It’s been over two years now since I taught my first Skype lesson, and I absolutely LOVE having technology that allows for such incredible flexibility and opportunity for teachers and students alike. I have some full-time long-distance students, and multiple times every semester I use Skype or Facetime to teach students on vacation or who have some emergency situation that prevents them from making it to the studio for a lesson.
The technology today makes it very simple to offer long-distance lessons, but I know that it’s still pretty unnerving to jump into a situation like this when all you’ve ever known is in person lessons. I recently came across a couple of posts that are very insightful in presenting some of the benefits and drawbacks of long-distance teaching:
One Student, One Teacher, 1500 Miles by Steve Betts – I could echo word for word the three points that Steve Betts shares that he has learned from his long-distance teaching experience!
The Pros and Cons of Music Lessons Via Skype or Google+ by Chad Twedt – A very extensive list of pros and cons, along with the addition of why Chad eventually stopped doing long-distance lessons with several students.
I really appreciate the time and thought put into both of these posts and think they are very helpful for teachers considering offering long-distance lessons. It definitely pays to know what you’re getting into ahead of time! That said, I encourage anyone whose interested to give it a try and just see what you think for yourself. Just see it as a learning experience, an opportunity to contribute new ideas for improvement to the music education community, and something that you can do on a trial basis so that you and the student can constantly evaluate what’s working and what’s not.
If you have experience with long-distance teaching and/or a post you’ve written on the topic, please feel free to share!