It really felt like someone pulled the handbrake on life as we knew back in March when countries around the world went into lockdown.
This affected different industries in different ways and today I’m going to be talking about the education industry. More specifically, singing education and vocal coaching and the necessity of online lessons.
- No more commuting to your lesson, finding parking, etc. This takes a lot of the stress out of the equation for people and saves people a lot of time!
- I can analyze your vowel shapes in such detail over zoom and notice any tension in your extrinsic muscles or articulators.
Monitor your emotional connection and communication deeply in the micro-movements of your eyes and face and give you some really in-depth feedback and guidance as a result.
- Lesson recordings – you have a video recording of every lesson. At Voiceworks we just pop them into a google drive folder and your lesson to review for the week which you can also download to your computer.
- Sharing my screen with a shared google doc at the beginning of the lesson taking notes as the student speaks about their experience of practice during the week.
I do the same at the end of the session as a round-up. Having this written record to keep us on track, having the visual of me writing things out in bullet format as we collaborate and process our plans and reflections is dreamy!
- Having a singing lesson from the safe environment of your own home can bring out the best in singers who tend to be nervous in their lessons.
- We get to work with you in your practice space. We can even get the student to simulate their practice routine. I’ve even had lessons with students that I was merely a fly on the wall for them as they practice. I took notes and we discussed how they can make their practice sessions more effective.
- If you don’t have a good internet speed your experience is going to be poor. It won’t flow and you’ll get screen freeze. An alternative we’ve used at Voiceworks for those with poor internet speeds in their area is to record video messages back and forth.
The student records themselves singing on the phone and sends it via Whatsapp or Marcopolo. The teacher can respond back with feedback on their performance and further instructions and so on…
- If you don’t feel comfortable belting it out at home then online lessons might be really challenging. But this exposes another issue. If you haven’t been able to find privacy in your home space for practice this means you’re only really touching base with your voice once a week at your lesson which isn’t ideal.
- Missing out on the energy exchange between you and your teacher. No matter how HD the visual is and crisp the audio is it’s still a screen. The complexity of social interaction and connection between the student and teacher creates a more emotional experience.
We tend to remember and process emotionally heightened experiences better. So we’ve got some ground to cover here on the online lesson in terms of making the lessons feeling emotionally engaging and uplifting and inspiring.
- For more accompaniment-driven teaching online is really challenging due to latency. But there is amazing software such as Cleanfeed available to solve that live music-making problem for you or SoundJack which is a low latency audio/video communication.
We lean towards vocal technique coaching and artist development at Voiceworks so we’re lucky this isn’t a big issue for us.
- No escape from the damn screen. So much screen time.
Teachers find a way to reduce screen time in other ways if you can if you’re teaching all day on zoom. I recommend refraining from social media as much as possible. I delete the apps from my phone as they’re very addictive.
I’ve got undistracted installed on my google chrome browser which blocks my Facebook and Youtube news feed.
- Gemma shares how she wasn’t an effective coach before and decided to enroll in online singing lessons. (01:41)
- Gemma describes how her online singing lessons went in the midst of the pandemic. (02:23)
- Gemma describes how Chris Johnson coached her to enhance her upper register – where the voice will need to shift. (04:13)
- What are the pros of online singing lessons? (8:08)
- Describes how Gemma can still effectively coach students even in online lessons. (08:49)
- Describes how Gemma’s students were amazing on how they sing differently after taking online lessons. (12:14)
- What are the cons of online singing lessons? (18:06)