I’ve been teaching via Skype or FaceTime for over three years now. I had studied with a few tutors in the US via Skype, and it had also become an vital way to keep in touch with family and friends overseas.
I knew I could make it work with a few tweaks, yet I was concerned about how it would impact exam results.
I was worried. How I could accurately judge students’ performance of pieces? Listening down a phone line, the dynamics are heavily ‘compressed’ or ‘squashed’ together so that everything sounds the same mid-volume. I was also unsure how I could work around not being able to put my pencil markings all over scores to give students my insights into the pieces. I was confident I could teach people to play and to improvise, but surely exam preparation needed to done face-to-face?
I need not have worried. Yesterday I received another set of ABRSM results which continued my students’ amazing 100% pass rate and incredible 100% DISTINCTION rate for all Skype or FaceTime students. Last year two of my students achieved over 140/150 on their grade 8 ABRSM exams. This sitting, one of my students (who lives in Zakynthos, Greece) flew over to Cambridge to take his exam. Remarkably, he had never ‘met’ me (he had been studying with me via Skype for over a year) until the day of the exam. He achieved a stunning 29, 30, 28 (all out of 30) on his pieces. Without the technology available today he would be extremely unlikely to find someone with my credentials on a small Greek island, let alone achieve the distinction he fully deserved.
These results clearly display how teaching music over Skype – with the right insights and innovation – succeeds. I’ve used Google Hangouts, shared whiteboards, Dropbox and – most notably – my video resource site CambridgeSaxophone.com to prevent location being a barrier to achieving high quality results.
Find out how you can do the same by signing up for four FREE lessons at CambridgeSaxophone.com