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Courses/Workshops Update on Online Saxophone Study

jbtsax

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Different students have different needs. But we are losing track of the key word, online. Not a problem, but I'd like to see more about that aspect.
Exactly! Thank you for bringing that up. In my view the greatest shortcoming of "online instruction" is that there is no "feedback" to the student unless perhaps it is done by skype. Online lessons can be successful in dispensing information, but is no substitute for the one on one instruction of a private lesson where there is "give and take" between the teacher and student. One of the skills of a good teacher is the ability to "monitor and adjust". This simply means to get feedback from the student's efforts as to what is working in the instruction and what is not and then adjust the instruction accordingly. There are many different types of learners and an effective teacher is able to pick up on those differences and teach to those strengths. In my classroom teaching I tried to have at least three different ways to get a concept across to the students.
 
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randulo

randulo

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But there is feedback on sites where you exchange videos with the teacher, they reply and all students see all the videos.
 
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jbtsax

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I can't see it on my phone, but I saw a warning that Classic Smart Music was gonna be turned off next year.

Also needs a specific mike. I'd like to give it a try, but I don't have the right mike... Catch 22 situation.
I contacted Smart Music and asked them if the new version could be used by someone who is not a teacher or student in as school, and their reply was that it could not. HOWEVER a version that will be available to that group of people is going to be introduced before the Classic Smart Music Expires.

If I am not mistaken, any mic with a jack that goes into the soundcard on your computer can be used with Smart Music.
 
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randulo

randulo

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I've been tempted to take Skype (online) lessons in the past (I think Pete offers them?), but my feeling is that it would be far more effective for advanced students because of the cost. My teacher can help me more in person.

One-on-one teaching, including online, will always be expensive as the teacher spends the time with a single person by definition. The technology exists to organize and produce online master classes. Imagine a course, perhaps monthly, or maybe a themed series (let's say embouchure/sound, exercises, etc.). Again, for argument's sake, let's say 8 to ten participants. A 30 minute session with calls for questions every few minutes during the session and a Q&A after. Spitballing again, what if this was £10, 10€, $10 to participate live and get a recording.
I've only seen single lessons.

Are you a teacher? Would that be worth your while? @Pete Thomas? Maybe some of you have seen these available? I haven't yet.

Limitations:
- Each participant would need a decent Internet connection, webcam, lighting and mic.
- The recordings could be given away, but with such a small number they could probably be water marked with the name of the student, making that far less probable.
- This can't replace being at a master class or an in-person lesson.

Advantages:
Immediate feedback, the ability to ask questions and influence the flow of information in the context, as opposed to free discussion.
 

JayeNM

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That escalated way out of what i had anticipated :oops:
Didn't want to step on anybody's feet - apparently i did, and for that i'm sorry.
Caz - It didn't really, so I also apologize if I came off as snarky at the start of my reply. I was in midst of editing it a number of times after initially posting - then ran into my 15-minute edit limit before I could finish.

An outlier like a teacher yelling and throwing cymbals was a 'straw man' misrepresentation of my initial point, thus ruffling my feathers a bit. A teacher of course need not act like that to still be a poor teacher, obviously. They can be the most polite bloke on earth, and slay it when they play out- but if they do not possess adequate tools for teaching and communication and assessment, they will still be very bad teachers.

My point was just: that there are a number of attributes one should look for in a teacher which have no relation to them playing out professionally.
 
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JayeNM

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I've been tempted to take Skype (online) lessons in the past (I think Pete offers them?), but my feeling is that it would be far more effective for advanced students because of the cost. My teacher can help me more in person.
Generally, I agree with this. IF there is a decent teacher available locally, I think being in the same room with the person is advantageous, as telecommunications - while advanced - still cannot match having your teacher sitting next to you.

Online lessons are a boon in situations where quality local teaching may be non-existent, or as you say, the student has eclipsed the abilities of local teachers available (as you say, an 'advanced' student).

Bringing it back to your thread point of online.....I sell a fair # of saxes to people just starting out, and in some cases they have not even investigated local teaching possibilities by the time they receive their horn. In such an instance I may direct them to some of the BETTER youtube vids on subjects along the lines of "how to blow into a sax mouthpiece" or "how to play your first notes on a sax", suggest they practice that stuff to get going, while they look to secure a teacher; and leave it at that.

These are the sorta vids which you identify in your OP as category "A".

Honestly, there are some good ones of these. At least for the beginner context I described here.

The caveat HERE is....even something as seemingly simple as THIS is fraught with danger....as you would be amazed at how many vids are on there about the 'just starting out' subject which are terribly done - either in the methodology they are suggesting, or in the lack of clear communication they use to (try to) get across their points.
 
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randulo

randulo

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I'm sure I'm not the only one who has acquired some really bad habits. Eric Marienthal is picking them up and getting me to fix them. My local teacher does different, but equally valid work.
 

Ken_Sturrock

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I took Skye lessons for years and enjoyed them. I started on Skype because I was living in a place with no saxophone instructors, or at least none that spoke a language in which I was competent enough to learn a completely new topic. I did learn a lot and my Skype teacher took me from nowhere to where I am today (I guess that's somewhere?). I also learned a lot about Jazz and the background of many things. I got encouragement. I heard plenty of stories and this teacher made the subject "come alive". I will be forever grateful.

Yet, as a medium, Skype or FaceTime can only go so far. There were many things that I struggled with that could have been solved quickly if I had an instructor in the same room. I also picked up a number of inefficient or sloppy habits which, also, could have been corrected early with an in-person instructor. So, yeah, my current instructor has plenty of remedial work for me.

I think that online lessons are a valid way to learn but are better for someone who already knows the basics in order to pick up new ideas or approaches. On the other hand, if it weren't for online instruction, I wouldn't be playing today.
 
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randulo

randulo

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spoke a language in which I was competent enough to learn a completely new topic
Thanks for that excellent description of your experience, that language point is a good one. And glad you are playing and here with us now!
 

Nick Wyver

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I'm sure that online teaching has an awful lot to offer, but (someone correct me if I'm wrong) the teacher cannot see or hear the student play. Which means the student has to assess themselves. Something a lot of folk that I've taught would struggle to do in any meaningful sense. Even a one-to-one video link would seem to me to be a poor substitute for actually being there.
Having said that, I must agree that it's a far better situation for a saxophone learner now than it was when I started playing (not quite 50 years ago).
 
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randulo

randulo

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the teacher cannot see or hear the student play.
You haven't been reading! Two types of online study allow this.
Skype and video exchange both give feedback.
Only Youtube or onine course material suffers from what you evoke, which is of course true in that case.
Ok, you qualify one to one video link later, but these exchanges are excellent, I'm doing one right now and one session has already helped me immensely.
 

JayeNM

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You haven't been reading! Two types of online study allow this.
Skype and video exchange both give feedback.
I think Nick does address this actually, he does state:
Even a one-to-one video link would seem to me to be a poor substitute for actually being there.
As I read it, the point he is making is that even a telecommunications 'visual' is nowhere near equal to having the teacher next to you or in front of you when it comes to assessing/ascertaining certain things. Which I would agree with.
 
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randulo

randulo

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While we wait on that story, my mistake, I thought I saw lessons but I was dreaming. So many players offer online lessons, and I mean live video, but you never know how good they'll be. You can't base it on how well they play, for reasons everyone stated above.
I responded to the beginning of the post about "the teacher can't hear the student play" which is false in the two cases I mentioned. I will say, though, that we should also make a big difference between beginning and intermediate or advanced students. If you are advanced and taking lessons from Kenny Garrett via Skype, I'm sure it would be worth it. It would obviously depend on whether there's an actual plan. Likewise, a master class online with live back and forth would be great.

I'll conclude by restating that this is probably not great for beginners except if they have no choice.
 

jbtsax

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So many players offer online lessons, and I mean live video, but you never know how good they'll be. You can't base it on how well they play, for reasons everyone stated above.
Exactly. One of my pet peeves is the player who makes a video advertising his online lessons and he just rambles on for about 15 minutes with an incoherent and totally unorganized description of what he teaches. My judgement is if he can't organize his thoughts well enough to make a clear and concise summary of what he has to offer, the lessons are going to consist of the same unorganized verbosity and showing off his playing.
 
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