In this era of advancing technology, many music teachers are beginning to foray into the Internet Lesson experience. Whether the platform is Skype, FaceTime or another method, it has become a convenient way to monitor students who are out of town, or when they miss due to inclement weather.
I have been teaching Internet Lessons a little over a year now. It began when a student whom I’ve taught in out-of-town summer workshops for years asked me for Skype lessons after what was for her a very motivating workshop week.
Last night was our all-studio Fall Recital. I have been teaching two students via internet on a consistent basis. Since our list of performers was smaller than usual, I decided I was going to try to find a way to include these two out-of-town students. When I talked to the administrative people at the venue about it, they told us they did have wi-fi and gave me the connection codes. They also said “we’ve had people join us for skype meetings before, but this will be the first time in history in all of the recitals we’ve hosted that we ever had Internet Performances!!”
Long story short – We did it! I put them as the first two performers since it was a little bit more time-consuming to connect them. We had a big 27″ iMac desktop in the front which the performer was on via FaceTime. I used external speakers which I also mic’d. After their performance, I re-connected w/ them on a smaller device (iPad and Laptop) and put it on the front row so they could watch the rest of the performers.
It was a great success. The connection for those type of lessons is sometimes not ideal and this was the case for the recital performances as well, but afterward both my “live” students and the two from afar were all enthusiastic about the result.
After the recital, we even took the devices and let the virtual performers ‘see’ the table spread for the refreshments – which they both thought was fun.
Another small, but funny thing – one of the families posted a picture on the mom’s Facebook showing the girl w/ the computer in front of her, ready for her “performance in Texas.” One of their friends commented “Very cool! Must be in Austin!!”
Made me feel proud to say “Not Austin – HOUSTON! Austin is a very cool place, but we lead Texas in Guitar Recital Internet Technology!” Well, if there was such a thing.
It was fun trying something new and feeling it was successful.
Yes! We made Guitar Recital History last night, at least for the first time at that facility – Cypress Creek Community Center – when a recital performance was presented over the Internet in combination with live local students.
There was a problem for the Internet Performers who could only enjoy the refreshments virtually, however. Next time we will have to send them some cookies, I guess.