It’s true that the internet has been around for quite some time now and we are quite used to video conferencing as a means to communicate with friends and family.
It’s also true that when it comes to other things such as teaching, video calls were not a first choice even more so with music lessons.
However we have been forced to embrace video calls and other tools in order to keep teaching, and we’ve learned that it is actually a great alternative even if we think of a world 100% free of Covid 19.
It’s been almost a year since we adapted to this way of teaching, but that is a relatively short amount of time.
That is why it may be a good idea to stop for a moment and review the tools available in order to make the most out of video conferencing.
Video Conferencing as a Music Teacher
This is not a tool but,it is a reminder that you must find the tools that suit your job.
There is a focus on sound quality and a good connection when it comes to online music lessons.
Video conferencing can be messy at first but there are some things that have to meet a certain standard if you are going to teach music.
Under this idea, let’s review a few tools.
It’s no secret that Zoom was the most used video conferencing platform in 2020. It’s very stable, it offers great video and audio quality, it lets you record calls and it’s very easy to use.
One of the pros of this platform is that it has the highest capacity of people in one call without any issues. Of course the limit is 500, and you’re probably not going to be giving a lesson to that many students at the same time but, it does show how stable the platform is.
There is however, a free version and a paid version. While the free version covers most of the features you’ll need as a music teacher, there are some things such as scheduling and a cloud recording storage that are only available if you get the pro version at $14.99 a month or the enterprise version which gives you access to an unlimited storage for $19.99 a month.
In general Zoom is a very good choice and it will work just fine for your music lessons.
Rock Out Loud
There are many reasons why Rock Out Loud could be the best choice for you, but the main reason is that it is a platform with a focus on music.
This is important because not only does it offer a higher quality audio codec but it also offers features that enhance the learning experience such as on screen chords and on screen music sheets.
This is one of the features that set it apart from other video conferencing tools as it allows you to see your students, and teach with the instrument in hand without having to switch to a presentation mode to screen share or get the camera close to a book.
It’s very useful, but if you want to screen share, you also have that option.
When it comes to all the other important aspects of a video conferencing platform, it’s very good, offering a great quality audio, video and a stable connection.
However it doesn’t get close to the amount of people Zoom can hold in a call, with a limit of 35 people, although most teachers probably have less than that in one online lesson.
It’s also very easy to use for both teachers and students.
It also offers a free version, a paid version with lesson rooms for $9.95, and the most expensive version at 13.99 for multi lesson rooms and the ability to assign sheet music to each room.
for more information check out the Rock Out Loud Live website.
Skype has been around for a while and most people are familiar with it which can be one of its strengths.
It’s free and offers all the basic things you need for a video call but it is one of the most limited and it does have some issues with performance and there are some problems sometimes when adding contacts.
They’ve recently added the Meet Now product, which enables hosts and participants to create and join a video call without making an account or downloading the app.
Skype has been around for quite some time so it’s safe, easy to use and it offers a seamless user experience, but if you want to think outside the box when thinking of your music lessons, it may be best to think about other options.
After all we’ve mentioned before, what could Google Hangouts offer that the other platforms don’t? one of the good things is that, like Zoom, you don’t need to have an account, you just need the link to go to the call which can be useful sometimes.
The big thing about Google Hangouts is its connection to all other google platforms such as gmail and google calendar, which helps with accessibility.
Other than that is good, it’s free but nothing particularly amazing.
There are other options that can be of use but not as the main platform, such as Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, and many others.
These shouldn’t be your main platform mainly because it doesn’t offer the level of quality that other platforms have, due to the fact that social media isn’t specialized in video conferencing, but still, it can work as support tools.
As always if you got the video call covered but you still need to manage your own studio and music lessons, Music Teacher’s Helper can be a great tool to support you as a teacher.