As an online music instructor that teaches live video lessons, why should you create and sell a pre-recorded video course? By the way, the insights apply to online tutors of other subjects as well.
Here are 3 reasons Why
1 To strengthen the relationship your with existing students
First of all, creating a pre-recorded online video course benefits your students from a pedagogical perspective. For example, one of your students might be interested in a specific musical topic and creating a course for him/her might develop this interest further and he/she might want to cover it in future lessons. In addition, online course creation can save you a lot of time. Whilst live video lessons are not exactly reusable, you can recycle the content of a certain online course and show it to another student. Who knows, he/she might buy the course and develop a passion for the same topic the student you originally created the course for was interested in.
2 To find new students
When you put an online course for sale, you could mention that you offer live video lessons. In addition, a student of yours could share with a friend the online course he/she completed and that other person might end up taking lessons with you as a result. Again, unless all lessons are recorded, it’s not that easy to use them to promote your teaching. Online courses are probably a better promotional tool.
3 To have a portfolio
Whilst I cannot say that I got a job after using my online courses as an example of my craft in my applications, you might get luckier! After all, recruiters receive tons of CVs right? So there is no better way to get hired than to show them what you can do!
As music teachers, how do we go on about creating an online course? In this insight I consider 2 different aspects. How do we design the course from a pedagogical point of view? And how do we choose where to host or publish our course on the web? There's a link to a video at the end of the article if you want to dig deeper into this topic.
As teachers, we have designed units of learning before. In the video I simply explain that it’s good to have 2 sections, 1 for technique and the other one for songs where the students apply the techniques. I also explain that I always include some practice exercises in each video, where I literally say ‘Your turn’, stare at the camera calculating how long it approximately takes for them to repeat the exercise.
2 Where to host the course on the web
If your course is for your existing students, you can create a password protected webpage on your website and then embed videos from your Vimeo account (Youtube is also ok but I recommend Vimeo). I use squarespace. You can also include PDFs the students can download. In terms of getting paid, you can list the course on your Buy me a Coffee page and include the webpage URL and password in the message the clients receive after having purchased the course.
Zoom and Skype are not always ideal solutions when it comes to playing duets or chamber music with your students. Whilst the ‘turn on original sound’ and ‘do not suppress background noise’ functions can certainly help, I decided to give Zencastr a try.
Zencastr is used by podcasters to record live interviews, so it’s not designed for music education, but then again, not many platforms are designed for music education to start with. Most of the time (but not all the time), teachers adopt business apps and use them in their music class.
I tried out the tool with my brother. In the video, he is singing and I am playing the ukulele. We did not rehearse the song, it was just to test Zencastr.
The distinction between the ukulele and voice parts is very clear. Not even once some chords or lyrics are suppressed.
There is a time lag. You can hear it as my chords sound delayed in comparison to his singing.
Schools are great for teaching how to work under direct oversight, like a teacher standing over you, and this translates well to traditional work with a boss standing over you in set working hours. The world is moving towards self-directed work (especially working from home or self-employment) as well as self-directed development and learning, and this is something most people are simply not good at long term.
In my opinion a key ability of our generation will be to plan and implement work at home under no supervision, and this will be one of two critical things to teach children (and adults) to prepare them for a 21st century career (I’ll talk about the second thing another time).
Agree or disagree? How would you develop this ability on a national scale? Let me know your thoughts!