lesson time


I know I’m late to the party, but I’ve finally hopped on the Skype lesson bandwagon. One of my student’s parents didn’t want to brave the winter roads, so rather than skip the lesson entirely, we had a lesson over FaceTime. Skype is the default app choice for many, but FaceTime worked better in this case. Google Hangout could also be a good option.


I know many people dismiss video conferencing as an inferior, cut-rate lesson format. I have been one of those skeptics. I don’t think there is any substitute for a teacher being able to shape a student’s hand or listen to the subtle changes in a student’s tone quality, or simply be in the same room to pick up on a student’s body language cues. However, just like nearly every other form of technology that comes along, online lessons are a useful tool that, when used judiciously, can enhance our harp lives.

Would I have rather had a face-to-face lesson with my 7-year-old student today? Absolutely. But I will take an imperfect lesson over the internet over no lesson at all any day of the week.

So what do you think of online lessons? Skeptic? Believer? Do you take lessons or teach lessons over the internet? Weigh in with your comments!


About Author

Editor of Harp Column, freelance harpist, private teacher, hot yoga lover, and grammar geek.


  1. Hannah Deladurantey on

    Thanks for sharing. I think as you said, in person is better, but I think a Skype lesson is better then no lesson. And for those who live in an area with a less than ideal harp environment, Skype can be quite a blessing. I started teaching Skype lessons recently and think that as long as you have good Internet connection, it’s worth a try.

  2. Agreed with using Skype as an option. Occasionally a student is unable to come for a lesson due to bad weather etc., in which case we hop on Skype instead. Although somewhat more time consuming, I then make notes in a Word doc & e-mail to them after the lesson, as well as an mp3 of whatever new music was covered if they are learning by ear. One student was moving out-of-state and we agreed to continue w/ Skype as a back-up plan if they weren’t able to find a good fit with a local teacher (they were). If nothing else, it is nice to have it as an option!

  3. I like Skype and Google hangouts and I have used both. And I agree with you all – it’s not the same as “live” but it beats not having a lesson at all!

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