V.com weekend vote: What aspect of technology would you most like to improve for teaching and making music?

May 1, 2020, 2:52 PM · Many of us who have no particular skill with technology nor aptitude for it are finding ourselves up to our eyeballs in online teaching, zoom meetings, and live streams. While much of what we have at our disposal is quite simply amazing, we’re all struggling to become proficient, and pronto.

computer and violin

I personally have benefited from ideas being shared by colleagues, my students, and their parents. All of us are looking for ideas that will make the process simpler, more streamlined, and better tailored to our specific musical needs.

Whether you’re using technology to teach online violin lessons, to perform online, to teach college courses, or just to chat with your family, what would be the greatest improvement you could imagine, to get this technology working for us?

Please pick the answer below that most closely corresponds to your choice, then provide specifics in the comments section. If you have other ideas for improving technologies that are not included in the vote, please share in the comments as well.


May 2, 2020 at 01:09 PM · The time delay means you can’t play together and any counting to help with rhythm is tricky.

May 2, 2020 at 02:45 PM · In live lessons, I do a fair amount of playing with the student. I play the piano scores with my student before we start to put it together with a pianist. This has been a great time saver when it comes to collaborating with a pianist and affords the student a greater understanding of how the piece puts together and helps them be more confident when they do play with piano. Needless to say, this aspect is currently not doable with online lessons. I do not encourage playing with prerecorded accompaniments as this is artificial and trains the student to play like a robot.

May 2, 2020 at 04:13 PM · I voted for a way to play simultaneously with others, but I don't know whether it's physically possible.

May 3, 2020 at 12:54 AM · I have a student with some techie knowledge who asked me to record a 2nd violin part on Quick Time on my MacBook. She then added her 1st violin part, and sent me the resulting duet. We couldn’t have played duets on Zoom. Quick Time worked well if you know how to do it.

May 3, 2020 at 01:04 AM · I am fortunate that I have not had to rely on technology for anything other than personal use during the pandemic. I salute all the violin teachers out there who have figured it out and have used technology to keep their studios alive throughout the past few months. I know it's good for students to have the continuity! And, I wonder if perhaps this opens up some nice opportunities for those who would like to take lessons, but are housebound for medical, age, or transportation reasons. With many teachers discovering the technology for the first time, maybe they can reach out to those who couldn't take "in-person" lessons in the past that can now partake of private lessons. That would be a really nice side effect!

May 3, 2020 at 07:35 AM · As a chamber musician and teacher playing with others is what I miss most. But also my students get a sense of achievement when I can accompany them in a piece...even if they can’t perform it, this gives them a feeling of accomplishment and readiness to move on to a new piece.

May 3, 2020 at 11:44 AM · More than anything - if students all had reliable and fast internet access (Gigabit speeds or close), and real computers (not phones) the quality would be so much better.

Software can only do so much. It can't fix slow internet speeds and limited hardware.

May 3, 2020 at 01:05 PM · I think the reason this vote is so lopsided is that one of the items on the wish list is just much more difficult technologically than the others. Need a way to pay for lessons? Mail a check for a few lessons at a time in advance, or use PayPal. Want better sound quality? Wear headphones.

May 3, 2020 at 06:16 PM · Not very high-tech, but I take photos of music with my phone and then email them.

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