Thursday, 4 October 2012
Is This Thing On?
So, the day of the first Skype lesson came round. Actually, it was the night of the first Skype lesson because Houston is several hours behind British Summer Time and we were due to start at ten o'clock at night. Of course, I was fussing about for ages beforehand to make sure the link was right. There are different approaches to setting up the camera. For instance, you can put your laptop on a sturdy music stand and make it look down at the keys. I'm always telling my students not to look at their hands, though, so I didn't want them to be staring at my mitts for an hour. Anyway, it's important to be able to communicate face to face so I chose the side view looking down the keyboard. You can be in the shot and smirk and grimace as much as you want and they can still see your fingering. That's vital so I got them to set up their computer in the same way. Spiro was first home from school, he climbed up on the stool, got the music down and off we went. I think it's very hot in their part of Texas - certainly T-Shirt weather. He's made good progress and so has Amelie but I've taught them both from scratch so I want to keep the contact going. The hour sped by and I was able to plan for the future - more ABRSM Grade Three pieces for Spiro and Grade 6 pieces for Amelie. Joy is full of enthusiasm so she was keen to go on chatting afterwards but I must say I was wrung out at the end of the hour and happy to slump into bed about half past eleven.