In other words, how can we eliminate technical problems and distractions while increasing the focus and efficiency of online music lessons?
1) Make technology your friend
If you have issues with your wifi and the quality of your sound and video, you will definitely want to restart devices and wifi in your home within an hour of your lesson. You should also ensure that no one else in the house is using high amounts of data (ie. youtube, netflix, etc.). If you have very limited wifi, it might be time for an upgrade.
2) Establish optimum sound and video quality
You may not have the fanciest mic and camera – just the ones that are on your iPad. That’s ok, actually. You can still do much to improve the quality of your setup without any additional cost.
For microphone audio quality, reduce the background noise in your home. Turn off fans and TV’s, close doors, and corral your pets and siblings. Even someone doing dishes in the next room can sound like King Kong stomping on the teacher’s computer!
For your camera video quality, simply make sure that the light source (window or lamp) is behind the camera (device), and that there is no light source behind the student! The camera should “see” the whole student and the instrument easily. These tips will make a huge difference.
3) Make sure students practice daily (and preferably at the same time)
Though we won’t go into the details of efficient practice habits right now (see this summary of our practice philosophy), we certainly will be addressing this in more detail. So if you ever want to spend some time with me about that, just ask! Better yet, sign up for one of our upcoming Seminars for Parents.
The first premise of this practice philosophy is that we learn best through brief, but frequent exposure to what we seek to know. It’s the easiest, most efficient way to learn music, so I strongly advise that students practice each item assigned to them DAILY (a minimum of 5 days a week). Strive to make this a habit – choosing the same daily time is also avery good idea.
4) Make sure that students have all of their books and metronome with them.
Don’t waste valuable lesson time trying to locate needed materials or getting your wifi/camera set up. Prepare!