Hanno Strydom | Cello Teacher | Twin Cities, MN

Skype Cello Lessons

Hanno offers online cello lessons from both his Golden Valley studio and his MacPhail Center for Music studio via Skype. Skype lessons are ideal for:

  • A follow-up lesson to clarify elements covered in a prior in-person lesson
  • Continuing lessons while a student is away
  • Having a lesson when bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances would otherwise result in a cancellation
  • International or out-of-state students who wish to study with Hanno

Contact Hanno to discuss whether Skype lessons would be a good fit for you.

Skype Lesson Equipment

Successful Skype lessons depend on both the teacher and the student transmitting and receiving high quality video and audio streams. While Hanno is happy to experiment with whatever equipment a student has available, the built in microphones, speakers and webcams found on most devices generally fall short for music lessons. Hanno can help you to optimize your specific technology setup for successful Skype lessons, but here are some recommendations:

Fast Internet Connection
Test the speed of your internet connection at this website; once there click "begin test". You are good to go if your download speed is higher than 2 Mb/s and your upload speed is higher than 1 Mb/s.

External Microphone
An external USB microphone like the Blue Snowball or Blue Yeti will ensure that you are transmitting a high quality audio stream. Simply plug the microphone into any available USB port on your computer and select it in your Skype audio settings.

External Web Camera
Hanno uses and recommends this Logitech web cam for Skype lessons. Simply plug the camera into any available USB port on your computer and select it in your Skype video settings. To allow the camera to be easily moved to the various positions required for Skype lessons, mount your camera on an adjustable camera stand and connect it to your computer with a USB extension cable.

Good Loudspeakers
While you can get away with using built in speakers on your device for occasional Skype lessons, Hanno recommends investing in a pair of better external loudspeakers if Skype lessons will be a regular part of your studies. Edifier offers a line of decent powered speakers at various price points, including the R980T, R1280T, R1280DBR1700BT, R2000DB, and the S1000DB. If you already own good speakers and an amplifier/receiver as part of an existing stereo or entertainment system, Hanno can advise you about how you might integrate these into your Skype system.

Large Monitor
A standard computer monitor at close range works perfectly for Skype lessons. However, a larger screen does more closely simulate an in-person lesson experience. This is easily achieved by connecting your TV to your computer with an HDMI cable, making it possible to experience your lesson on your larger TV screen.

Strydom Cello Studio Skype Lesson Setup

Hanno has carefully assembled a Skype lesson setup to provide the highest quality online lesson experience.

NAD Hi-Fi amplifier and vintage Klipsch speakers ensure excellent audio reception at Hanno's studio, and a pair of SE Electronics microphones run through a Behringer audio interface transmit crystal clear audio. Hanno's video stream is provided by a Logitech USB webcam and he sees the student virtually life-size on a 50 inch screen. His internet connection is a wired cable connection that tests at 300+ Mb/s download and 12+ Mb/s upload speeds.

Skype Lesson Billing

If you already study with Hanno at MacPhail Center for Music, Skype lessons require no changes to your existing MacPhail registration; a Skype lesson is equivalent to an in-person lesson.

For private students, Hanno bills Skype lessons through PayPal. When a lesson is scheduled you will receive a PayPal invoice by email, which includes the charge for the lesson plus a small PayPal fee. Contact Hanno to inquire.

Skype Lesson Policies

In the event that a student is unable to make it to their in-person lesson due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances, Skype lessons are available as make-ups, but only during the student's already scheduled lesson time, and only for lessons scheduled to take place at Hanno's Golden Valley studio.

Skype lessons are not suitable for all students and all teaching situations. Hanno will make the final determination of whether Skype is a good fit on a case-by-case basis.

Payment for each Skype lesson must be received before the lesson takes place or must be covered by an existing MacPhail Center for Music registration.