see with Skype. Skype, to fit the bandwidth, compresses the sound. It is harder (but not impossible) to work on tone, timber, etc.
  17. DS2014

    DS2014 Active Member

    All that you need is a computer with a web-camera, an internet connection, and something like SKYPE or FACETIME.

    I totally agree with this: nobody wants to waste their money; so, one is much more motivated to practice the really essential stuff that is so often overlooked or ignored when practicing alone. Regarding the problems with sound, I also agree: it is most likely a problem with the on-board microphones which are generally geared towards acceptable voice recording and not designed to accurately record the frequencies associated with a brass instrument. Nevertheless, it is arguably an acceptable price to pay in order to work with a teacher one would otherwise not have the opportunity to work with.
  18. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Occassionally I SKYPE from my PC, it works but the sound quality isn't great and sometimes picture quality is poor too. My wife and daughter have 'fancy' phones and FACETIME some of their pals, they get reasonable sound and picture quality via our home hub - fibre optic (fast speed) services are not available here. If someone's planning to go the SKYPE route then perhaps it's best to team up with a pal elsewhere and play to each other over the web, that way you get a feel for how acceptably good or not your arangements are. Best to know before you start paying a teacher, and maybe it would be interesting to hear the teacher play to you and so check the system link between you too.

    It could be that you are ahead of the curve here (not a bad place to be at all) ...... or maybe I'm just well behind it. You have chosen a 'special' teacher but I wonder whether us run of the mill players could not get some value here too. With travel time a 30 minute lesson could easily take 90 minutes out of my day ..... potential savings and the lesson can be near anytime we near anyone. There are drawbacks but advantages too.

    "Accountability really makes you better, especially if put on a right path" (as 'said' by Doc Fox). I've found that very true, mind it's not always easy to find the right path and beware the goals set are not a burden.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015