As my regular readers know, I've been working with Jack DeJohnette's group. Because I live on the West Coast, and DeJohnette is so busy, it's hard to organize rehearsals. Before we did the Newport festival last summer, DeJohnette and I arranged to have a Skype rehearsal. He was in a hotel in the south of France, and I was in my office in Portland. The connection was so good, we were having really nice jam session.(Jack played his keyboard and I played bass. And no, this wasn't the configuration for the Newport gig…)
I had been hearing that some musicians had been teaching via Skype. I have to admit, I was a little……SKYPTICAL. ( Cue the rim shot.) But after that rehearsal, I figured that this sort of thing, while obviously somewhat lacking in the live human feel of a private music lesson, would save people so much time and money that those shortcomings would pale in comparison to the benefits. Think about it: I can teach anybody who has a computer in the comfort of my home, and they can study with me in the comfort of theirs! It's kind of a miracle.
I posted on Facebook that I was offering Skype lessons, and two students hit me up. Since I haven't been teaching private students that much at PSU, it felt great to connect one on one, especially with serious piano students. (Actually, the students I refer to are professional. Which makes it all the more an honor that professionals would seek me out for advice.) One of them had an audio glitch; however, I could still hear him play and it was really productive, in my view.
Since I already have a full time teaching position, I don't plan on spending a ton of time doing Skype lessons. However, I would like folks to be aware if they so desire to try it.So hit me up with a private message on Facebook, or email me through my website (www.georgecolligan.com) My Skype rates are affordable-especially considering the fact that you don't even need to leave your house! I think as audio, video, and internet quality improves, even the most SKYPTIC ( groan) of teachers will consider this method.