How Does Teaching Online Music Lessons Work?
Teaching online music lessons are a fun way to work with music students outside of you geographical area, grow as a private teacher, and explore new technologies. I’ve been teaching guitar and bass guitar online for two years, working with students of all ages and learning levels, and hope I can answer some common questions about teaching online music lessons in this introduction!
Should you teach music online?
- Might relocate from one area to another and want to continue working with your students, online music lessons can help. When I moved from Minnesota to California in 2012, I was able to do just that with some of my students.
- Frequently travel for work, teaching online may appeal to you. I’ve taught lessons while dogsitting for a friend, from their home (with their permission, of course!).
- Want to cut back on the money you spend traveling to students, you’ll like teaching from one location!
What else should I know about teaching online music lessons?
You need a fast internet connection and great hardware (mic/webcam). Your ability to see and hear your student is dependent on technology, so make sure it’s as good as it can be. If you are currently unable to invest in these things, teaching online may not be right for you at this time. With this in mind, I’ve outlined the minimum recommendations at my website. Remember that video-chat issues, like lagging or freezing, are easily fixed by restarting the call, too. In an in-person lesson, it’s easy to reach out and physically adjust a student’s posture, technique, or position. Online students, in comparison, need clear feedback from their teachers so they can make those adjustments on their own. Make sure you can provide clear directions. Online music lessons are often expected to be cheaper than in-person lessons because students are unable to receive direct, face-to-face feedback.If you rely on private teaching for a significant portion of your income, you may want to pay special attention to how you price the lessons. Consider the limitations placed on you by technology, how you can compensate for them, and whether online lessons provide less value-add to the student. Lastly, you’ll also need to consider how you’ll receive payments. PayPal and Square Cash make it simple to manage payments and send invoices.
How does teaching online music lessons work?
Most online music teachers will use Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts, but any video-chatting software will do! I don’t recommend using a phone to teach; it will rarely show enough of you and your instrument when compared to a computer or tablet. During the video chat, make sure that you’re in view — especially if you’re teaching an instrument. Your student will need to be able to see you hold and play your instrument. Despite the physical distance, if you and your student both have a good Internet connection you’ll be able to see and hear each other! I often play with my student at the same time, though I sometimes do ask students to play by themselves so I can really focus on what they’re playing. If you haven’t used screensharing or file synchronization tools before, now’s your chance! Screensharing makes it easy for you and your student to look at the same music, chords, and materials together. Both Skype and Google Hangouts have this feature. Also, while you can share content with your students by emailing files and links, I like to use Google Drive to maintain student folders. File synchronization makes it easy for us both to keep things all in one place. — I’d love to hear about your experiences teaching online music lessons; is there anything I missed? Let me know by leaving a comment! And if you have any additional questions, let me know how I can help. Just remember: as long as you and your student can hear and see each other well, the sky’s the limit!
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