ObscureMyEmail to send me an email (using your mail client) or call my mobile number, 07843 058994 if you have any questions. You don't need to read all of this now, although you really should read it before lessons start. I will send you the link to this page.
The software I use for taking bookings for lessons is here
I take payment by credit card using Stripe and PayPal. (There are a small number of people to whom I still need to send invoices, because the bill is paid by someone else: if you are one of these, could you please contact me first?)
You can rearrange lessons, but not fewer than six hours in advance. The details of how to rearrange are in the confirmation email from Acuity - so don’t delete it when you get it!
You will need:
a quiet, appropriate room (NOT a bedroom);
light (shining on you, but not so much behind you);
download the zoom software to join me online when you get the link;
a camera (on your phone if necessary) - in a fixed position, so that the student is well in view (and for pianists that I can see their hands clearly). Some people use two devices - one for me to see, and the other for the student to see me.
for singers, you will need some way of playing the backing tracks, not on the device that you are using for the camera. It would probably be better to download them to play them, rather than stream. It doesn’t matter if the sound comes through a speaker or through headphones.
If things still aren’t working as well as you would like, there is lots of advice on this page about improving the quality of the experience:
Without a doubt, the biggest problem for online lessons is the quality of the connection. Please do everything you can to improve the student’s online connection:
There is a lot of advice on the internet about improving the experience -
There might be one big thing that makes the difference: Buying a long ethernet cable to enable their laptop to reach the router directly; Upgrading your broadband package (these are both things that students of mine have done this year).
More likely, working logically on marginal gains, which together added up to a big improvement. Here is a list first published by Bramble Online Tutoring:
To this list, I add:
At the moment, I use Box.com for sharing lessons notes and sheet music but a number of people have said it doesn’t work for them. I am looking at alternatives. The front-runner at the moment is Sync.
Also important: can you please share the Box folder with student? They need to see my notes. Whether they are 7 or 17, there are three of us in this relationship (as I think Princess Diana once remarked). I rely on you to pass things on, which makes extra work from for the parent, but on the plus side, it does involve the parent more in the lessons.
Please take photos of the pages and send them to me as e-mail attachments to this address:
Please put the student’s name in the subject line.
They can do this from their own account, since I never see the email - it simply drops the attachments into google drive, into a folder with the subject line as the folder name. Amazing!
Also, I might ask the student to record something. Because a recording is a kind of performance, it will encourage the student to play it well without stopping and starting, but also it is hard to hear the details over the internet, and I will get much more detail in a recording.
There are many simple audio recorders for smart phones. On iOS, I find Music Memos as good as anything, although sharing it is a bit fiddly. Don’t use Voice Memos. On Android, Smart Recorder is hard to beat. If you can find an app with level meters, so much the better - then you can position the phone so that the sound level doesn’t go into the red.
If you use any other recorder, please make sure that Automatic Gain Control is set to off. (AGC irons out the volume, making the loud bit quieter, and the quiet bits louder, which is not what we want).
Then, send me the file using the emailitin address above.
Don’t forget to check out the F.A.Q., for questions about all my music lessons, and please also see the following information pages: