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#1178359 - 04/11/09 08:22 AM Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online?
Piano World Offline



Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5650
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
Anyone tried streaming piano lessons live online?

Suggestions for needed equipment?

I've been exchanging emails with a couple of teachers who are interested in trying this. They teach masters classes and a few private students (around their performing schedules).

Having been approached by potential students from other parts of the country (and/or the world), their thought is to teach live via the Internet.

I wondered if anyone had experience with this, and what equipment you and your student(s) use?

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- Frank B.
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www.PianoSupplies.com
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#1178369 - 04/11/09 09:03 AM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: Piano World]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12215
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I have not yet experienced this first-hand, but I'm going to try it with my voice teacher who is in CA (and I'm in WI). I downloaded Skype, and it is fairly easy to set up. Of course, a web cam and a decent mic will be needed to make it work the best (and a fast internet connection). I'll let you know how it goes! I had talked with a guitar teacher who taught this way with some success, so I think this will be an up-and-coming way to teaching when being in person is not possible.

Edited to add: Skype is free to download and use, by the way.


Edited by Morodiene (04/11/09 09:03 AM)
_________________________
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#1178377 - 04/11/09 09:20 AM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: Morodiene]
Piano World Offline



Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5650
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
Thanks Morodiene,

Yes, Skype was mentioned by the teachers too.
I'll have to try it myself.

As you say, the cam and the mic will be important.

In my case I'd be playing on a Yamaha P-80 (DP) so I could probably run the piano midi through the computer, and I have a decent Shure mic (SM57)(although I have no idea how one would run the mic through the computer).

However, I'm presuming most people taking lessons from teachers who are also concert pianist will likely be playing acoustic pianos.

Please do keep us informed.
It will be interesting to find out what works, and what doesn't.

I know there are places on the Internet that offer online lessons, but most of them do not appear to be live/interactive in real time.
_________________________
- Frank B.
Founder / Host
www.PianoWorld.com
www.PianoSupplies.com
Find Us On:
Facebook.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Twitter.com/PianoWorld
www.youtube.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Skype: PianoWorldDotCom
My Keyboards:
Estonia L-190, Yamaha P-80, Hammond XK-3, Hammond A-100, Estey 1895 Pump Organ, Harpsichord (kit), Clavichord (kit), Bilhorn Telescope Organ c 1880
-------------------------
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
Invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!
Coming to Maine? We're in Parsonsfield let's get together!


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#1178378 - 04/11/09 09:23 AM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: Piano World]
Chromatickeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/09
Posts: 108
Loc: Georgia USA
I have taught but not music. The bare bones of teaching are the same whether you are doing automotive instructioon or piloting skills or math. I have used flip charts, black board , slides and video.

One thing I found is that students expect at least (with video)the quality of the evening news as to holding their attention. Anything less and they drift away. Get a copy of Great Courses "Understanding Music". Find someone who can project with the enthusiasm of the instructor there.

It is possible to have a facilitator who doesn't even know the subject (or at least in this effort isn't a super piano player/ piano teacher) with experts introduced as the need arrives. Avoid hide bound dogma. "Cause I said so" won't cut it.

Segment your presentation so as to define the audience as to material you wish to present. Do a walk about demo-ing the scope of the course, all of it. The prospective learner will likely jump too far ahead but he/she will soon settle at the right level.

Certainly present the usual methods but leave room for inovation (my own preference anyway). Bring everyone along, and that isn't the same as no child left behind. What a dumbed down pile of residue. Challange along with illuminate.

The equipment I used (only a few years back) is now totally obsolete so I can't offer much there.

James McPherson

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#1178562 - 04/11/09 03:28 PM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: Chromatickeys]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Frank,

My big desire is to be able to do this.

Any information about how to accomplish the technical parts and the budgetary concerns is welcome information.

I think it's wonderful that you are looking in this direction.

The posted page is very often difficult to convey exactly what is meant - and readers often assert their own experiences into the mix of what is being read - which changes the content of the information based on how well they are understanding what is being said.

When an instruction is said to someone, the authority of it takes precedence, and the listener is more likely to respond accurately, or ask questions to clarify. With the teacher in view of the student and vise versa, an immediate collaboration can take place with which to end on a teaching/learning point that satisfies both of the participants.

This is easiest to do in weekly lessons, however the disadvantage there is that it is a very specific time, place. With video tapes, or online live video, it can be done from both persons "home port" and when it is easy to just connect "electronically".

I wish you would tell us more about your plans!

Is part of your reason for this the extreme problems people are having in understanding theory as well as seeing that people get stuck in their musicianship and feel frantic and frustrated.

That does not have to happen!

People who are ______ (fill in the blank)dramatic, need drama. If none is present they will create some. Like wise: frustrated, lost, lost in space. Those who are competent in everything they do, accountable, questing, have another set of behavior and tolerance. Part of music making is understanding the self you are working with and how it came to be that way, and then, how to affect good changes toward better understanding and grasp (not grasping) of music making.

Thank you for a fine forum.

Betty Patnude

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#1178761 - 04/11/09 10:45 PM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: Betty Patnude]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1439
Loc: Australia
I have recently set up such a system, using Skype.
So far, I have only used it with existing students, here in Australia. When the connection (both ends) is good, it is fine, but be prepared for some glitches.

As to equipment needed, I can anly describe my own setup.
(I teach both piano and guitar (beginner and intermediate)
For the audio side, I have a Kawai MP-5 stage piano, small Yamaha keyboard, electro-acoustic guitar, and microphone, connected to a small audio mixer.(Tapco Mix 60)
The output from the mixer goes into a usb audio interface, connected to a Windows PC, running Skype.

My Video arrangement, is slightly different from your average webcam setup.
I use two camcorder type cameras. (Most useful for guitar, as I can show, either hand) One is fairly new, the other, an oldish, out of style model, but works perfectly. ( Both these cameras have better quality lenses, than your standard webcam)
The analog video-out connections on the cameras, connect to a cheap video switch box, so that I can switch cameras instantly, on the fly.
The output of the switch box, goes to the analog-in connection of a video capture card, installed in the PC.

It is not normally possible to use analog video cameras with Skype, but there is a small, cheap software program available, that makes Skype think that I am using DV cameras.

I have also used this setup ( cameras, microphone, mixer) to record video lessons for a guitar student, who can not always make his lesson. I post it on a private web page so he can view and download it, at his convenience.
Hope some of this helps.

Rob

PS One the biggest problems, was positioning one of the cameras to show the keyboard effectively. The best I have come up with so far, was adapting a boom type microphone stand, to hold both the camera and microphone. Using the small remote control that came with the camera, I can also zoom in or out, easily.
If anyone is interested, I could take some pics of my setup.
It would also be interesting to see what others use.


Edited by R0B (04/11/09 11:08 PM)
_________________________
Rob

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#1178762 - 04/11/09 10:53 PM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: R0B]
Piano World Offline



Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5650
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
Thanks Rob, any and all input is appreciated.

The teachers I'm talking with at the moment both have large acoustic grands.

However, your description of a mic and mixer using usb to connect to the PC would probably cover this. And the video capture card makes sense.

Of course the student would need a similar setup.

We're making progress here folks, please keep the feedback coming.
_________________________
- Frank B.
Founder / Host
www.PianoWorld.com
www.PianoSupplies.com
Find Us On:
Facebook.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Twitter.com/PianoWorld
www.youtube.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Skype: PianoWorldDotCom
My Keyboards:
Estonia L-190, Yamaha P-80, Hammond XK-3, Hammond A-100, Estey 1895 Pump Organ, Harpsichord (kit), Clavichord (kit), Bilhorn Telescope Organ c 1880
-------------------------
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
Invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!
Coming to Maine? We're in Parsonsfield let's get together!


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#1178780 - 04/11/09 11:33 PM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: Piano World]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1439
Loc: Australia
Hello Frank,

Using accoustic grands, would be even simpler. A mixer would not even be required. Just a microphone, suitably positioned to pick up both the instrument, and the teacher's voice.
This could be plugged in to the 'external mic' input, on a DV camcorder. The camera, could then be connected to the PC using the 'Firewire' connection.
Skype would then recognise this camera, without the need for additional software.

Edited to add: Don't forget to check out the features and add-ons, freely available for Skype, such as 'interactive white board sharing, desktop sharing, the ability to play an audio file, directly to the student in real time, transfer of files, pdf documents for manuscript, etc. etc.....the list goes on.

Also, if you have two internet computers available, you could set up a separate Skype account on each one, and trial the whole thing in the same room.


Edited by R0B (04/12/09 01:48 AM)
_________________________
Rob

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#1178924 - 04/12/09 08:39 AM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: R0B]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4981
Loc: boston north
Rob, it sounds interesting but so complicated!

Heck, I don't even know what a firewire is yet. But I love this new technology coming along.

So, are you suggesting that a camcorder would be better than the webcam, and skype would recognize either?

I have watched recent Oprah shows where she uses skype. There are always glitches in the movements or voice to video.

I would imagine that they have some good equipment. (but maybe those who are recording don't???)

_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1178934 - 04/12/09 09:06 AM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: R0B]
Piano World Offline



Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5650
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
Originally Posted By: R0B
Hello Frank,

Using accoustic grands, would be even simpler. A mixer would not even be required. Just a microphone, suitably positioned to pick up both the instrument, and the teacher's voice.
This could be plugged in to the 'external mic' input, on a DV camcorder. The camera, could then be connected to the PC using the 'Firewire' connection.
Skype would then recognise this camera, without the need for additional software.

Edited to add: Don't forget to check out the features and add-ons, freely available for Skype, such as 'interactive white board sharing, desktop sharing, the ability to play an audio file, directly to the student in real time, transfer of files, pdf documents for manuscript, etc. etc.....the list goes on.

Also, if you have two internet computers available, you could set up a separate Skype account on each one, and trial the whole thing in the same room.


Rob,

~Are DV camcoders set up to accept something like the Shure SM57?
I realize the better the equipment, the better the recording.
But...
~Won't the streaming quality be limited by the speed of the users processor (computer) and Internet connection?
~ Does Skype set limitations on how much data can be streamed in a given time?
~ Does compression enter the picture?

Sorry to keep hitting you with questions, but you seem to have some experience with this and inquiring minds want to know :-)
_________________________
- Frank B.
Founder / Host
www.PianoWorld.com
www.PianoSupplies.com
Find Us On:
Facebook.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Twitter.com/PianoWorld
www.youtube.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Skype: PianoWorldDotCom
My Keyboards:
Estonia L-190, Yamaha P-80, Hammond XK-3, Hammond A-100, Estey 1895 Pump Organ, Harpsichord (kit), Clavichord (kit), Bilhorn Telescope Organ c 1880
-------------------------
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
Invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!
Coming to Maine? We're in Parsonsfield let's get together!


Top
#1178986 - 04/12/09 11:25 AM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: Piano World]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1439
Loc: Australia
Frank,
First let me apologise, for not realising earlier, that you are the Founder of this amazing forum.
For that, many thanks. It is an amazing resource. :-)

Secondly, I am far from an expert in matters Skype.
I just have a curious mind, and love to try out any new technology.
Not sure if I can answer your questions with any kind of authority, but here goes...

The DV camera I use, has an external mic input, so I assume most have, and your SM57, would connect to it. ( with a suitable adaptor)
The reason I use a mixer, is because I found that when using my camera ( a Canon MVX 330i )and connecting via firewire, I could not use any other audio source, than the camera's built in mic.
The mic I have, ( a condenser type) needs 48v 'phantom power', and the mixer provides this.
The mixer also allows me to connect a Digital Piano, guitar, etc., and control the volumes of each input. It was relatively inexpensive, just under $100 Australian.

Yes, the connection speed of both users, would play a part in the quality, as would general internet congestion, between the two connections.

I believe that Skype does introduce some kind of compression, or limitation on bandwidth, but that is unavoidable. Ther is no time limit, as far as I am aware, on the duration of calls, but lots of good info can be had on The Skype users forum (on the main Skype website)

Using the analog outputs ( the yellow RCA connectors) of the camcorders does not (in my case) result in any discernable loss in quality.

Some DV camcorders, are not capable of functioning as a webcam, so I would advise checking before purchasing.
Also, I found I had to remove the tape, to prevent the 'auto power off' function from kicking in, on my particular model.
Ironically, I get the best reults from an old Panasonic VX70 camcorder, which although outdated now, functions as well, or better than, the most expensive dedicated webcams available.
I am sure that many users will have something similar, lying in a box in the attic, somewhere.
Hope this answers at least some of your questions, and that someone with more experience that I, will happen along soon.

Regards,
Rob
PS I will try, over the next few days, to put together a short video, showing how I use my system. Hopefully it will be of help. I will let you know when it is done.


Edited by R0B (04/12/09 12:28 PM)
_________________________
Rob

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#1179003 - 04/12/09 11:52 AM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: Piano World]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1439
Loc: Australia
Hi Lilylady,
'Firewire' is simply a method of connecting digital equipment (cameras, audio devices, etc.,) to a PC. It is similar to USB.

To answer your second question, yes, a camcorder is generally of better quality than most webcams, However, webcams are designed specifically for the job, so easier to set up, but camcorders generally have higher quality lenses, and most people have one lying around doing nothing most of the time, so it makes sense to make use of it, if you don't already have a webcam.
And yes, Skype would recognise a DV camcorder, connected via Firewire or USB
You are right about the glitches. Not much we can do about that, I am afraid, except to close any unneccessary running programs whilst running Skype. The rest is down to your connection and the www :-)
_________________________
Rob

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#1179033 - 04/12/09 12:50 PM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: R0B]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4981
Loc: boston north
Thank you for your help and explanations Rob.

I'll look forward to your video.

For 2 years, I have been hoping to do something via the internet with teaching or with MC, lessons. I knew that the technology was arriving and have anticipated it.

Soon, I'll be too old to continuing gardening for a vocation and want to get back into teaching, but maybe exploring something different from the past.

Frank, I look forward to you getting some master classes set up for us!
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1179241 - 04/12/09 08:40 PM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: lilylady]
DeepElem Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/06
Posts: 367
Loc: USA
I use Skype all the time to "video chat" with other piano players (I'm not a teacher, just chatting with other online "piano friends).

All I have is a simple web cam with a mic builtin to the web cam and it works great. No mixer, no camcorder, just a very simple 1 usb wire connection to the computer and you're off and running.

Given how cheap a webcam is I'd suggest trying that first and see if the quality is satisfactory before investing in any higher quality more costly audio/video equipment.

The only tricky part is how you mount a web cam to get a good view of the keyboard.


Edited by DeepElem (04/12/09 08:44 PM)
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If you knew what you were doing, you'd probably be bored.
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#1179246 - 04/12/09 08:49 PM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: DeepElem]
JBiegel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 850
I must admit, I brought my idea to teach online to Frank. I taught a young man in Singapore for a 10 minute lesson on specific stretching exercises--on Skype. Worked well--from an airport I did this. I simply used my MSI netbook and it worked rather nicely. I would most probably use my own larger laptop at home next to my Steinway 'B' though. Frank--we'll talk more about this when we are enjoying CO Springs and Keith Emerson next week!
_________________________
www.jeffreybiegel.com

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#1179271 - 04/12/09 09:54 PM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: JBiegel]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1439
Loc: Australia
I totally agree with you, DeepElem, that there is absolutely no need to invest in fancy equipment, especially as many computers these days, come already equipped with a web cam and built in mic.
I would certainly advise anyone, to try these first, to see if Skype is suitable for them.
Frank mentioned teachers who run master classes, and I would imagine that if they wish to demonstrate advanced techniques, dynamics, etc., over Skype, then video and audio quality would be of a high priority.

For mounting the camera over a keyboard, I use a microphone boom stand, adapted to take both the camera, and an external microphone. I would post a photo, but not sure if that is possible, or allowed here.
_________________________
Rob

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#1179282 - 04/12/09 10:16 PM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: R0B]
Piano World Offline



Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5650
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
I've tried recording using just a webcam.
The video was acceptable, the audio was a disaster.

The little mic built into the webcam can't handle the range of my P-80 DP, I'm guessing it would have the same (if not worse) problem with a concert grand.

Although we aren't talking about trying to record cd quality audio, it would be important to capture as much of the nuances and overtones as possible, considering the teacher would be trying to critique a student who is paying a fair amount of money for an advanced lesson.

Rob,

Pictures are fine, note the "enter an image" choice next between the create a link to an email and enter a media tag in the Post choices.
_________________________
- Frank B.
Founder / Host
www.PianoWorld.com
www.PianoSupplies.com
Find Us On:
Facebook.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Twitter.com/PianoWorld
www.youtube.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Skype: PianoWorldDotCom
My Keyboards:
Estonia L-190, Yamaha P-80, Hammond XK-3, Hammond A-100, Estey 1895 Pump Organ, Harpsichord (kit), Clavichord (kit), Bilhorn Telescope Organ c 1880
-------------------------
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
Invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!
Coming to Maine? We're in Parsonsfield let's get together!


Top
#1179298 - 04/12/09 10:47 PM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: Piano World]
Laurel Jean Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/22/07
Posts: 14
Loc: Central IL, USA
The National Resource Center for Blind Musicians has successfully used Skype to teach Braille Music and access to music technology for the blind via distance education. Being blind myself, I am not sure of the visual aspects of this application. I have heard many good things about the audio quality.
_________________________
Laurel Jean
http://www.laureljean.com

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#1179334 - 04/13/09 12:26 AM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: Laurel Jean]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1439
Loc: Australia
Sorry to hear the audio was a disaster, Frank.
To get any kind of quality, I really think you need to connect the line out, or audio out, of your piano, directly to your computer's soundcard. That is assuming that you have a good quality card, with ASIO drivers, to eliminate the latency between striking a key, and hearing the sound. The best solution, would be a dedicated 2 channel audio interface that you can connect both the piano, and microphone into.
The main reason that I use a mixer, is so that I can have a microphone, guitar, D piano, and keyboard, all connected at the same time, and for ease of controlling levels, eq, etc.

Anyway, as promised, here is a pic of my cobbled together camera solution. The boom can be raised or lowered, depending on how much of the keyboard I need to show.

And here is the Tapco mixer. The piano outputs, microphone and guitar lead, are plugged in here, and the mixer output goes into the Edirol UR-80, audio/MIDI interface, connect to the PC via usb. (This interface would be overkill for most applications, but I use it to control Cubase, for recording.)
_________________________
Rob

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#1179690 - 04/13/09 04:17 PM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: Piano World]
Pete the bean Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 468
Loc: Canada
I have a little thread going in the Adult Beginners section. I just invested in a camcorder to get the lessons across better. I am amazed at the quality of picture and sound $500 bucks gets me.I am getting audio from the built in mic. The monitors are right near the camera, mounted on a mic stand above my head. This all takes place in the closet under the stairs.

To up load the material to a free storage site means converting to mp4 format.
It all takes time. A 3 min video takes an hour to download from the camera to the computer, edit, and convert to mp4 and upload to the online site.


When I hear students play back the material on line, there is a whole lot of things I could do in person, like watch posture and tension in the hand, that I could fix in 2 seconds. On line and from a midi file, things are more difficult. I think recording makes the students tense.

I find the on line students have entirely different expectations than the students that walk in the door of my studio. Maybe the students online have visited too many sites that guarantee to have them playing like a pro in 2 days.
I guess I need a clearer definition of the word pro before I buy into that idea.


I am wondering about copyright issues. How risky is it to use copyright material for educational purposes?

I have been avoiding the copyright issue by writing my own material. The down side is that teaching a student their favorite song gets a whole lot more practicing out of them and they learn familiar melodies much quicker. The upside is that I am writing a lot of new material.

If any one can fill me in on protecting a digital book from being easily spread across the internet, I sure would enjoy that conversation.



Edited by Pete the bean (04/13/09 04:23 PM)
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#1179761 - 04/13/09 06:34 PM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: Pete the bean]
JBiegel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 850
I would be appealing perhaps, to professional pianists, students of all levels, and teachers looking to perfect their teaching craft. I would also be expecting to hear from pianists preparing for international competitions, concerts with orchestra and solo recitals, auditions etc. I have already found that teaching the Rachmaninov stretching exercises this way proved to be fruitful. The traditions of Josef Lhevinne through my teacher, Adele Marcus, would be quite exciting to teach via today's technology. I am sure they would have done the same. Frank, we can explore this all further in CO.


Edited by JBiegel (04/13/09 07:01 PM)
_________________________
www.jeffreybiegel.com

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#1179920 - 04/14/09 12:02 AM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: Piano World]
JazzPianoEducator Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/09
Posts: 203
Loc: Denver, CO

Originally Posted By: Piano World
[quote=R0B]
~Are DV camcoders set up to accept something like the Shure SM57?


The SM57 will sound best if run through a mixer. It needs something to boost the volume if you are going to use that mic. In videos I've made, I have a simple 4 track mixer with aux outs (L and R) that go to 8th inch (like ipod head phone size) that plugs right into the mic input in your computer. This way, you can have four tracks to mess with that all mix down to a single output (one track voice, one track keyboard, perhaps two tracks with two mics on an acoustic piano, etc ) These mixers are fairly inexpensive. Also, depending on the camera you are using, you just need to make sure you have your windows settings set to not use the camera mic and to instead pull from the mic input.

Example inexpensive mixer:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Behringer-XENYX-802-Mixer-103845053-i1153499.gc
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#1180132 - 04/14/09 10:32 AM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: Piano World]
eurythmylin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/16/08
Posts: 4
Loc: El Cerrito, CA
I'm a first-time poster here. I have an alternate option which came about as a result of offering online lessons, which I do mostly because I have a specialized technqiue. I am set up to use Skype and a webcam. However, there's a little delay sometimes with Skype, or some minor pixilating, so what has actually worked really well with at least one long-distance student, is to have an on-going video dialogue using Vimeo. For instance, he makes his own video of himself playing, his questions and/o0r comments. He can instantly upload the video, and I can watch it right away. Then I make a response video, specific to his individual needs. It can go back and forth for however long is needed. Vimeo is kind of like youtube, but it's less populated, less commercial, and very easy to use. Also the videos can be longer.

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#1180324 - 04/14/09 04:03 PM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: eurythmylin]
JBiegel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 850
That sounds quite interesting, although I am looking to teach direct 'live' on the scene. Before I move forward with this idea, as I am on faculty also at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center, I would have to see how many people would be interested to take online lessons with me. Out of the thousands of readers here, I would probably limit myself to 10 hours per week.
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#1180358 - 04/14/09 04:42 PM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: JazzPianoEducator]
PridgNYC Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/31/09
Posts: 18
Loc: Long Island, NY
Originally Posted By: JazzPianoEducator

Originally Posted By: Piano World
[quote=R0B]
~Are DV camcoders set up to accept something like the Shure SM57?


The SM57 will sound best if run through a mixer. It needs something to boost the volume if you are going to use that mic. In videos I've made, I have a simple 4 track mixer with aux outs (L and R) that go to 8th inch (like ipod head phone size) that plugs right into the mic input in your computer. This way, you can have four tracks to mess with that all mix down to a single output (one track voice, one track keyboard, perhaps two tracks with two mics on an acoustic piano, etc ) These mixers are fairly inexpensive. Also, depending on the camera you are using, you just need to make sure you have your windows settings set to not use the camera mic and to instead pull from the mic input.

Example inexpensive mixer:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Behringer-XENYX-802-Mixer-103845053-i1153499.gc






If you decide to use an inexpensive analog mixer, read this article on the best way to hook it up to your computer to avoid feedback. http://www.tweakheadz.com/how_to_hookup_a_mixer.htm

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#1181612 - 04/16/09 02:35 PM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: PridgNYC]
Techno Piano Guy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/16/09
Posts: 1
This was an interesting post to me because for the web show i am setting up this is sort of a related matter. Jazz piano Educator heres my setup. I have a Canon zr500 cheap yes i know lol. But anyway i also have a logitech headset. A good tripod thats about it. now heres where it gets interesting. So i have the application webcam dv that allows you to use your dv camcorder as a webcam. but then i also have an application called webcam max so you dont have to take the audio from your camera but the headset also i would guess the shur mic would work too and i think the web cam max gives better quality in my opinion but then for skype to choose a webcam to go to you click webcam max because it combines the video from webcam dv to the mic you are trying to input. Just as simple as that. :]

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#1186149 - 04/23/09 10:50 PM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: Techno Piano Guy]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4381
Loc: Jersey Shore
Mario seems to be the one to talk to...

http://www.youtube.com/user/mariocast


Edited by Mark... (04/23/09 11:09 PM)

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#1186290 - 04/24/09 06:44 AM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: Mark...]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Hmmm, Mark, I think you are right. Looks like he's got it down.

Looks like he's using Classroom Maestro for at least part of that. I know nothing about it but here's a link:

http://www.timewarptech.com/Pages/Products/CM/CM.html
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#1186605 - 04/24/09 03:43 PM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: kennychaffin]
Piano World Offline



Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5650
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
Classroom Maestro looks interesting if you are using a digital keyboard.

Jeffrey (Biegel) is trying to determine the best hardware (mics, cameras, etc.) to use with an acoustic piano.
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#1186609 - 04/24/09 03:49 PM Re: Streaming Piano Lessons Live Online? [Re: Piano World]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13818
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I'm thinking about doing something similar, and will likely use the following:

MXL 604 microphones
PreSonus Firebox audio interface

...plugged into my Macbook using either iSight or Skype. I still need to research that - I don't think the problem is as much the hardware as getting the software to transmit a high audio quality. Most chat software assumes speech and tailors the audio bandwidth to a limited frequency range. The piano has a very wide frequency range, and this is why the piano sounds tinny or thin over telephones and built-in computer mics.
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