With the help of technology, you can take lessons from Chris no matter where you live. For students 18 and older using a good Internet connection and Skype (a free online video calling service), you can take lessons from the comfort and privacy of your own home.
How does a Skype lesson work? Says Chris:
Skype lessons are remarkably similar to in-person lessons. If you’re in my studio, you’d be standing in front of me, with your music on a stand, and playing the exercise or piece. I listen and provide feedback, and we work collaboratively from there throughout the lesson. Skype lessons are very similar in the playing and listening and collaboration; the audio and visual just happen to be over the Internet.
Before each lesson, we’ll exchange email to decide the focus of the lesson—e.g., breathing, or vibrato, or a particular piece—based on your progress over the week, as well as questions or obstacles you’ve encountered. Also, if you’re working on material that I don’t have in my library, then you’ll scan and email it to me before the lesson. I maintain a folder with each student’s materials and records of previous lessons.
For the lesson itself, I hook my computer into speakers so I can hear you as clearly as possible. I’ll have your folder and relevant materials in hand as we are working. Over a few lessons, we balance between tone development, technique, and pieces. Usually we’ll discover foundation work to be done that will lift your entire playing level up, in addition to the work we do on tone development, exercises, and music. And, just like in an in-person lesson, you’ll have assigned exercises and materials that correspond with goals to work on until the next lesson.
Alto and bass flutists live all over the country and all over the world! For people specifically looking for help with alto and bass flute, Skype lessons with me are a great choice! What better instruction to have on alto and bass flutes than to work directly with the world-renowned expert on these instruments?
Not a Skype user? That’s okay; it’s free, and very easy to use:
- Go to Skype.com, download and install the software, and give yourself a Skype name.
- I will send you an email with my Skype name, you send me yours, and we add each other as contacts in the Skype program.
- Before the first lesson, we’ll set up a test connection to ensure that the connection is going to work and to make sure we can contact each other. It helps if you have an external mic because it picks up your playing more clearly and audibly, but not absolutely necessary.
- When lesson time comes, you select Skype from your available programs, select my name from your contacts list, and then click on the video camera icon. Skype will call me, and we’ll get started.