Wherever you are in the world
Most of my teaching is done online via Skype. Although based in the UK, I have been lucky enough to meet students from all over the world including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Northern Europe, Canada and the USA. All you need is a stable internet connection and a device with a webcam and built in microphone.
iPads or similar are ideal to use. If you use a laptop or PC I recommend using a separate webcam to the one that’s built in to the screen. Either of these HD webcams are ideal:
Top Pick: Logitech C920 HD Pro USB 1080p Webcam
Setting up Skype
Skype lessons work really easily, so if technology isn’t your thing don’t fret! If you don’t have Skype on your device you can download it for free. You’ll also need a Skype account. You can create one here. Once you’re logged in, search for melanie.biggs16 in the search bar and add me to your contacts. Then, we’re ready to connect! If all of this is new and daunting, you can ask a friend to help or get in touch with me and I can talk you through it over the phone or via email.
A clear and incident free Skype call relies on setting up and checking a few things before we connect a call:
- Skype relies on a fast and stable internet connection. Make sure your connection speed isn’t being hindered by uploads/downloads/streaming TV whilst the lesson is in progress.
- Make sure you set up the camera angle so that your whole instrument including left and right hands (with bellows open) can be seen on screen. Ideally your face too – but not to worry if you can’t get everything in! (I usually start the lesson with the camera on my face and then angle it down when we come to work on a tune).
- Find a light, comfortable place in your home where you can sit or stand for Skype lessons.
- Devices such as notebooks and tablets allow you to be flexible about where you are in your home and many have built in webcams and microphones. But be aware about the changes in the strength of your wireless signal as you move around the house. Being wired into your router via an ethernet cable will be quicker and more stable than wireless.
Please visit my pricing page for current information. UK students who see me online for lessons usually pay via online banking. You can set this up with your bank if you don’t have this facility set up already.
Alternatively, students can pay via PayPal. PayPal is a popular option for overseas students, although please note that there will be a small fee added on to the cost of the lesson to cover PayPal’s transaction fees (usually cheaper than currency conversion at the bank).
FAQs and Testimonials
If you’re still uncertain about using Skype for lessons – many people have been in your shoes and have given it a go! Check out my FAQs page for answers to your queries and my Testimonials page to see what others say about Skype lessons with me.