Online Ukulele Lessons
Sadly hopping on the plane and travelling to the sunny Algarve for a weekly ukulele lesson is not possible for most people, but with modern technology it’s easy to visit via Skype or Facetime for your one-to-one tuition.
Until late 2015, prior to emigrating, I formed Colchester Ukulele Academy which successfully taught hundreds of students in groups and individually (click here or the banner above to see testimonials). Many of these students are asking to continue their learning via Skype, so I offer a number of Skype lesson times for both continuing and new students from across the globe.
All you need your end is a well lit room (with the light falling on your instrument), a reasonable webcam on your computer or tablet and a reliable and reasonably fast internet connection. The faster the internet the better the picture !
Free initial meeting
To make sure internet sessions work for the student, I provide a free, short 10-15 minute introductory meeting which allows us to look at your learning goals and work out any technical bugs.
If you are happy with the introduction we can then work out lesson times to suit our commitments. At this stage I will also ask you to complete an emailed questionnaire which will help me plan the teaching sessions and ensure you make maximum progress towards your goals.
When & terms and conditions
I usually teach weekdays from 10am - 12pm and 2pm - 8pm GMT/BST but can be flexible. To reschedule a lesson I ask for a days email notice in advance. Less than 24 hours notice or no-shows will be charged the full lesson price. If the student is late for the lesson there is a courtesy period before the lesson is considered a no-show. Lessons end at the hour’s 45 minute mark, even if the student shows up late, so as not to inconvenience later students. If the session suffers any problems due to internet connection, your missing or disrupted minutes are credited to a future session. If problems persist we may have to reassess our lessons.
I find that 45 minutes is the perfect length for an online lesson. This gives me time to assess previous material, check on progress making corrections and answering questions. It also allows time to introduce any new material. During the lesson you will see me take notes so I can make sure the next session picks up where we leave off. Unlike other Skype teachers I will email you a brief summary of what we covered in each lesson. This makes sure you know what to practice and work on before the next session. There is nothing worse than a music teacher who spends a lot of time each session trying to remember where we got to and what you should be working on. At key points I can also send you rough audio recordings and videos of my playing to help your practice, as long as you promise not to post them online !
• Following your free initial meeting I charge £20 UK (or current euro equivalent) for your first 45 minute lesson. This is on a pre-paid basis.
• As you continue with further lessons, these are booked and paid for in advance, in blocks of 4 lessons at a total cost of £80.
• Payment by direct transfer or via Paypal. I find that the best frequency for any music lessons is weekly. This ensures continued attention and even with only 10 mins of practice per day you will make good progress. Unless you are very committed fortnightly and monthly lessons are not as efficient in building up your playing.
Over the years I have developed teaching material over a range of genres, but I know that to get you to practice as much as possible and make fastest progress it helps if we choose music to suit your tastes, we will discuss and plan this at your initial sessions.
I teach all levels and styles, from those who have only just picked up the instrument and want to strum properly, through to those who can already play and wish to learn new styles and techniques. From’ rock and punk’ to ‘folk and country’, ‘classical and Aolden age’ to ‘Formby’ , fingerpicking to clawhammer..
The advantages of online lessons
• You don’t waste time travelling (in the dark and rain) to and from lessons, worrying about traffic, parking and the cost of fuel.
• You are in a familiar, safe and (hopefully!) relaxed environment.
• You can use the travelling time for your practicing.
• You receive expert and experienced tuition that matches your needs and not those of others in a group teaching scenario.
• The inevitable slight connection delay means it is difficult for us to play together in real time, but I get around this by occasionally emailing audio practice tracks with my debrief email, so you get a permanent practice partner as well !
• No tea or coffee or playing with my adorable dogs..
• No sitting in the sun under the orange trees (until you book a ukulele retreat / course). I think this covers most things about our lessons, but if you have any further questions please email me at email@example.com. Phoning abroad is too expensive and I’m usually working on the farm when not teaching..