SKYPE Connection

 

For people who don’t know, Skype is a wonderful tool created to help people stay in touch – regardless of where in the world you are. If you have SKYPE  (Free Software Download) and computer speakers and mic (or a headset)  you can speak for as long as you like without having to pay a single penny! Although this is without question the most popular use of the tool, there are others too! It’s revolutionized the way we keep in contact with long distance acquaintances – but over the past couple of years it’s started to change the way in which we learn musical instruments.

Skype is also used for business conferences to some success. It’s revolutionized the way we keep in contact with long distance acquaintances – but over the past couple of years it’s started to change the way in which we learn musical instruments.

– See more at: http://musicgoat.com/make-money-with-music-teaching-an-instrument-online-via-skype#sthash.NvR9KgDy.dpuf

For people who don’t know, Skype is a wonderful tool created to help people stay in touch – regardless of where in the world you are. If you have Skype and a headset, and the other person does too, you can speak for as long as you like without having to pay a single penny! Although this is without question the most popular use of the tool, there are others too!

Skype is also used for business conferences to some success. It’s revolutionized the way we keep in contact with long distance acquaintances – but over the past couple of years it’s started to change the way in which we learn musical instruments.

– See more at: http://musicgoat.com/make-money-with-music-teaching-an-instrument-online-via-skype#sthash.NvR9KgDy.dpuf

For people who don’t know, Skype is a wonderful tool created to help people stay in touch – regardless of where in the world you are. If you have Skype and a headset, and the other person does too, you can speak for as long as you like without having to pay a single penny! Although this is without question the most popular use of the tool, there are others too!

Skype is also used for business conferences to some success. It’s revolutionized the way we keep in contact with long distance acquaintances – but over the past couple of years it’s started to change the way in which we learn musical instruments.

– See more at: http://musicgoat.com/make-money-with-music-teaching-an-instrument-online-via-skype#sthash.NvR9KgDy.dpuf

For people who don’t know, Skype is a wonderful tool created to help people stay in touch – regardless of where in the world you are. If you have Skype and a headset, and the other person does too, you can speak for as long as you like without having to pay a single penny! Although this is without question the most popular use of the tool, there are others too!

Skype is also used for business conferences to some success. It’s revolutionized the way we keep in contact with long distance acquaintances – but over the past couple of years it’s started to change the way in which we learn musical instruments.

– See more at: http://musicgoat.com/make-money-with-music-teaching-an-instrument-online-via-skype#sthash.NvR9KgDy.dpu

“Students who used to limit the pool of potential teachers to those within a 20-mile radius from their homes now take lessons from teachers — some with world-class credentials — on other coasts or continents. The list of benefits is long:  Players of niche instruments now have more access to teachers. Parents can simply send their child down the hall for lessons rather than driving them. And teachers now have a new way to build their business.”

New York Times …  January 10, 2012
by Catherine Saint Louis

 

I’ve offered private internet lessons using Skype  since 2009.  Using conferencing software other than SKYPE is always an option. We cover the exact same material we would in a physical lesson and the response has been amazing!

 

What SKYPE students are saying:

 

“I have known of Roger’s abilities since the early 1980’s and always wished I could study with him… I have been taking lessons from Roger now for about 3 months using this method. I have found this to be a great way to connect with a teacher I’ve always wanted to study with but was too far away physically to do so.”

“I am an advanced flat-picker who has been on a plateau for a while in my playing style and have not found any flat picking instructors in my area that suit me. This method completely erases the physical distance between us and I can take an hour lesson from a great teacher from the comfort of my home and not have to drive anywhere!”

“I am a mandolin student with Roger Ferguson and I live in a remote area along Hood Canal.  Being an hour and a half away, we agreed to try lessons via Skype to save time, money and resources. Having just completed my 4th long-distance lesson, I find I’m thrilled with this  arrangement.”

“Roger emails me an MP3 file of what we went over so I have a clean audio file to work with the following week and this seems to work out great”.

“Our internet connection and video connection have had some problems and dropped out a few times but overall the technical difficulties are much outweighed by the opportunity to study with a great teacher like Roger”.

“Skype lessons have been a perfect solution for me and have provided easy, affordable access to an excellent teacher”

“I was originally concerned about not being able to see or hear each other clearly, but neither has been a problem. The only requirements are a mike, camera and speakers on your computer and a free Skype account. Since my laptop was equipped with all three, no additional equipment was needed, and it took only a minute to register with Skype”.

 

Advantages of Internet Lessons:

 

  • Quality of the teacher: Skype gives students even more options to choose from when looking for a teacher since they are not restricted to their small local region.
  • Convenience: Students don’t have to travel 30 or 60 minutes to their teacher’s studio.  Parents who drive their children don’t have to waste time waiting for the lesson to be over just so they can commute. Lessons online means no missed lessons due to forgetfulness since the student and teacher can connect 30 seconds after the courtesy call.
  • Convenience of Recording Lessons: Students can easily record Skype and Google+ lessons for review at a later time using audio/video recording software.
  • Immediate Practicing: Since SKYPE students don’t have to commute back home, they can practice immediately after the lesson when ideas are fresh and energy
    levels are still high.   This means an extra practice session most SKYPE students will get, and the first practice session is the most important session of the entire week.
  • Warming Up: Students can warm-up right up to the time of the lesson.
  • Off-task behaviors: According to a study in 2010, off-task behaviors took up 36% more time in face-to-face lessons than in distance lessons.  The study also finds that eye contact during distance lessons is more frequent.
  • Increased student performance: The same study indicates that students spend 22% more time performing during distance lessons than in face-to-face lessons.
  • Don’t Have To Be In The Same Room: Students won’t need to cancel lessons because they had an illness two days before and are still “contagious”  (stomach flues can be contagious for up to two weeks after symptoms have passed).
  • Make-up lessons: Because internet lessons are such efficient use of lesson time (no commute, for example) , make-up lessons are much easier to schedule.
  • Amazing Views: The camera can be positioned in places where it would be impossible to put one’s head, allowing the student views of finger positioning not really possible face to face.
  • You can have lessons when you or your teacher are on vacation. You are never forced to part for geographic reasons.
  • If the weather doesn’t cooperate… We can still get to our lessons when the roads are too icy to drive.

Skype Rates

My current fee is $50 per/hr for Skype internet lessons and payments are usually invoiced via PayPal.  Some students prefer to send a check, which is also OK.

 

Skype Policy

  • I teach on-going, weekly (or bi-monthly) one-hour lessons.
  • Students pay at the beginning of each month for that month – I can be flexible.
  • Most months have four lesson days – some have five.
  • If the student knows at the beginning of the month that they will be missing lesson days,  they do not pay for these up-front.
  • If a student has credit for any prepaid but unused lessons, that credit is rolled over into the new month.
  • If a student cannot make his/her scheduled lesson, they may cancel up to 2 days (48 hours) in advance without charge.
  • Make-ups  for excused absences can be rescheduled for the same week providing schedules co-inside.
  • Cancellations with less than adequate notice will be marked as unexcused and students will be charged for my time.

 

Addendum:  This is a common cancellation policy for private music Instructors, one I’ve used for over 30 years yet to every policy there are exceptions… If you cannot make a lesson and give the requested notice, you are welcome to have someone take your place – even with no prior arrangement – I am there waiting and ready to teach, so with someone as your proxy you either have them cover the tuition, or consider it a gift! This way the lesson isn’t forfeited!

 

Scheduling

Lessons can be scheduled either weekly or bi-monthly and of course, students can stop taking lessons at any time. I do give the option of  once-in-a-while “catch-as-catch-can” lessons, which are longer in length.  I offer ½ hour blocks ranging in length from one hour (minimum) to three hours (maximum).  The only commitment on the part of the student is to keep their scheduled lessons and work on the chosen material as much as they desire.

Email me rog@doitnow.com with your location, available days & times, instrument(s), and a brief summary of what you want to work on.   I will get back to you and we will schedule a free “Meet & Greet” session.  This is our chance to meet face to face (internet faces), test our connection for audio and video quality – and discuss in “person” your musical desires.  Please have Skype, and webcam installed with functioning audio/video and high speed internet. If you’re happy and comfortable with the test-run we will arrange a time for your lesson.

All the written material you’ll need will be provided, including audio and/or video summaries of our private lesson. These are usually background tracks to play along with or short “loops” of a particular passage or lick.

 

Skype Lesson Checklist

  • Please have Skype,  a functional webcam/mic and a high speed internet connection.
  • Get a free PayPal account.
  • Just try not to position yourself to the webcam with bright lights behind you – this could include windows.
  • Just be tuned up and ready to have fun.