Skype is an excellent tool to use for private lessons when an in-person is not possible. Whether your student moved away, has a transportation issue, or the dreaded snow day or an illness has closed school.
Skype is easy to use, its free, and its reliable as long as there is a good internet connection.
How to sign up for Skype
- Download Skype to your device. Skype can be used on the following devices.
- Computer or laptop with camera and microphone (most laptops come equipped with a camera and microphone)
- iPad or other tablet
- Smart phone (iPhone and android)
- Create a free account using your phone number or an email address
- Sign in to Skype
- Open Skype and click or tap Skype name, email or phone
- Enter your Skype name, email or phone and select Sign in
- Enter your password and select the arrow to continue
How to make a video call in Skype
Select a contact from your list of contacts.
If you don’t have any contacts you can add them by selecting People, groups & messages from the top of your window and enter the phone number or email you want to call.
Select the contact you want to call and select the Video button.
If you are waiting on a call, all you have to do is sign on and wait. When the person calls, answer as you would a regular phone call.
At the end of the call select the end call button to hang up.
Troubleshooting image quality
- No picture – make sure you press the icon that has a video camera on it at the bottom of the screen.
- Poor internet connection – try moving closer to the router in your home or try using cellular data instead.
- For all other video issues check the Skype troubleshooting page
The only downside to Skype lessons is that there is about a quarter second lag so duets are not possible. I also strongly encourage students to have a metronome on a separate device because you can’t use Skype video and another app at the same time without losing the picture.
While I prefer in person lessons, the fact is that in our busy lives, they aren’t always possible. Skype is simple and easy to use and makes online teaching a breeze.