Update Tuesday 5th January 2021
Update 1st January 2021
Given Covid-19 could be with us a long time, I am making changes in the teaching environment to keep students, parents, and myself safe. Click here to read about changes to in-person lessons. Face-to-face lessons can be offered when the lockdown restrictions allow for this (for example in Tier 1, 2 or 3). Before requesting an in-person lesson, please read the statement below.
With the positive response I’ve had from online lessons during lockdown, I am keeping online lessons as the primary service I offer. Students now have more time in a lesson from not having to set up / pack down, and less travel time means more time for practice. I am encouraging students & parents to choose online learning moving forward.
We’ll still be making progress. We’ll still be having fun playing music. You just won’t need to travel to me for the lesson.
I realise that this may not be your preferred method of learning, but during lockdown my online lessons have been proven to be just as effective – if not more effective – than in person lessons. I’m consistently told by students & parents that my online lessons are better than expected (see survey results below).
You might think that physical contact is needed to learn guitar. Since teaching online, I’ve found that physical contact simply isn’t necessary for my teaching methods to be effective. In fact, manual hand manipulation could actually get in the way of proper learning. I rarely used physical contact when teaching in-person, as I find that students generally prefer to “do it themselves” and if they are struggling to perform a movement or hand position, it’s best not to intervene with manual hand manipulation. By using close-up cameras from multiple angles, students get a view of my guitar and hands that they wouldn’t otherwise get at an in-person lesson. I will give clear, step-by-step instructions for how to play with proper technique.
You might be worried that the quality won’t be good enough, or that the sound quality will make it difficult to hear each other. Please be reassured that I use two HD webcams, and a broadcast quality microphone. I can tell if something is wrong with your hand position, even if you have a pixellated webcam. There are sound settings in Zoom that work best for guitars, and I use an interactive player which means sound delays are not an issue. I’ll walk you through all of the setup!
If you are a parent, you might be concerned about your child’s engagement or attention while using Zoom. Since my students are using an interactive, animated song player with colour coded notes, engagement has not been an issue for me. If you are still concerned, there are shorter 20 minute lesson slots available online. You could even schedule two of these through the week, giving them more motivation to practise. Please also note that there are also potential distractions at my home studio (being in a new & unfamiliar place, my two cats, noisy neighbour).
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My online guitar lessons are "better than expected"
Here are the responses from a recent survey (2020) of my students and parents:
68.8% said my online guitar tuition is “better than expected” (shown in orange)
25% said “much better than expected” (shown in green)
6.2% said “about the same as expected” (shown in red)
None of the respondents said “worse than expected”
All students & parents were surveyed, to get an accurate & honest response.
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The benefits of online guitar tuition
I also surveyed parents and students about the benefits of switching to online lessons. Here were the top responses:
- Being able to learn from home
- Flexible lesson scheduling
- Less time traveling and more time practising
- Having more playing/learning time and less setup/pack down time
The technology doesn’t need to be complicated. Here’s all you need:
- A computer, tablet, OR phone with a built-in webcam
- Your guitar
- An internet connection.
My preference would be to have our lesson over Zoom. The sound quality is better, and the connection is smoother. There are plenty of ways we can have a productive lesson without being in the same room. I’ve been teaching children and adults online since 2015, and my students have successfully switched to online lessons since the lockdown started. I have even taught students as far as Spain & Saudi Arabia.
If you’re a bit of a technophobe, I am happy to arrange a free phone call and test call to make the setup process for online learning as smooth as possible.
Still not sure if online lessons will work for you?
- The first lesson is free to try, with no sign up required. So there’s nothing to lose by giving it a go. That said, I wouldn’t judge online lessons by your experience of one lesson. It might take a few lessons to see the full benefits of learning online.
- Thanks to the play-along library I use, distance-learning is very straightforward, and sound delays are not an issue. I can walk you through the setup.
- Pretty much all smartphones, tablets, and computers have a built-in webcam and microphone. You shouldn’t need any extra equipment to take online lessons.
- The most internet bandwidth you should need for “smooth video conferencing” is 1mbps. The UK average broadband speed is 54mbps, so even the slowest networks should work fine. For the best experience, make sure you sit close to your Wi-Fi router, or connect via an Ethernet cable.
- I can send diagrams, share my screen, and show my hands from multiple angles. I can easily tell what you’re doing right & what you could do better, without needing to be in the same room.
- If we use Zoom, you have the option to record the lesson for you to watch it back as many times as you like (written consent from parents required)
- Pre-recorded lessons can be delivered in rare cases where video conferencing will not be possible.
The 24hr cancellation policy still applies, so please give me as much notice as you can if you need to cancel your lesson. I am flexible on lesson times if your schedule has changed.