Hi Chad again,
Well after all that over-thinking it, over-researching it, I have a pupil in the US (I’m in the UK – he wanted to carry on with me) so I had to take the plunge. All that worry! Whe it cam down to it, all we ‘re using is my laptop on a high stool, and he is using a tablet hitched onto a goose-necked holder attached to an ironing board. And everything works fine – no headphones, no speakers, no extra webcams. Oh, all that worrying I did! I find that it takes me more time both before and after the lesson – any music we might want to do I need to think ahead and have it scanned and emailed. Any duets I have to play and record the duet part so he can play along at home – and not playing duets live is a BIG miss, I must say; I use them so much in face-to-face lessons. And I write up all the lesson notes and email them – in a face-to-face lesson I’m writing in the pupil’s notebook as we go along. But apart from those things, the sound is fine, the not-talking-at-the-same-time is getting better, I can see his fingers and if I do need to see the LH little finger, say, I ask him to re-position. Mother is there all the time – but always has been, so that’s a big help. In response to Jay’s post (about five years ago!) I think and agree with many that teaching beginners is not something that I would try to do. I do spend a lot of time in face-to-face lessons moulding little fingers, helping wrists and arms float etc and I think putting all that into words and demos over Skype would be just too difficult. Maybe with parent there…but it does sound very tricky.
To be honest, I don’t enjoy it as much as a face-to-face lesson; possibly because of the talking thing. I think I like to have a banter and a joke and it’s harder over Skype. But it’s working great with minimal equipment. Thanks again for your article.