For several decades technology has also played a part, with a few teachers and distant students making and exchanging 8-track tapes, then cassettes, CDs and DVDs in a better-than-nothing attempt to share knowledge and performance when an in-person experience was not possible and long-distance phone calls were prohibitively expensive.
Now there is a new invention that, like sharping levers and double-action pedals, the electronic tuner and the portable electric harp, can make a qualitative difference in the harp world.
I could do all the things I do in a regular lesson!
I had my own copies of the music she was studying, but we could hold the music up to the camera to show markings.
We found ourselves on the phone frequently and that involved a lot of guesswork regarding what was actually happening on the other end of the phone call.
Even with using internet phone services such as Net2phone, the frustration level made the entire process undesirable.
When I learned of Skype, software that allows for video phone calls on a PC utilizing Internet technology, I immediately recognized that I had the ability to reach out to many book and video frustrated harp students.
During the link-up, performers could ask folk singer Budai questions regarding the style of the folk song and could actually sing together with her while learning the proper pronunciation of the words and observing the correct style.(Mark currently lives in North Carolina and is still Skyping.)After trying out several solutions including a hardware video-conference from the phone company (quite expensive) there came to my attention a new internet service called Skype.A part of the Skype software package includes video calls at no charge so I decided to give this a try.This became very time consuming as well as expensive.It also did not allow for instant feedback from teacher to student nor did it allow students to ask questions immediately about things they had seen me demonstrate.