Online Drum Lessons during the Coronavirus Lockdown
Since lockdown began on 23rd March every aspect of our lives has dramatically changed, and the internet has played a huge part in maintaining at least some sense of continuity and productivity. Video conferencing and live-streaming software has become the new normal, with everything from important work meetings to children's PE lessons from Joe Wicks now taking place online, and drum lessons are no different!
How Does it Work?
Thanks to video conferencing software Zoom, I’ve been able to continue teaching all my regular students with great success! Zoom's advanced audio settings mean that both speech and drum kit playing can be heard easily and it really doesn’t matter whether you’ve got an acoustic kit, electronic kit, or are even having to improvise with a pillow and two drum sticks while we’re all locked down.
During the lesson, various website links and pdfs can be screen-shared between myself and the student, which has been a really great way to demonstrate drum beats and patterns in a fun and interactive way. With all these additions, these virtual sessions really do feel just the same as face-to-face lessons! Online drum teacher Mike Johnston has a particularly fantastic online tool called Groove Scribe which is worth having a look at as a student or a teacher!
Can new students take video lessons?
Absolutely! As I mentioned, you really don’t need a full drum kit, nor do you need any background knowledge before taking your first lesson. So long as you’ve got a good enough internet connection and a free half-hour, you'll find your first few video lessons are just as beneficial and educational as a regular lesson in person would be!
What about security?
Since Zoom’s popularity boomed across the world earlier this year, it’s come under a lot of scrutiny for its security measures. More recently, the company do seem to be taking various issues seriously, with software updates on an almost-weekly basis to conquer issues with meeting IDs and so-called ‘Zoom Bombing’. If you do have any concerns over the privacy and safety of Zoom, it's certainly worth taking a look at their blog which details a lot of their updates.
Here's just some of the extra steps I've taken to ensure my lessons are safe and secure for every student;
All students are added as contacts, so no meeting IDs or passwords are shared. This keeps each video lesson secure, as zoom generates a random meeting ID for each lesson, removing the danger of so called Zoom Bombing.
Every lesson uses the Waiting Room feature, so anybody wanting to join the video lesson has to be approved before they can either share their own video or see anybody else's.
Once the student has joined the lesson, the meeting is 'locked', meaning nobody else can join in and view or share any video, even if they were invited. This doesn't keep the student in the lesson locked in, but just keeps everyone else locked out!
It certainly seems like we’ll be in lockdown for a number of weeks to come, so if you have ever thought about learning an instrument and currently have a little bit of spare time on your hands, please get in touch! My usual offer of a free first lesson still applies, so you can have a go before committing to a new skill!