Can You Really Teach Cello Through Skype / Webcam ?
I didn't think so until a former student asked me for
help last October (university level).
She first wanted to fly to Berlin and
spend a couple of days there to take lessons but I thought
it would be a lot of money for her parents to pay
and a very short term solution.
I suggested having a skype meeting to talk
about how I would help her to get organized and practice a little.
That's how the cello helper started.
Our first session was a happy meeting,
it lasted more than 2 hours,
it was like having her at home.
We both used our Zoom H2 as external microphones
so we could hear each other very well.
Some integrated microphones are ok too,
but since we both had our H2 microphones we used them.
When I teach,
I put my student's skype window
on my TV screen so it is almost like having them in the room.
I use an external HD webcam with a long cable
so that I can move it around
and show the posture of the hand or arm easily
and I listen to them through high quality speakerphones.
Is it the same as in person?
I don't teach differently on
skype than in my studio in Berlin,
but I have noticed that the students who contact me through
the cello helper have a need in particular,
sometimes they need me in addition and to complement
their current teacher and
focus on technique;
others are looking for
more freedom in their cello playing,
but it is usually with a certain goal in mind.
I have been teaching for 18 years now
and I love it as much as
performance. Since I was little,
I have always liked to solve problems,
repair broken toys and electronics...
finding solutions has always been like a game to me.
I did a lot of research on
concentration and technique to be able to give good
diagnostics and solutions.
I like to find the root of the problem so the 'fixes'
we find are not temporary.
I think that new technologies can be
wonderful if we make a good use of them.
The cello helper is a wonderful experience for me,
it connects cellists of all ages and levels
from all over the planet.
HELLO STAGE recommends Marianne's The Cello Practive Helper, you can find, like and follow her page on Facebook!
Marianne Dumas is a french cellist
and teacher currently based in Berlin, where she is busy recording her upcoming Bach CD (what else;)).
You can follow her journey and keep up with her musical adventures on her HELLO STAGE page!