Online Teaching - Recommendations from the PTC UK
Updated: May 16, 2022
Photo by Jo Snowden
Although many of us hope that the return to face-to-face teaching will be possible within the coming months, we know it is difficult to plan ahead during these times and still strive to provide the best possible experience for our students through online lessons.
The following recommendations come from our International Director and Head of Diplomas at the PTC, Lucinda Mackworth-Young. She very quickly adapted to the change early in 2020 and now shares some of her insights into this method of delivering piano lessons.
Unsurprisingly, two of the most obvious challenges faced in online teaching are the sound quality and finding the ideal positioning of the camera so as to emulate as closely as possible the experience of sitting next to the student. This, of course, applied to both the teacher and pupil, and Lucinda has worked closely with her students to find the ideal setup for everyone involved.
Image 1 - Side + Overhead View
One particular student manages to achieve the setup shown by joining the online lesson with two separate devices, both providing a different perspective for the teacher.
Image 2 - Webcam and Boom Stand
This image shows how Lucinda has set up her teaching studio to give students a complete overhead view of her keyboard during lessons, using a camera attached to a tall boom stand.
Image 3 - Overhead View from a Tablet
Alternatively, here she shows how you can still create a very good overhead view using a tablet positioned accordingly.
Image 4 - Overhead Tablet Positioning
And finally, you can see how image 3 is created using the tablet placed on a music stand. The stand itself has been positioned on a coffee table to give a good view of the keyboard from above.
Lucinda also notes that is it possible to maintain a more stable internet connection either by discussing with your provider, or by connecting your device directly to your WiFi router via a long ethernet cable. Bear in mind that your cable may need to by many metres long if your piano and router are not in the same room!
Recommended Equipment List
Here, you can find a list of recommended equipment suggested by Lucinda, including all the equipment mentioned above plus a few extras:
- Boom stand
- Extension cable
- Ethernet cable
- Music stand
Please note that the PTC UK does not endorse the particular companies or products mentioned in the list; these are personal recommendations from Lucinda based on what she has used for her own teaching.