LIVE, Face-to-Face Music Lessons On The Internet, Using Real-Time Video, Audio, and Music Notation (NOT pre-recorded lessons):
To see how it works, get an absolutely FREE video conference demonstration lesson. Just call us at 215-860-7625 or email firstname.lastname@example.org - it only takes a few seconds to set up.
Rockfactory has been doing live online video conference lessons successfully since 2004 - we are among the most experienced studios anywhere doing live online music instruction (previously at http://musiclessonz.com). Our online lessons are not pre-recorded videos, but actual face-to-face personal time with real instructors in a video conference environment. We've seen students from all across the US and around the world. Many of our students have learned to play entirely via weekly lessons on the Internet. A number of our local students prefer to take mixed lessons in person and online.
Rockfactory is a professional brick and mortar music instruction studio located in Newtown, PA. Our online lessons were featured in an article on the front page of the New York Times January 11, 2012. Take a look!
Information about individual instructors and pricing is available here.
Our software is at the cutting edge of usability, effectiveness, and simplicity. Anyone with an Internet connection, microphone, headphones, and web cam (optional) can learn from the Rockfactory instructors online. Setup is instant and requires absolutely no software download. It works on PC, Mac, and Linux, with just about any modern web browser. If you can browse the web, you can use our lesson software - it's as easy as going to a web page.
Online lessons are just as effective and personal as lessons in the studio - they just save you the trouble of driving to the shop to see your instructor. Online lessons allow you to see, hear, and interact with your instructor in the exact same way you do in the local lesson studio, only within the comfort of your own home. There are many additional benefits, including:
- The ability to record and save every lesson you take. Instead of taking home a written page of music to study, you can watch your actual live lesson video over and over again until you've learned it.
- You'll save time and fuel costs by eliminating travel to and from lessons.
- You'll learn to download and work with useful free software tools and online musical resources, on your own computer. You can listen to online recordings, find high quality printed scores, download software to record, create, and practice music, etc. Online lessons tend to provide repeated opportunities to actually use and become comfortable with those tools, and that has a lasting impact on your ability to explore music with greater freedom and fewer creative limitations.
- Children enjoy the novelty of interacting online and working with video on their computer, and they typically concentrate better online than in person. Without the distractions caused by a traditional lesson environment, kids more easily maintain focus on the activity of the lesson.
- Adults tend to be less self conscious about their own playing when taking lessons at home.
- Our online students tend to maintain a more consistent lesson schedule than students who come to the shop. The general convenience of doing lessons at home eliminates a significant barrier to attending weekly sessions. Our online students rarely miss appointments due to travel difficulties (traffic, weather, distance/time constraints, etc.). Taking lessons at home is so convenient that it interferes with other activities much less often.
- Online lessons provide the opportunity to study with experienced instructors from anywhere in the world, no matter where you're located.
- Online lessons work perfectly with home school programs. Some of our most successful young online students are those who mix weekly music lessons with traditional home school activities.
- There's an element of fun associated with interacting online that captures the attention of students of all ages, and adds excitement to the lesson experience.
Please call or email us if you're interested in a demonstration (215-860-7625 or email@example.com)NOTE: to achieve quality video and sound conferencing, a high speed, broadband Internet connection (DSL, Cable, T1, or faster) is required.
Preparing for an online video conference can seem daunting if you've never done it before, but it's really extraordinarily simple. The equipment involved is very inexpensive (less than $10 if purchased online), and is commonly available at any store that sells mainstream personal consumer electronics. Once you've installed the necessary hardware (which is typically as easy as installing any printer, scanner, or other common home computer peripheral), the software is easy enough for a child to use. We regularly see young children in online lessons, as well as older students who have little to no experience using a computer.
It's all very easy to do, but the following 2 steps must be fully completed before taking any online lessons with us:
Step 1 - Prepare the video conference hardware:You need to have 3 pieces of equipment installed and ready to use on your computer:
- Web Cam
A normal set of walkman/mp3 player headphones and a standard computer microphone are required pieces of equipment, and they must be plugged into your computer before going through any of the online setup process with us. A web cam should be attached to your computer too, but the camera is not absolutely essential for demonstrations or single lessons.
Before calling us, please be sure to plug in your microphone, headphones, and optional camera. If you don't know how to do that, we can help when you call to set up an appointment, but please have them near your computer and ready to install before contacting us.
Standard walkman/music style headphones typically plug into your computer where the speakers are currently connected (usually on the back panel of a desktop PC, or on the front of a laptop). It only takes a few seconds to do this - please plug them in before calling to set up an appointment. Normal computer speakers will work in a pinch, but they cause difficult echo problems, and should be avoided if at all possible.
You must also have a microphone attached to your computer, in order to be able to speak with your instructor. Any standard computer microphone will work. They typically plug into your computer right next to the jack where the speakers/headphones are plugged in. The type that come on a headset tend to work best. Freestanding designs that sit on your desk will limit your movement, and remaining seated directly in front of a stationary mic throughout a full lesson is generally not as comfortable as wearing a headset.
Most web cams are simple plug-and-play USB devices, which only need to be plugged into an available USB port on your computer. If your camera came with an installation CDROM, insert the CD and follow the directions provided by the manufacturer to install the camera driver. If you already have a web cam installed which currently works with any other type of chat program or video application, it should work automatically with our software.
All of the required equipment is very commonplace, and can be purchased from any local consumer electronics store (Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Staples, etc.). A web cam and microphone headset combo typically costs less than $10 total at online stores such as geeks.com . Any inexpensive (even the least expensive) standard USB web cam, standard computer audio microphone, normal audio headphones (or standard computer microphone/headset combo), will work fine.
If you get a microphone/headset combo, just be sure to get one that plugs into a computer or music device - not one that's meant for a cell phone. Cell phone connectors are different from computer/music connectors and they will not work unless you have a special adaptor. It should be noted that iPods use a standard music/computer type of connector, while iPhones have a cell phone type of connector, so iPhone headsets will not work. If purchasing new equipment, you should look for any sort of standard music or teleconference microphone/headphone setup that uses 1/8" stereo cable plugs. Any combination of microphone/headphones which is meant to be plugged into a computer will work properly.
A NOTE ABOUT THE NECESSITY OF WEB CAMS: Whether or not you have a camera installed, you will be able to see your instructor. If you don't have a web cam, your teacher simply will not be able to see you. In most cases, you'll spend most of the lesson watching your instructor's video stream, as he/she demonstrates how to do everything. During the lesson, you'll be able to ask questions and clarify any points that are challenging for you to understand, and you'll be able to work on any movements that are difficult for you to execute. Our instructors are trained to work with students who don't have a video camera, but we do prefer to see how you're moving on the instrument. Web cams are inexpensive and easy to acquire, and they enable a much more comfortable and natural lesson experience. If you intend to do more than a single lesson or demonstration with us, you should have a web cam, but don't worry if you're unable to get a camera installed, especially if you're just doing one session with us. We can do the lesson effectively without it.
Step 2 - Call us to schedule a lesson, test your equipment setup, and make payment:After you've gotten your headphones, microphone and camera installed, please call or email us to set up an online lesson appointment with Rockfactory. You'll get a room number link (web page URL) when you set up the appointment. Lessons must be scheduled in advance, and you must remember your scheduled time and room number link in order to take the lesson. Live lessons online work just like regular lesson appointments at our physical studio - there is a teacher waiting to meet and work with you in one of the "room" web pages, at your lesson time.
Payment can be made by Paypal, credit card, or check sent via postal mail. Gift certificates and lesson promotion certificates are also available. Payments must be cleared before the time of any appointment.
To make arrangements for an appointment, please call or email us at:
We will help you test your camera and microphone/headphone setup when you contact us to make an appointment. If you're comfortable using your own existing microphone and cam setup, you can try checking/troubleshooting your setup here. If you can record a video at that link, see it play back, and hear it through your headphones, then you are technically prepared to do the lesson. Any problems with your equipment must be resolved at least 24 hours before your lesson time. Time spent during lessons working on technical problems will be billed and scheduled at the normal rate. Time spent before lessons setting up equipment will not be billed. Please resolve any technical issues before the lesson time. Coming to a lesson without your equipment plugged in and working properly is a sure way to waste your appointment minutes, and refunds/reschedulings will not be provided for such a situation.
During Each Lesson:
When you've completed the above 2 steps, you are ready to do an online lesson. You'll never need to do any more setup for future sessions, and the login process only takes a few seconds at the beginning of each appointment. At the time of your lesson, just be sure that your microphone, headphones and camera are connected to your computer and are functioning properly, then click the appropriate link below to enter your scheduled lesson room.
Once in your lesson room web page, you will automatically hear and see your instructor, as well as some music notation on the bottom of the screen. To begin the lesson:
- Type your name and click the "login" button (beneath the video box outlines).
- Click the "Send Audio/Video" link in the empty video box to start your microphone and web cam.
- Click the "Allow" button to allow online access to your mic and camera.
At that point, your instructor will be able to see you and hear you talk. If you have an appointment, use the links below to enter your scheduled room page. That's it - have fun!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please DO NOT enter any lesson rooms for which you are not scheduled. Teachers can block your access. All IP addresses are tracked, and anyone who intentionally disrupts appointments will be banned from the web site.