Technology has allowed us to think outside of the box to solve challenges that have existed for years. One such challenge is finding ways to teach violin lessons
to students in remote locations. Some violin instructors, such as Pinchas Zuckerman, have tried using high-end video conferencing equipment to pull off such a task. While that method would seem successful, it raises another challenge: cost. In Zuckerman's case, both the student and the teacher could have flown to Paris and rented a concert hall for the cost of their hour lesson online (based on the cost from Polycom inc.) How then, would it be possible to teach online without an enormous budget?
In 2003, Monte Belknap, Violin Division Coordinator for the School of Music at Brigham Young University, became the first violin instructor to use peer-2-peer technologies to conduct a lesson. Peer-2-peer technologies, such as iSights, are much less expensive than other videoconferencing solutions because they use standard network connections and do not require any special hardware (other than a normal desktop computer). In Belknap's example, the total cost for the equipment necessary to conduct the lesson was under $500. For more information about using technology to teach music, or to see a clip of Belknap's virtual violin lesson, follow the links below.