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 In Person vs. Online vs. Video Lessons
Author: QuickStart Clarinet 
Date:   2018-10-01 16:02

I teach using all three of these different lessons types, in person obviously being traditional face to face lessons, online being one on one lessons over skype or other video chat, and I just released a video course on how to play the clarinet.

I would be fascinated to hear people's thought on the validity of these. Obviously, in person lessons are the gold standard, and I have noticed that teaching over online video chat brings up some issues of communication, from general sound quality to proper equipment set-up, but I am curious how video lessons compare to these.

The video course definitely delivers a lot more information in a much shorter amount of time than any lessons I have taught, but it doesn't account for individual student's needs or pacing. Is this a pro or a con? How valuable are video lessons compared to other forms of learning?

Josh Goo
QuickStart Clarinet Founder

Post Edited (2018-10-01 16:33)

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 Re: In Person vs. Online vs. Video Lessons
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-10-01 18:52

The jury is out, I guess, regarding Skype lessons. IMO, the sound quality isn't good enough to allow reliable teacher's assessments of the student's playing. But I know it has become a popular substitute for in-person private lessons, and I have to assume some of my negativity about it is simply prejudice.

As to video tutorials, I think they *can* be useful to a player who already has an established technique and approach to playing. But for students whose experience is very limited, the most valuable part of a teaching-learning process isn't seeing what to do, it's having the instructor's feedback to the student's attempt to follow the instructions. And for that to happen, the teacher needs feedback about the student's success at applying the instructions. There is zero feedback in either direction possible, and the student is left to rely on his or her own weak understanding of the problems involved. Once an instruction from the video has been tried, the inexperienced player has no really valid way of telling if the result is good or not. Much confusion can result from misinterpreting a video demonstration, or choosing the wrong solution out of the many possible ones available by watching videos by different instructors each focusing on different generic problems (and none of them on the individual student's specific complex of problems). That can be frustrating for the student. The teacher has no opportunity to find out if *a particular viewer* understood and applied the information in the video correctly.

If someone is looking for validation of his own discoveries or to find pieces of puzzles he has not entirely been able to solve for himself, he may find ideas to consider in video lessons. IMO a beginner or near beginner who tries to learn how to play the clarinet (or anything else) from scratch using video tutorials is doing himself a great disservice.


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 Re: In Person vs. Online vs. Video Lessons
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2018-10-01 20:31

Direct communication between players and making music together are essential to any student's development. Some teachers play duets with their students often, and, as two players trying to match the tone, rhythm, tuning and style of each other, they go right to the heart of the music-making experience. This kind of experience does not translate well to Skype lessons. A "live" teacher can grab the student's clarinet and assess how adequate or inadequate their set-up might be. Over the typical Skype medium, such assessments are more iffy.

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 Re: In Person vs. Online vs. Video Lessons
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2018-10-04 18:42

I'd take on any live teacher vs my online.

It can work including the setup.

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 Re: In Person vs. Online vs. Video Lessons
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2018-10-04 19:00

More specifically, I’m either a better teacher or not as good as another teacher based on our individual abilities, not the format.

But you have to have a really really good ear, and be experienced to give a good lesson and analyze issues that would be missed easily.

And the connection has to be great also - slow internet is not good.

I have students at Universities who have their School Professor and also take lessons online. I work with the teacher and make sure to get their blessing as it can’t be a conflict.

Post Edited (2018-10-04 19:05)

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 Re: In Person vs. Online vs. Video Lessons
Author: Dmax 
Date:   2018-10-04 21:14

We need yelp reviews!

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 Re: In Person vs. Online vs. Video Lessons
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2018-10-04 22:25

Please note: the following pertains only to video courses, and not live-video/streaming instruction.

My personal opinion on video courses is: If a person has already learned a different instrument to proficiency - then video courses are probably a great idea. However, for a student who has never reached proficiency before, and doesn't understand the dedication necessary, or the importance of certain details - video courses are sadly lacking.

I base this opinion on a very well-thought-out and well-put-together guitar course offered via online video (with a set number of "private instructions" available via Skype, etc.) I looked at the material, and was excited about it. I bought my beginning-guitar-enthusiast niece a half-year membership, and she excitedly jumped into the coursework. Within 2-4 weeks, her mother told me that my niece had "completed" the coursework, and that she ended up "knowing most of it" beforehand.

It is painfully obvious my niece knows none of the coursework, and (instead), simply found a few things of interest which she could use as "tricks" and "show-off" items for those around her. Here we are two years later, and she basically still knows those few tricks to show off.

In hindsight, it became obvious that she didn't understand the need to stick with the tougher concepts (or "boring" tasks), and would skip ahead. The lack of accountability to a teacher was a big deal. I don't think this would have occurred had she understood the importance of certain techniques/concepts (like, if she had already been proficient on another instrument).

She only contacted the instructor once, and didn't take any of the Skype opportunities offered to her.

She's a very bright girl, snappy, quick, and well ahead of her age group in logic/understanding. That said, the video courses were ill-suited for her as a first-time music student. (Her mother is proficient in piano, and did her best to stress the importance of not skipping over concepts.)

On the other hand, I tried a couple of the lessons/videos, and got a lot out of them.


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 Re: In Person vs. Online vs. Video Lessons
Author: j8649 
Date:   2018-10-05 04:04

I take online lessons from Michelle Anderson at Clarinet Mentors, and it is a great experience. She gives masters classes online and had video lessons. In my area. no clarinet teacher wants to take on an adult. Michelle's online classes are convenient and very helpful. The videos are available when I have time to look at them. The masters classes are in the evenings or on Saturdays, which is great for working adults. I really have benefited from her online lessons. I would recommend Clarinet Mentors to anyone.

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 Re: In Person vs. Online vs. Video Lessons
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2018-10-06 16:07

No adults?? That’s a shame! I’ve got several adult students who practice and work hard. But they are in performing groups from high quality regional Bands to the Royal Marines in the UK.

Participating in a group is what keeps the student interested and thriving.

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