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Guitar Lessons in the Time of Corona

    I have found that the most important thing so far is to be individually responsive to each student. Tech savy students want to use Zoom which allows them to record a video file. Others use Face Time if they have Mac products while other want Skype. There are a few folks who are trapped inside and want to get out for an hour and I sit with them a distance and work on music. 

   People love attention and the more nuance you can supply on line the more they stay connected to what you are offering.  On line lessons gives you the chance to literally "resize" your guitar students on the screen and provides you with a new perspective you can't get with your normal line of site sitting across from a student. 

I have made a list of my contact info for each student (Face Time, Skype, Zoom)  I am ready to go when I start teaching. 


    What has helped your students stay on track the last few weeks?




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 Comments (1)

  • Ben Sherman

    Hi David, here's my story. I was teaching 30+ students weekly at Coffey music store in Westminster when the virus situation started to develop. As days went by it seemed obvious to me that the situation was only going to get worse, so I started moving my books and supplies out of the studio there and into my home office. I began the process of contacting all my students and encouraging them to try out dong their lesson by video call. Some were familiar with Skype, others only had a smart phone. Since I have an iPhone I could offer FaceTime to some if that was their only option. Coffey Music closed after the governor's order a few days later.
    I prefer Skype because I already own an external camera that I can plug into my desktop computer, thus allowing me to use Skype and see my students on a larger screen than a phone.
    At this point I have more than half of my students on board with doing a weekly video call for their lesson. A few declined, preferring to wait until we can resume in person. A couple have already started suffering financial hardship and had to drop out for the time being.
    The other issue is how to get paid. I've had a PayPal account for a long time. If a student has one too, I remind them that you can send money from one PayPal account to another with no fees charged on either end.
    I started hearing that Venmo was another popular way to pay for things online so I signed up or that. I have had several students who are on it, so they were happy to pay me through Venmo.
    If neither of those options are good for the student, can they pay by credit or debit card? If so, I can issue an invoice through my PayPal account, and it is emailed to them. They click on the link and PayPal handles the whole transaction and takes a 3% fee.
    If none of those options are good, the student can send a check in the mail.
    In addition, I have started doing livestreaming video on Facebook to play music for people. Since I normally play regularly in public at pubs, restaurants, wineries etc, this is a great way to connect with people who currently can't go out to hear me play. I'll sing popular songs, grab my classical and play some Bach, then go to the electric and jam out on some rock or blues. I give people the option to leave me a tip via PayPal or Venmo, but I am going to continue doing it regardless of money. It is turning into a great way to connect with people through the magic of music, to give folks a moment of relaxation and joy in their day, and a respite from the anxieties of the situation.
    I've heard about Zoom but have not really understood its potential for lessons, I'd love to hear from teachers with first hand experience of what it is good for.
    Hope you are doing OK and hanging in there.

    26 Mar 2020 11:03 AM

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