Fighting lag and working on rhythm in virtual lessons (Edited title)
I have several students at various levels of beginner, one young one who was really just starting to work on her rhythm reading before the world changed. You just can't do it over the computer! OK, not a full "can't" but it sure is not easy. Following my finger takes coordination through the screen, counting together to get the sense of pulse is pretty much impossible with lag. Thankfully this student has a good musical sense, a great school music teacher, and a supportive parent, so I was able to drop her off some flashcards to practice basic rhythms at home, and she is already comfy enough with Kodaly solfege and a sense of beat that I can have her "rhythm" new music on her own, in phrases, and then we just have to get the bow coordinated with it. With some other students, who don't have as solid an internal rhythm, I'm really feeling the loss of being able to do it *with* them to help develop that.
What have you run into on this front and how are you solving it?
I have been using a voice recorder app on my phone to make sound recordings for my students to use as practice resources. Often I record with a metronome. These aren’t intended to be high fidelity audio recordings; they are just tools for my students. The voice recorder takes up a lot less data than using the video recorder, and it’s easy for me to text the short recordings directly to the students who need them.
Mary Ellen, what types of things are you recording?
Arpeggios, etudes, solos with metronome--anything my students are having difficulty learning. For example, I have students struggling with some of the rhythms in De Beriot #9, so I recorded that at a slow tempo, using the metronome app that shouts out the beats (ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR!). I have done the same for the Ten Have Allegro Brillante. I generally do not record things up to tempo because I don't want to encourage bad behavior (playing too fast too soon). If the student is ready to be playing something up to tempo, they should be long past the need for training wheels.
I agree with Mary Ellen about recording. Also if your connection is decent, you can have the student mute themselves (or you can mute them if you are on Zoom) and they can play/clap along with you for a minute or two. Obviously it’s not ideal because you can’t hear them, but it gives them the experience of copying you like they would if you could play together.
To develop counting it is hard to beat baroque and early classical slow movements.
It’s an option on MetroTimer, which I have on my iPhone. The user is responsible for any swearing. LOL
For students not currently possessing an "adequate" sense of pulse, I would be inclined to put off teaching rhythm reading. Sure, you could demonstrate and they could imitate, but that would be relying the ear rather than actually reading. I've used Kodaly syllables as well as other words (plum, apple, watermelon) and &'s and e&a's. I've also had to coach/correct students on being steady with dividing the beat vs. doing 2 or 4 claps or syllables as fast as they can.
I have been digging up info on lag-free apps and found YouBrio, a free IPhone app designed for live music lessons. Has anyone here tried it?
While my students are not as advanced as those being discussed here, I've been making MP3 files of the exercises and part of the duets in Doflein (that is the method I teach) so that they have their track to follow and then the accompaniment to play the duets.