Your reviews of Online/Distance guitar instruction

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
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Rick Beauregard
Student of the online lessons
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Your reviews of Online/Distance guitar instruction

Post by Rick Beauregard » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:45 pm

Inspired by another post I thought I would throw this question open. There are several posts about online teachers. Some are looking for one (like me maybe). Some are recommending one. It makes it hard to choose because there are all kinds: post lessons and watch student videos like Delcamp; watch videos of "put your third finger on the fourth fret and your first finger on the second fret..."; detailed coaching on advanced works on interpretation, fingering, dynamics etc.; delayed feedback from a teacher on your submitted videos; or one-on-one live skype lessons. Costs and quality vary widely. Online lessons have become a viable and valuable way to learn, well, anything. There's something for everyone out there but it may be a challenge finding what's right for you. Sites are proliferating like rabbits. I think objective reviews will improve the quality for all.

So how about collecting in one place your reviews of online guitar instruction providers? We should list a few questions to get consistent results. Others are welcome:

1. Describe the service:
live via skype or equivalent,
personalized feedback on work from the teacher
Library of YouTube videos
Focus on beginners, intermediate, or advanced
Provides online music access
Degree of personalized contact with the maestro via email, text or phone.
?????

2. Describe the quality
Technical quality of videos and sessions
Teaching quality and approach

3. Strengths of the program

4. Red flags of the program

5. Price in $ per month

6. Terms: do you have to sign up for a year, one at a time, volume discounts etc.

7. Your overall rating on a scale of 1-10, 10 being best.

Not sure we can provide links, but state how we can find the teacher's site. It would help to state whether you're a current student, and for how long, or just reviewing from published sources.

I look forward to everyone's feedback. And let's stay positive with this! I would also encourage providers to list their own features and benefits following the outline above, though your ratings may be taken with a grain of salt. :roll:
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

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Rick Beauregard
Student of the online lessons
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Location: Blaine, WA

Re: Your reviews of Online/Distance guitar instruction

Post by Rick Beauregard » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:30 pm

I'm bumping this post to see if it generates some responses this time.
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

fraim
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Re: Your reviews of Online/Distance guitar instruction

Post by fraim » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:47 am

rick,

i don't think it works.. or at least works long term.

i've followed simon powis "classsical guitar corner" into my 2nd yr. i feel that you cannot get past a certain point w/o a hands on teacher. don't get me wrong...i've met simon & he's a very nice guy & his online teaching is 1st rate. but to flesh out the nuances you need a live person to direct you.
ymmv

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Adrian Allan
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Re: Your reviews of Online/Distance guitar instruction

Post by Adrian Allan » Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:11 am

I had some lessons with Cheryl Grice who now lives in New Zealand on Skype.

I am obviously fairly advanced, so I needed some general advice on phrasing and my approach as I wanted to raise my game.

She admits that by Skype she cannot hear tone quality at all, but she was very useful in her advice to me.

However, for most other stages of playing, I would say that it does not work - things take a lot longer. eg. I could point to a pupil's score and say "that note", but on Skype you have to say "page three, bar one, note four" etc, so there can be situations of just trying to explain things over a long distance.
I think it might be impossible to teach a beginner, and because there is a slight time lag, duets cannot be done, nor can the teacher play along with the pupil on the piece they are learning. The time lag also means that sometimes you end up speaking over each other.

So for advanced I would say yes, but for anything else, I would say no, no matter how good the teacher is.
D'Ammassa Spruce/Spruce Double Top

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Rick Beauregard
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Re: Your reviews of Online/Distance guitar instruction

Post by Rick Beauregard » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:39 am

Thanks for the comments guys. I was a corporate trainer in my career, and gave many group seminars. I found myself in competition with distance learning. But there were just some things that didn't work well, like group dynamics. Other things worked better though, like conveying stock information. I guess that you could say the same of music instruction. Distance learning is great for sharing scores, recording performances, demo videos, reaching more customers. But you're right, you can't teach tone online. And my teacher was all about the tone.

The thing is, my corporate clients wanted distance learning. It was more cost effective, or at least cheaper if not as effective. It seems the best solution was blended in person with distance learning in between lessons to keep it cost effective.
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

CathyCate
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Re: Your reviews of Online/Distance guitar instruction

Post by CathyCate » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:17 pm

Rick

My idle (pre morning coffee) thoughts:

I have yet to experience online instruction. However, I have been in some living situations (geography, finances etc.) that made regular face-to-face lessons difficult or impossible. I used the option of live meetings with various coaches for a marathon lesson or two whenever and wherever they could be arranged.

I think the best teachers are the ones who foster a student's independent learning and self-directed study. In effect, they work themselves out of a regular job relative to their best students. The personal and mentoring relationship may go on for many years past active tutelage, but there is a time for the dependents to "leave the nest" and represent more than an income stream.

In short, it is difficult to imagine an online relationship that lets teacher and student determine effectively when time for graduation has arrived.

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Rick Beauregard
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Re: Your reviews of Online/Distance guitar instruction

Post by Rick Beauregard » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:25 pm

CathyCate wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:17 pm
Rick

My idle (pre morning coffee) thoughts:

I have yet to experience online instruction. However, I have been in some living situations (geography, finances etc.) that made regular face-to-face lessons difficult or impossible. I used the option of live meetings with various coaches for a marathon lesson or two whenever and wherever they could be arranged.

I think the best teachers are the ones who foster a student's independent learning and self-directed study. In effect, they work themselves out of a regular job relative to their best students. The personal and mentoring relationship may go on for many years past active tutelage, but there is a time for the dependents to "leave the nest" and represent more than an income stream.

In short, it is difficult to imagine an online relationship that lets teacher and student determine effectively when time for graduation has arrived.
Yes I remember when my teacher told me he had taught me everything he could teach and now I just needed to play. But the lack of the discipline of a regular lesson eventually led to my wandering then finally stopping. I guess this would be a way distance learning could help, at least for a non beginner. I find this to be the main feature of the Delcamp lessons: monthly graded assignments and submission of regular videos of my work. It keeps me moving forward. I'm struggling with it now however. The lessons for D06 are only on the Spanish forum and that's not working for me.
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

celestemcc
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Re: Your reviews of Online/Distance guitar instruction

Post by celestemcc » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:46 pm

I think the best teachers are the ones who foster a student's independent learning and self-directed study.
This. Never studied long-distance, know myself too well to know that I need face-to-face. That said, you reach a point where (while I have a LOT to still learn of course), a good teacher helps you teach yourself, once you have certain fundamentals mastered. Been unable to meet my own teacher for a while due to various circumstances, but finally sat down with piece I'm working on, and tried to think how he'd help me with the tougher passages, how, in essence, to "solve the problem". I think it's working... when we finally get a lesson next week, I'll get to refine things further with his help. Of course I'll also find out if I was getting it wrong! :lol:
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Your reviews of Online/Distance guitar instruction

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:58 pm

I teach online myself. I provide live feedback to my students. Watching tutorial videos on youtube or similar websites can be a mixed blessing. In a sense that sometimes they are helpful and sometimes harmful. Harmful because one doesn't get feedback. So if one's technique or position is incorrect, then it's gradually going to become a habit which will be hard and challenging to unlearn or lose. In worse scenarios, it can also lead to injuries.

On the other hand, teaching online is very much like teaching in person. The teacher needs to have the necessary knowledge and skills to teach. Sometimes people mistakenly assume that if someone is a great player/performer then s/he is a great teacher too. In fact, teaching and playing are not as related as they seem. Unfortunately, the guitarists and guitar teachers are not taken as seriously as violists, pianists etc. and the same applies to teaching the instrument... I'm digressing.

About the price, I think it would be fair if online teaching be slightly cheaper because the teacher does not spend time or money to travel to the student's house. Other terms could be very similar to the in person lessons.
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

ThomasW
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Re: Your reviews of Online/Distance guitar instruction

Post by ThomasW » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:22 pm

Hello Arash Ahmadi,

Thanks for your post and your interesting points.

Would you mind giving your thoughts on the technical side of the matter? What software do you use (Skype)? What kind of limitations do you see (from a teachers perspective) when comparing online to normal lessons?

Thanks in advance

Thomas

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Your reviews of Online/Distance guitar instruction

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:35 am

Hello Thomas,

I use Skype most of the times. I can say that if both student and teacher have standard hardwares (doesn't need to be high end), online and normal lessons are 95% the same. It also depends on the student. Some might feel they learn, communicate or express themselves better in person. On the other hand, some might feel a teacher can help them more if they have an in person lesson. To me, it's not true. Online or in person lessons are the same to me. I have successfully prepared students (online and in person) for international examination board assessments and sometimes my online students have done better. On the other hand, I had/have students who feel they learn better online. Because they are in the comfort of their home and don't need to travel to the music school or teacher's studio. Traveling even for a short distance, specially if you are living in a big city can be physically and mentally tiring.

Ofcourse there are some limitations. For example if you are teaching an absolute beginner online, you can't correct the way s/he holds the guitar by touching/moving the guitar. So it might take a little more time for you to explain and show the correct position. Moreover, you can't mark or write anything on their scores, so you either have to ask them to do it themselves or you have to do it later and send it to them. Although, you can use some tools to do it online as well. So there is a way to overcome all limitations.

On the other hand, I usually would not suggest online lessons to some age ranges. For example it's very hard to teach or communicate with a very young learner online, specially if their parents are not sitting at the other end with them. At the same time, people who are in their 60s or older would usually feel better to have the lesson in person. There are exceptions for both groups though.

Ultimately, online lessons give everybody a chance to study with a qualified and professional teacher regardless of their location. I believe an experienced teacher can very well handle all sort of problems that might arise in teaching online.
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

Rasputin
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Re: Your reviews of Online/Distance guitar instruction

Post by Rasputin » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:18 pm

Arash Ahmadi wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:35 am
I use Skype most of the times. I can say that if both student and teacher have standard hardwares (doesn't need to be high end), online and normal lessons are 95% the same.
Interesting that this is so different from the other AA's experience.

Maybe in Adrian's case it was the distance that was the problem. I think the connection speed is going to be far more important than the device specs.

Anyway I am really posting because I noticed that tonebase have now launched a service where you make a video (no more than 8 mins long) and get feedback from one of their stable of pros (your choice - currently there are 8 of them). You have to upload the video to YT, although you can mark it private for what that's worth. The charge is $45 but that looks like an introductory rate. I remember a previous thread about a similar service offered by a concert guitarist, where a few people said there was a long wait for the feedback - as far as I can see tonebase don't commit to any particular turnaround time.

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Your reviews of Online/Distance guitar instruction

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:23 pm

Rasputin wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:18 pm
Arash Ahmadi wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:35 am
I use Skype most of the times. I can say that if both student and teacher have standard hardwares (doesn't need to be high end), online and normal lessons are 95% the same.
Interesting that this is so different from the other AA's experience.

Maybe in Adrian's case it was the distance that was the problem. I think the connection speed is going to be far more important than the device specs.

Anyway I am really posting because I noticed that tonebase have now launched a service where you make a video (no more than 8 mins long) and get feedback from one of their stable of pros (your choice - currently there are 8 of them). You have to upload the video to YT, although you can mark it private for what that's worth. The charge is $45 but that looks like an introductory rate. I remember a previous thread about a similar service offered by a concert guitarist, where a few people said there was a long wait for the feedback - as far as I can see tonebase don't commit to any particular turnaround time.
A good connection is certainly a must! And as I tried to point out, both teacher and student need to be IT proficient to some extend at least for it to work out best.

About tonebase, it's a good idea but $45 for just a feedback is not for everyone. But it's tempting to see what famous guitarists have to say about one's performance at least for once. But I wonder how useful/helpful it's going to be as you can't have a dialogue with them. Neither parts can ask questions and they know very little about the student or person who has uploaded the video, if anything at all. (...back to the standard devices topic again...) To me as interesting as it seems, with all the respect for tonebase, it's way more profitable for tonebase than it can be for their customers... It's more of a mystery and excitement, if you know what I mean.
Last edited by Arash Ahmadi on Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

Rasputin
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Re: Your reviews of Online/Distance guitar instruction

Post by Rasputin » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:44 am

Yes I agree - the feedback in itself might be useful but it's not going to replace a lesson where you can actually have a discussion with the teacher. I am thinking though that for distance learning, a combination of sharing good quality video with the teacher and Skype sessions might be the way to go.

Lsulit
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Re: Your reviews of Online/Distance guitar instruction

Post by Lsulit » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:42 am

I had connected with my instructor a few years ago for in person lessons to learn the basics. Then he left to further his own training by getting his doctorate. During that time I struggled to progress as I was wandering through various pieces but had no sense of direction. I have since reconnected with him through Skype lessons and has put me on a good path. He is able to select pieces with a purpose to work on various techniques and on musicality. Even though he admits that you can't always assess how someone's tone is, a good instructor even while limited through Skype can pick out troublesome right hand fingerings or how tempo is or even dynamics. It has been a godsend for me and the perk is I don't have to leave from home. I have heard that people are working on software that will optimize audio streaming vs visual to enhance music lessons, etc. I also think that good classical guitar instructors can be hard to come by for some people and online is a good way to connect with one. Just my two cents.

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