With the advent of the desktop computer, tablets, Smart phones, the Internet and techy applications, the days of having to drive to a music studio or music store to take a lesson from your favorite teacher are over! With some standard hardware, free software and a broadband Internet connection, you can now easily and effectively receive an online music lesson from the comfort of your own home via Skype, Facetime or Google Hangouts. This not only lets you take your music lesson in a place you’re familiar with on your own instrument, but it also gives you access to music teachers from all over the world – not just the ones who live near you!
Yes indeed. The age of virtual online music lessons is here! The computer-nerd music student is no longer the only type of student who can receive distant lessons. In fact, the Music Teachers National Association national conference has offered technology sessions that address distance lessons for several years now. Many teachers and students alike are doing it, and it’s filling a much-needed gap in society’s need for lessons, especially for home schooled children, busy adults and students in rural areas who don’t have access to quality music teachers, or teachers at all, for that matter.
Although many music teachers are currently offering online music lessons, they don’t appear to offer immediate website scheduling, or only offer this convenience if you fill out a form FIRST. In fact, most online music teachers ask you to send them an email requesting an online music lesson, which equates to waiting for a response and taking too much time to schedule a lesson. In other words, there is no calendar to click a date/time to schedule a music lesson and then pay for it immediately afterwards without some other interim step or steps involved. Enter Barry Birmingham, the tech-savvy, Online Drum Lessons teacher of the future with full online scheduling and Ecommerce site!
Barry Birmingham is a professional drummer who has been playing drums for 44-years and teaching drums for over 30-years. By the time he was in junior high and high school he was playing in concert bands, marching bands, jazz bands and playing in local rock cover bands. While attending Santa Barbara City College, he worked after school job at Mike’s Drum Shop where he helped with sales, repairs, and doing whatever was needed to keep the drum shop running smoothly. By the mid-80s, Barry became a drum teacher, professional drummer, and studio musician for hire. Barry is now the co-owner of the Santa Barbara Drum Lab and is not only offering Skype Drum Lessons like many others, but offers his online students the latest, cutting-edge technology of HOW a student books a Skype Drum Lesson online! In 4-words – Easy, fun, affordable and convenient!
This is how easy it is to book an online drum lesson with Barry Birmingham. First, a prospective student must visit barrybirmingham.com, of course. Next, click Skype Drum Lessons on the top menu. This will bring you to a products page with a calendar. Click a date on the calendar when you have free-time for a lesson. This will reveal available time slots. Click on a time slot and then click Book Appointment. It’s that easy! No forms to fill out, no emails to send, no interviews to schedule, no long drawn out process! Just click Date, Time, Book, Checkout, Pay on your FIRST visit to Barry’s site. It literally takes only 2-minutes of your time to book an online drum lesson with Barry!
After clicking, Book Appointment, you will then be brought to a Checkout page where you can pay for your online drum lesson immediately via PayPal, or if not a PayPal member, you can pay by Credit Card on the PayPal sight without signing up for PayPal. Brilliant! Now, just kick-back and wait for Barry to call you at your scheduled time. Just make sure you have a broadband Internet connection, Skype application (or Facetime), Speakers and a Microphone, and drumsticks in hand with a kit or practice pad in place. It couldn’t be easier! And all from the comfort of your home!
The 16 Advantages of Online Drum Lessons:
- Affordable: Generally, online music lessons are less expensive than in-person music lessons because the music instructor doesn’t have to spend resources traveling to see you, or if visiting your instructor, you’re not occupying studio space and using utilities and adding to your instructor’s overhead.
- Teacher Quality: The Internet gives students greater options to choose from when looking for a teacher since they’re not restricted to merely their local area and can therefore take advantage of the global economy.
- Convenience: Students don’t have to travel 30 to 60-minutes roundtrip to their teacher’s studio. Parents who drive their children don’t have to waste time waiting for the lesson to be over. Online music lessons mean no missed lessons due to forgetfulness since the student and teacher can connect 30-seconds after a courtesy call. However, if the student lives 15-minutes away and they have a 30 or even 60-minute lesson, it’s not worth their time to show up late because their lesson time will be shortened significantly.
- HomeSchool Performing Arts: No longer do parents have to leave home for their children to obtain an education in performance arts. Your children can now learn a musical instrument and perform in the comfort of your home. This makes daily curriculum planning much easier and time efficient. Parents can go from math, to science, to online drum lessons, then right into social studies all within a matter of 15-minutes without any time-consuming roundtrip commute. Online teachers can adapt their curriculum to enhance what parents are teaching at home in order to provide more in depth learning.
- Recording Lessons: Students can easily record Skype music lessons for review at a later time using audio/video recording software such as, Evaer and SuperTinTin (audio only: Pamela, MP3 Skype Recorder, and VodBurner), which greatly aids in lesson comprehension through repetition and thus, progressive learning because the student can literally take the same lesson over and over again until they’re proficient in the material learned, or as Barry says, “Pay once, learn twice!”
- Immediate Practicing: Since online music students don’t have to commute back home, they can practice immediately after the lesson when ideas are fresh and their energy and enthusiasm levels are still high. This means an extra practice session most online students will get, and the first practice session will always be of higher quality when it is done immediately because the first practice session is the most important one of the entire week.
- Warming Up: Students can warm-up right up to the time of their lesson and practice their learning material from the last lesson. This helps prepare them more readily for their upcoming lesson and thus, get more out of their online music lesson.
- Less Off-Task Behaviors: According to a study conducted in 2010 by Louisiana State University in conjunction with the University of North Carolina, off-task behaviors took up 36% more time in face-to-face lessons than in online music lessons. In other words, students were more attentive and focused during their online music lesson because there was less idle chitchat, less daydreaming, less dawdling and less joking around.
- Increased Student Performance: Due to less off-task behaviors, the same study also concluded that students spent 22% more time actually playing their instruments in online music lessons and eye contact between teacher and student was more frequent than traditional in-person lessons.
- Lesson Longevity: Students who take online music lessons end up taking lessons more consistently and typically stay with their lessons 10% longer than local students because online music lessons are easy and convenient – students don’t have to deal with intervening events (snowstorms, traffic, sick sibling or parent, etc.), they don’t have to take an hour out of their day to travel roundtrip and other activities or intervening life events are less likely to conflict such as, playing sports or unforeseen parent work/life problems.
- Fast Problem Diagnosis: Sometimes the technical or musical problems students experience in their lesson can be a symptom of their unique instrument or practice environment at home. For example, perhaps the student is afraid to play too loud because of their living conditions. These factors would come out immediately in an online music lesson, but it might take a few face-to-face lessons for a teacher to figure out why the student doesn’t seem to ever “let loose” or “play out.”
- No Same Room Requirement: Students won’t need to cancel lessons because they had a contagious illness three days before. There is also less suffering for everyone in that students won’t suffer if their teacher ate onions for lunch, and violin or bagpipe teachers have the option of turning down the volume on their computer speakers while their beginning students play.
- Easy Make-up lessons: Because Internet lessons are a much more efficient use of lesson time due to no roundtrip traveling, make-up lessons are much easier to schedule. In fact, they can be scheduled and made-up within as little as 2-hours with Barry!
- Amazing Hand Views: The camera can be positioned in places where it would be impossible to put a student’s head, allowing the student choice views of finger positioning not really possible in face-to-face lessons.
- No Geographic Barriers: Students are never forced to stop their music lessons for geographic reasons. So, whether you’re on the road, traveling or on vacation, you can continue to learn and progress on your instrument without downtime and having to learn your last material all over again!
- Bad weather: Students can still get to their online music lesson when there’s a rain or snow storm, or the roads are too icy to drive. Parents can simply send their child down the hall for their online music lesson rather than driving them and risking their safety in a vehicle collision.
Barry says, “I’m excited to be able to connect with students from anywhere in the world via the Internet. Setting up for online drum lessons is simple no matter how proficient you are on the computer. If you have a broadband Internet connection and a desktop, laptop, Android tablet or IPad with a webcam and speakers, you’re good to go! Most devices today deliver a crystal clear video experience.”
“Your online drum lessons are conducted just like in-person lessons. They are dedicated, live, private lessons. You will be able to see and hear me in my studio and receive immediate, direct feedback. Lessons are customized to your level and goals. Students of all levels and ages are welcome and encouraged to progress at their own pace.”
“Our FIRST meeting will be a 10 to 15-minute casual, free of charge, consultation the day before your paid scheduled lesson. This will allow for a meet and greet where your current playing level, experience (if any) and interests will be discussed. This will also ensure that you have a clear audio/video connection and to provide you with a feel about how Skype Drum Lessons are conducted. Each lesson will be tailored to your personal needs and learning style. Expect a solid plan, personal feedback, and most importantly, expect your drumming abilities to improve!”
“On the time and day of your lesson, I will initiate a Skype video call to you. During your lesson, we will work together to establish clear goals and develop a step-by-step path that inspires you to reach them. At the end of your session I will email you an audio/video recording of your lesson, a practice plan, and any applicable sheet music or written examples.”
“Depending on your level of experience, some of the topics I teach are basic tuning, kit maintenance, rudiments, hand and foot technique, understanding styles, grooves, timekeeping, understanding form, phrasing ideas, interpreting drum charts, fills and soloing.”
“According to Google’s statistics software, 70% of Skype Music Lesson students are over the age of 45. So, what does that mean? It’s never too late to begin taking drum lessons! In other words, the most important thing about beginning or re-starting drum lessons is to BOOK YOUR LESSON NOW! That way, it’s already scheduled on your calendar and waiting for you, so you don’t continue to negotiate with yourself and procrastinate about something you really want to accomplish. If you don’t, it’s easy to lose focus and let your goals keep slipping farther and farther into the future. Typically, students schedule one 30-minute lesson once a week to start with and then progress from there to two 30-minute lessons a week, or one 45 to 60-minute lesson a week. Thank you for choosing me as your drum instructor! I hope to meet you soon!”
So, now after reading this article you might be asking yourself, “Ok, everything sounds good, but is Barry a good drum instructor?” Well, yes, of course he is because he has over 30-years drum teaching experience! But he’s much more than that because he has a track record of effectively transforming students, not only into proficient drummers, but into professional drummers, and he’ll do the same for you too! And that’s what counts! But it begins with you, so schedule your Skype Drum lesson now! And remember. Behind every great drummer is a great drumming instructor and that instructor is Barry Birmingham!
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Santa Barbara Drum Lessons with Barry Birmingham