Online Lessons – FAQs

Can beginners effectively learn through online lessons?

Yes! If you check my testimonial page you’ll read about several students who have been extremely happy with online lessons. In fact, when Covid-19 hit and in-person lessons were not allowed, I even had a few new beginner students start lessons. Having taught for over 30 years I have learned how to articulate well using language that is musically accurate, yet understandable by even a young beginner.

Do parents need to sit in on the lessons?

With older students, not at all, although there are some settings on Zoom and Skype that may need someone with computer knowledge to help the student set up (and I can talk you through that). Younger children may need a bit of input from the parent initially; it’s easy for little kids to get silly and ignore reminders to stay focused from someone on a screen. Once younger students are set-up and comfortable, a parent only needs to be within earshot of the lesson in case the child is in need of some reminders of what they should be doing.

How will I get my music?

If I live locally I will drop books off at your house. It you live further away I will have the materials shipped to your house with the cost of the book added to your lesson bill. If you are learning from lead sheets you will need access to a printer as I will send you links to PDFs to print. At times I may also send you MP3s to listen to and/or MP4s to watch. You will never have to go looking for the correct books.

What do I need for online lessons?

  • An internet connection with a strong signal. It’s best if others are not streaming videos in the house
  • A phone, tablet or computer set up so that I can see the entire instrument in the screen
  • A quiet room; excessive background noise is extremely loud over a computer microphone and is very distracting
  • Access to a printer if you wish to learn from lead sheets
  • A voice recording app to do video lessons in place of makeup lessons (Voice Memos – IOS / Easy Voice Recorder – Android)

What happens if the internet fails?

Online calls do sometimes get dropped and I’ll call you right back. If it ends up being a continuous problem during a lesson you will not be charged for that lesson and we’ll look at another option for future lessons. I don’t charge for lessons that I can’t teach!

If I forget about my online lesson can’t I just do it later?

No, sorry. I’ve set aside a specific time for you in my schedule. If I call and you don’t answer I will text or email you to remind you, but your lesson time is not movable at the last minute. If you haven’t logged in within 15 minutes into your assigned time I will create a short video lesson and send it to you so you can still continue progressing that week.

Can my son or daughter still take part in recitals?

Absolutely! I offer performance opportunities in 2 different formats: Group Zoom mini recitals in which several families log on with me and the students perform for each other, as well as pre-filmed videos that are posted to a recital page (this one is particularly popular to students who are timid to play live). I’ve even had more advanced students take part in a virtual praise band. Check out my media page for highlights from my Spring 2020 Recital to get a sample.

How come you aren’t looking at the camera the whole time my son/daughter is playing?

Having taught for so long I have a well developed ear and don’t need to watch to see every note being played. Sometimes there is a lag in the video so it isn’t accurately showing what you’re playing at the correct time. The video is still VERY necessary so I can see your overall technique and ensure you aren’t developing bad habits, but I don’t need to stare at your hands constantly to check that. Often I’ll be making lesson notes, peeking at past notes to see what we worked on last week or looking at the music, as I will have copies of all the songs you’re playing for me to reference for accuracy. Please know that you do have my 100% attention during the entire lesson, even if my eyes aren’t glued to the camera.