A guide for families in my studio…

What do I need?

Honestly, it’s pretty simple. If you have a phone and an internet connection, we can do this!

Basically, you need: 1)a device like a phone, laptop, or tablet, and 2)an account with either Skype or FaceTime.

If you want to get fancy, add: 1)headphones with a mic, and 2)a tripod that holds your device. Here’s the one I use for my iPhone.

But, again, you’ll be fine without these extras – I’ve seen people position their devices using stacks of books or an extra music stand (and in one case even a cat tree!).

How do I position my device?

For flute students, the goal is to find a situation where you can play comfortably and with good posture, and then angle your device so you look like this in the screen:

Note that I’m close enough that I fill up the screen, but you can still see both my hands.

For piano students, the goal is to position your device so that I’ll be seeing this angle:

Note that the camera is a little bit above me, making it possible to see both my hands.

Remember, these examples are ideals – don’t worry if you can’t make your screen look perfect. As long as I can hear you, we’ll still get things done!

Our schedule has really changed. Can we do lessons during the school day?

Absolutely. Just let me know what you’re interested in and we’ll make it happen!

What additional resources do you have online to help keep my child learning?

As it happens, over the past year I made it a side project to post player’s-eye videos for both the Faber books and the Music for Little Mozarts series! These are on my YouTube channel and will soon be embedded on this site, too.

We also have a studio subscription to SuperSonics Plus, where you can hear each song and play along with a backing track that makes everything sound epic!

I also recommend that everyone start using some of their screen time to practice reading notes. Here are a few favorite apps:

My school is sending work home. Can you help my child with their music assignments?

Of course! Please send me pictures of any assignments ahead of our lessons and we can talk through it together.

What other options do we have for lessons besides live video chat?

Not to worry – we can still find ways to keep your child moving forward and making music! Possibilities might include emailing videos or sound recordings for feedback (which we can do live over the phone). Here’s the app that I use for sound recordings.

What should I do before my first online lesson?

If you’re using Skype, please add me as a contact and send me a “wave.” (Use my email address and then choose the Gilbert Music Studio account.)

If video chat is a relatively new experience, why not try out a call with a friend? You could even play a song for them!