Online music tuition

Hello!

I’ve been teaching piano on Tutorful for a few months now and I was able to teach a few students face-to-face in between lockdowns. However, since restrictions have come back into place, I’ve been unable to find new students.

I’ve had messages from people who are interested in starting lessons, but they would all prefer to have their first lessons in person - and particularly with teaching piano I agree! I was hoping to be able to wait until face-to-face teaching is possible again, but with the move to online coming soon that isn’t an option anymore.

Are any other music tutors having this problem, and is there anything I should be doing to make online piano tuition more appealing to new students?

I’m pretty new to the site, so any tips would be much appreciated!

Cheers,
Ben

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Hi Ben,

Welcome to Tutorful! I hope it’s all going well for you. :slight_smile: I teach flute and recorder, and have been pleasantly surprised to have been able to start learners off as complete beginners, through online lessons on here. I had never imagined that possible with the flute in particular due to the angle of having to hold it etc.

I’ve come across people teaching piano over webcam too, and though it sounds hard, it is very possible as long as the player’s posture is good and the angle of the webcam is negotiated well. I’ve also heard it can be a question of “trial and error”: and sometimes there’s a need to adjust the angle a few times during the lesson.

Good luck! :slight_smile:

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Hi Ben,

I’m a piano teacher also, and after an encouraging start with online lessons, enquiries and bookings have tailed-off noticeably in recent months.

Like you I’m disappointed that Tutorful has decided to ditch F2F, and I simply cannot see any logic in them actively discouraging it. I’ve had so many messages asking for F2F over the months, but sadly Tutorful seem to react to the subject of F2F lessons in a similar way to how Dracula reacts to a crucifix.

I’d be interested to know how you’re doing several months on from your original post. I’d also be interested in how the situation is for @LouisaT.

Thanks,
Peter

Hi Peter and Ben,

In still teaching online (and plan to continue to) but yes I’ve noticed that fewer people are asking for online lessons compared to months ago. Also sometimes people are asking about face to face lessons, even though on the website it looks quite clear that all lessons are now online. It’s difficult in terms of advertising but I’m thinking also of advertising properly for my private teaching elsewhere too.

Best of luck to you both with your lessons.
All the best,

Louisa

Yes, definitely a good idea to step up the private tuition. If you don’t already, make sure you report any messages for F2F to Tutorful, and then your booking score won’t be affected.

Online can work well up to a point, but only if the pupil has a certain amount of ability and understanding. I still think there’s no substitute for F2F, and it’s a shame that Tutorful are actively trying to phase it out for exclusive online teaching. Don’t see why online and F2F can’t work harmoniously together, but we’ll see how it goes.

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Although I don’t teach music - a frog probably has more musical talent than I do - I entirely agree with Peter. This applies just as much to other subjects.

I am frankly astounded and deeply perplexed by Tutorful’s insistence on eliminating F2F teaching entirely. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever why we can’t offer both, and it is mutually beneficial for all involved to have the option of both. In my view, in the majority of cases, F2F is vastly superior; I have the advantage of having several students whom I have tutored both F2F (pre-Covid) and online (during Covid), and there is no doubt that they they a) prefer F2F and b) learn more quickly and easily F2F than online. I don’t deny that online can work well, but I think it is absurd to claim that it can deliver the same quality as F2F in all cases.

There are some topics that are easier to cover online due to being able to share internet pages and other resources, but there are just as many areas that are significantly easier to teach F2F, and those internet resources can still be accessed in a F2F setting through the use of a tablet or phone,

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Unfortunately, Tutorful have taken these decisions by completely bypassing the opinions of tutors - and taking huge decisions like this without consulting its (in-effect) work force is bad practice. It gets even more galling when the decision to go online was communicated so suddenly and so shabbily.

There’s only so much a tutor can achieve with online lessons, but it seems like Tutorful are thinking that because more online lessons can be given by tutors because of no travelling time, that’s what tipped the balance. This decision certainly doesn’t seem to have been taken with any evidence whatsoever that online tuition is better - and if Tutorful’s philosophy is quantity rather than quality, that can be the only way this decision can be understood.

The mere fact that tutors weren’t consulted speaks volumes about how Tutorful thought this would go down amongst the tutors, and they really can’t complain that we constantly argue about the change.

Quoting some made-up poll (I’ll continue to assume it’s made-up because Tutorful have refused requests to show us the evidence) is a pretty lame and unprofessional excuse.

If Tutorful were willing to put their money where its mouth is, they’d conduct a poll asking tutors whether they agree with the decision to do away with F2F. I think they know what the answer would be, but they’ve shown time and again that they don’t want any input from tutors about the direction the company should go.

Anyway, if this turns out to be a bad decision, it’ll be the responsibility of Tutorful 100%.

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Thanks Peter! Yes I’ve been letting Tutorful know each time it happens so I hope others do the same.

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