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Heather Broadbent

Skype Violin Lessons

December 11, 2012 at 1:44 PM

I have taught privately for twenty years and never did I ever think that my studio would be online. I never even imagined skype lessons. When the idea was presented to me I thought how effective could it really be. I travel quite a bit with performing the violin and one summer before going overseas a student of mine (from a military family and very comfortable with skype) requested skype lessons. I said ok we can give it a try but I never found the time to make it possible. The following year she asked again and I thought OK - I will seriously give it a try. That summer I taught three students by skype and was terribly surprised by how effective it was. The same summer I was encouraged by another person to make youtube teaching videos. Again I ventured out of my comfort zone and was very surprised, yet again, how effective this is for a teaching tool and it goes hand in hand with the skype violin lessons. I am a die hard traditionalist and am nowhere near what I would call a techie but in many ways I have ventured outside of my comfort zone. Since then I have read multiple articles on the new age of education for children. Children's brains are "turned on" while being taught through social networking sites for example youtube and skype. I have seen this for myself when with one student of mine who struggled learning a scale after having conventional private lessons with me finally learned it perfectly via a skype lesson and one youtube video.

Everything could not have been orchestrated better because now I am living in Gabrovo, Bulgaria playing with the Gabrovo Chamber Orchestra and I am still able to teach my violin students in the states and add students from around the world to my newly located online violin studio. Currently, I have a student that is a high school senior preparing for university auditions and because of skype violin lessons I can still work with her in her preparation process. We indeed do live in an exciting day and age with endless possibilities.

Now when I tell people I teach on skype they look at me and say how is that possible and I smile and say I once thought the same.....

Happy Practicing!!!

Heather Broadbent

From Simon Streuff
Posted on December 11, 2012 at 8:48 PM
Actually so called "new media" has a lot of positive potential. May it be for spreading music, entertainment, lessons. Youtube is like a big Television show, where you can chose your channel and content. Due to the benefits it can have for the makers of the videos the content raises in quality.
Teaching via skype is something my old teacher did from new york, with some of her students in germany and finland. At that time I was sceptical as she offered me the same, but now I think it can be quite effective. Its everything there: You have the sound and the picture.
From Delmar Williams
Posted on December 12, 2012 at 4:56 PM
Heather I was curious how you ended up in Bulgaria?
I was in Bulgaria 5-6 years ago on vacation, and I was actually in Veliko Tarnovo, not so far from where you are. I had a really nice time while I was there. I went to Sofia, Varna, Plovdiv, etc. Delmar
From Heather Broadbent
Posted on December 13, 2012 at 1:38 PM
I first came here in 2002 on invitation from a dear violinist friend and colleague of mine, Kamen Petkov, whom I met playing with the Illinois Symphony. In 2008, I was on faculty for his summer festival located here in Gabrovo, Bulgaria. At the festival the conductor of the Gabrovo Chamber Orchestra, Ivan Stoyanov, invited me to play with the chamber orchestra. I played with them in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Now I am here to play with them on a regular basis. I fell in love with Bulgaria on my first visit:)

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