As a convenient and effective alternative to travelling to you, I offer online lessons for teaching piano, cello, brass, and theory. I have a permanent online setup with quality equipment, and the feedback from pupils and parents has been very positive.
I hope this site proves helpful to you and answers any questions you might have. If you require further information, then please contact me.
Remember, these lessons are not ‘virtual’ or recorded. This is a real teacher, in a real room, in real time.
On this page I will simply explain:
- what are online lessons?
- what does the pupil see?
- how effective is it?
- my hardware setup
- the apps I use
- my online fees
- 7 handy tips for online learning.
What are online lessons?
It is basically a video chat, where I can see and hear the pupil and they can see and hear me. Almost any device with a camera and microphone can be used: smart phones, tablets, laptops, and PCs, whether Android, Apple, or Windows. It is easy to set-up and even easier to use.
At lesson time, you simply have your camera pointing towards the pupil, press the Video Icon that appears on your screen when I call, and the lesson begins. I will always send you a simple email guide to get you started if you need one.
What does the pupil see?
I use a quiet room specifically for online teaching. I provide a friendly, relaxed, yet professional atmosphere, as close to the traditional face-to-face experience as possible.
How effective is it?
Progress is very good with online lessons, whether learning piano, cello, brass, or theory. I have over time adapted my teaching style to optimise the learning experience online and I now feel it is on a par with face-to-face lessons.
Pupils move through the Grades as normal and even have the opportunity to take exams, both online/recorded exams and traditional. A number of pupils and parents have remarked how impressive the experience is – almost like I am actually sitting next to them. Some pupils have even taken up a second instrument.
Other, more humorous evidence is that a few of my adult pupils have genuinely offered me a cup of tea or coffee during their lesson. Also, some of the more eager pupils send me a string of emojis before their lesson, imploring me to start early. And, I have the pleasure of meeting all the pet dogs and cats online, some of whom sit through the lesson.
My Hardware Setup
To offer the best and most consistent teaching experience that I am able, I use a purpose built PC with a high quality webcam and have invested in sound panels and studio lighting (a softbox and fill lights). I also have a range of instruments available: Piano/Keyboard, Cello, Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Euphonium, and 3 sizes of Recorder.
Audio fidelity is a priority for online music tuition. I use a high quality Audio Technica microphone with shock mount and pop filter. I also wear Audio Technica headphones during the lesson. This not only allows me to hear every audio detail, but means that your audio is not sent back through my mic.
The apps I use
I use basic Skype as the default app, with Facebook Messenger Video as a backup. This has proven a successful and popular choice, with a number of pupils praising the simplicity, convenience, and quality. Skype is available for free on all platforms and devices, has good security, and works from a simple contact list rather than using emails and passwords.
My fees for are £19.40 for a single online lesson and £16.80 for each extra half hour in a week. For more details about my fees please visit my fees page.
7 handy online tips
- Make sure you are lit from the front or side. A strong light behind can turn you into a silhouette, which makes it hard for me to see what is happening.
- Point the camera at your instrument and hands rather than head and shoulders. I can direct you for that perfect placement.
- Unless you have the bandwidth, don’t allow anyone to download files or watch Netflix etc during the lesson – although simple browsing is usually OK.
- If using battery power, make sure the device has enough charge for the lesson.
- Though not essential, device arms/holders/risers allow for a stable picture and perfect placement. They are relatively cheap and widely available.
- For Child Protection, children should not wear inappropriate clothing (pyjamas, swimwear, etc).
- For Child Protection, there should always be an adult nearby, and the door slightly open, unless it is a glass door.
If you want to book lessons or require further information, then please contact me.