After scrambling this spring to find the best solution to teach virtually, I had decided that FaceTime was the best platform for lessons. Zoom and other platforms are designed to compress the sound, limiting background noise, making it great for business meetings but nearly impossible to play or sing at the same time as a student. Also, when dynamics change, the sound would cut in and out. I knew the needs for online music lessons were different and that there must be a better way!
I first heard about RockOutLoud.live when I was taking a virtual music studio masterclass. It’s brand new and creating an exciting buzz with the leaders in private music studios around the world. I was skeptical that the sound quality would be better then other platforms, but during my demo with the owner of the company along with my initial lessons using this platform, I was excited to find that the sound almost felt like being in the same room with my students- ESPECIALLY if you’re using headphones. You can check your internet connection, host group lessons, and there are waiting rooms and safety features. It sounded like zoom plus the basic benefits for musicians that I was looking for. This is what the app looks like if you're using a device other than a computer.
It's simple to use and FREE to the student! when you open the app (or follow a specific URL I give to my students), you simply put in your name and classroom ID and you're in my music classroom! This is what the login page looks like.
What’s more exciting is that Michael Grande, the owner of Rockoutloud.live and who himself is a music teacher and owns a school of rock out east, is adding features constantly that just keep adding value for the music classroom.
Teachers can share PDF’s and chords in specific voicing’s to students while they are in the online music room. They are making video and sound quality improvements as we go. And one thing that I’m very excited about is the annotation tool that is coming soon!! This will be so much less cumbersome than the large white board I purchased (haha!) and we can share examples, play games, do little fun quizzes- all with this new tool!
It’s exhilarating as a teacher to learn of technology tools that allow and support me to be the teacher I know that I can be. I have appreciated over and over the many creative ways technology has leaped forward during the pandemic that will serve us well today and into the future.
I still have FaceTime as a nice back up option for lessons, but RockOutLoud.live is an answer for private music lessons that has arrived at the perfect time.