Question for the guitar teachers...

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by jzucker, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    I'm thinking about doing personal lessons via skype or microsoft live messenger. Anyone have any experience with this and care to share tips?
     
  2. Mark Wein

    Mark Wein Member

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    Actually I'm doing my first one tomorrow...I'll let you know how it goes!
     
  3. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    how did it go? Are you using Skype or something else?
     
  4. Mark Wein

    Mark Wein Member

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    It kind of went. The student had a problem on his end. He accidentally turned off the mic input on his soundcard and he didn't figure it out until we were out of time. It was going to be a "freebie" test lesson anyway so the student didn't mind....

    I did a test lesson with my receptionist in the studio this morning between rooms and it works to a point.The audio can get a little confused if we are using a mic and the computer speakers at the same time. Probably the ideal situation will be to use a headset instead of the computer speakers...

    I am trying again mid-week with the student in New Jersey, so I'll let you know how a "real" lesson goes then.

    Right now I am using AIM since we are set up that way in the studio to message between rooms, but I am going to try each of the available services and see what works best.

    I have a couple of other prospects and one of my existing students is going on tour in a couple of weeks and would like to continue this way, so I am going to work pretty hard to make it happen...
     
  5. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    i'm disappointed in skype. I can't believe it doesn't support a standard video camera. I also get lots of drop out even after configuring the port routing. Perhaps my network performance isn't good enough...
     
  6. Mark Wein

    Mark Wein Member

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    I looked at Skype and it didn't seem like they really had standard video chat so I passed...I might try MSN next....AIM seems to be OK but it doesn't hurt to look around...
     
  7. gennation

    gennation Member

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    I gave a few freebee's as a test with IM before. Good thing it was free. I'd really need to put some effort in getting thing better situated if I was going to bank on them.

    Now if you could record it, chart it, and allow the student to then download it after the lesson it might be more feasible to sell. But, if all you get is the live vid and audio, you'll have issues retaining students.
     
  8. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    I downloaded msn messenger and it was like a virus. I couldn't get rid of it. Good thing I had my system backed up. I ended up having to restore my system...

    There is a program called webcamdv which allows you to use a video camera as a webcam but I couldn't get the audio to work with skype...
     
  9. Mark Wein

    Mark Wein Member

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    I actually used MSN last night and it worked pretty good..had I seen your post I probably would have thought twice about it. The audio is way better than AIM, and I haven't had any problems with MSN (yet)....

    The nice thing is that I have so many of my materials already converted to PDF so I can just email the student what they need, or they are working from my book (or both). Just got my scanner working this weekend, too so I can send handwritten stuff out as well....
     
  10. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    I just bought webcamdv driver I was talking about but I'm still using skype. I may try messenger again. Have you used skype?
     
  11. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Member

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    All I know is when you get it together, I want to be your first student Jack.

    The books are awesome. Im really enjoying them.
     
  12. Mark Wein

    Mark Wein Member

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    I took a look at skype but it didn't seem to have a regular webcam feature, unless I am missing something...you'll have to let us know how the webcamdvdriver works...
     
  13. Mark Wein

    Mark Wein Member

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    Just an update...a couple of weeks in and the webcam lessons are going well...I've got a couple of weekly guys going....

    I am getting to be something of an expert troubleshooting other peoples computer problems long distance, though. I teach from my own studio and I now have the new webcam students do a "test chat" with our receptionist to get any potential problems rooted out before lesson time.

    Most of the students are buying a camera just to do the lessons so there is a learning curve to deal with but I think I have a routine down now.

    I've also had to adjust my teaching methods a bit, but I think I'm in the groove!
     
  14. rotren

    rotren Member

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    Tell me more about this! How do you teach this way?

    Do you provide any written materials via email?

    I might want to try giving some lessons this way too if it works well.
     
  15. Mark Wein

    Mark Wein Member

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    I use MSN for video chat, so the students also need that. Beginners work from my book that they can order online. I also have a ton of stuff in PDF form (either from Finale files or scanned in), so I can email them things to work on or refer them to video lessons on my website to work on between lessons or to prepare for the next lesson. This is stuff I do with my "live" students already so its not too new.....

    I can even drag and drop PDFs into the chat window and send them that was...its still a new deal but I'm finding that its not too hard...

    The only real problem is that I have no control over the students computer, so there usually ends up being some work getting their equipment working right in the beginning. Also, not all internet connections are created equal, so there seems to be a difference in image and audio quality if the students ISP isn't so good...

    I think its the new frontier!
     
  16. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Member

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