The pandemic certainly changed a lot of things about daily life. While many of these things seem to be slowly getting back to some degree of normal, there are still plenty of activities that we choose to do from the comfort and safety of our own homes.
Before Covid-19, video drum lessons and online instruction had solved some of the biggest obstacles for students, particularly in terms of cost, availability, and the logistics of attending lessons. Video instruction was already fast evolving as a practical alternative to visiting a teacher. Many students use Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, and an ever-growing number of other conferencing platforms to interact with teachers. For a long time now, it has seemed a viable way forward. But how effective are these one-to-one live lessons as a practical and thorough way of teaching drums?
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In our opinion, nothing beats working directly with a credible drum teacher. By this, we mean being in the same room with trained and knowledgeable teaching professionals. We have written extensively on the benefits of working with professional educators. But, we cannot escape the realities of modern-day life. People are busy, there are multiple drains on our time and disposable income, there may not be a credible local teacher to visit, or we may want to try something for ourselves, on our terms, before we seek further guidance. Throw the current Covid situation into the mix, and these are all great reasons to consider the online alternative - video lessons or Zoom lessons.
Video Lessons versus Live Zoom/Skype Lessons.
Let's first define the differences between video lessons and Zoom instruction. Video lessons are pre-recorded instructional videos that the viewer can watch at leisure. At the same time, Zoom instruction is a one-to-one drum lesson between a teacher and a student, conducted over the internet in real-time. At Drum Ambition, we offer video lessons based on over 20 years of teaching experience, centered around a structured curriculum for beginner drummers and more experienced hobbyists that want to get better. Our lessons are recorded in a world-class recording studio for great sound and edited using multiple camera angles. The viewer has an excellent audio, visual, and instructional experience - and this is what sets video lessons aside from Zoom instruction.
Being aware of possible limitations is essential.
To conduct a truly mutually beneficial Zoom lesson, a teacher needs to have access to the same level of audio and visual capability, so the student can get a natural feel for the messages and practical demonstrations that are being imparted. But as importantly, the teacher also needs to see the student (hands, feet, and overall posture). Unless the student has a multi-angle camera set up and excellent audio capability, the whole process can get lost in translation.
Many teachers have covered some of these objections very well in their setup. However, it still doesn't address the biggest concern of needing to see and hear what the student is doing to offer realistic guidance, feedback, and constructive critique. If you can work with these possible limitations and manage your expectations, Zoom lessons could be a good option. At the very least, they provide an excellent opportunity to discuss your progress and goals with someone that can guide you in the right direction.
There is a valid counterargument that watching video lessons will not give you the feedback you need either. Still, by having the ability to watch, re-watch, and fine-tune your progress in your own time, along with the benefit of some self-appraisal and consultation with our Founder and Presenter, you will start to see results.
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