Skype Lessons – Do They Really Work?

With increasing internet speeds and cameras on just about every computer, smartphone and tablet, Skype video calls have never been better or more convenient. Various tutors (including us here at UGA) use free Skype calls to conduct lessons for students who live in remote areas, don’t have access to transport or who are just plain lazy and would rather play guitar in their pyjamas (we’re not judging!). The big question with Skype lessons is – Do they work?

If your internet connection is slow, or your device (e.g. laptop) is struggling to keep up with the video feed, then face to face lessons might be better for you. Skype lessons have proven two work really well for many UGA students with decent internet speeds. Your tutor’s approach to the lessons may also need to be slightly different to that of a face to face lesson – this is something we train for at UGA.

What are the benefits of Skype Tuition?

• You don’t have to leave home – save time and money from travelling to your local UGA tutor. This is also ideal for busy families with very little time to spare.

• Technology is engaging – this is particularly beneficial for young students, who like technology and are always on their phones, tablets or computer games. Skype lessons will use their favourite technologies but their time is spent on something productive.

• Learn at any location –  whether you’re on your lunch break at work, getting home late at night or travel for work frequently, you can still learn from wherever you are!

• Recording lessons – there are various apps and programs that can record a Skype video call for later reviewing in your practice time.

• Save time setting up – Skype students are usually set up before their lesson even starts and often use that time to get some more practice in. They’re also quite likely to keep playing after their lesson finishes because they don’t need to make way for the next student.

• PDF files – files, links and notes can all be sent directly to the student via the Skype Chat, during the video call. They can save these directly to their computer and even scroll through the chat history if they forget something. Skype keeps a “chat” history, which will keep all notes and files sent to the student.

What are the problems of Skype Tuition?

• Call drops – occasionally, the call will cut out due to technical difficulties, however it only takes a few seconds to call the student back. There are usually minimal disruptions from call quality.

• Bandwidth – Streaming a video call can mean that other internet services (such as Netflix) may not work as well. So anyone wanting to stream from YouTube or Netflix may have to wait until after the lesson, though that’s only a small price to pay.

• Video Lag – there is a slight delay in the video feed from when it gets filmed and then sent to the other student. This means playing duets together can be a little difficult, but we’ve found ways to counter that problem here at UGA, such as playing along with the song on iTunes or Youtube.

Whilst Skype lessons may not yet be flawless, they certainly are productive, beneficial, convenient and effective when combined with the right tutor.

The Blunt Answer: Yes, Skype lessons do work very effectively with the right tutor and fast enough internet.


Related Articles


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *