If you are interested in teaching music lessons over Skype, I recommend reading another article on this website:
7 Easy Steps to Teaching Music Lessons Online by Lisa Brown
This article is a very thorough and a helpful how-to for those interested in teaching lessons over Skype.
Skype, the software that allows users to make phone calls over the internet, recently celebrated its 5th anniversary as a company. There are many people that feel the Skype is a superior alternative to cell phones, especially with the increasingly ubiguitous use of webcam video.
But what about teaching lessons over Skype?
Here are two musicians that are making it happen. Tim Price, a NYC saxophonist who has taught with the New School and Long Island University, and Mark Miller, a Chicagoland pianist with students in England, Oregon, Sweden and more.
Watch this Fox New Chicago feature on Mark Miller (link to Quicktime Movie).
Personally, I took 4 months of composition lessons over the phone this past year. I had started with a new teacher in NYC and when a gig in Hawaii called, I took the gig and continued lessons over the phone. For me, I felt the lessons were less efficient over the phone and plagued by technically difficulties and eventually I discontinued them.
Yet, while these lessons were a little awkward, I can see a new market for music teachers that will continue to grow. The obstacles that we would have to overcome to make the distance-learning experience work for musicians are the limitations of the technology involved. The satellite delay of most cell phones makes fluid conversation awkward and the poor transmission of sound makes listening to music over the phone nearly impossible. In my own case, the unreliability of internet made file-sharing difficult.
But if it were possible to fix these three complications – digital delay, sound quality, and accessibility – the fundamentals of a successful long-distance music studio (somebody will eventually coin the term eStudio no doubt) are possible. Most computers come stock with webcams and these days. There are many digital-conference software packages available that streamline file-sharing for telecommuting corporatations.
This is another example of the new opportunities available to modern musicians. As the technology grows and makes the digital music lesson more efficient, I suspect some large corporation will make a lot of money off internet music lessons.