finally it has happened.
only a few years ago, online music lessons were mostly perceived in the music community as something between “…is that possible?” and “…do you need it?”, but since the spring of 2020, online music lessons have established themselves – not entirely voluntarily, as we all know – as a viable alternative & useful addition to face-to-face lessons.
and while many music teachers and their students first had to familiarize themselves with this ‘new foreign world’, the DOOZZOO team has already been working on it since 2017.
thanks to this advance, there is now a mature, versatile platform for teaching music and making music together.
at any time.
let’s be honest: without online access (via mobile network or ideally good DSL) it won’t work.
so if you want to arrange music lessons with one of the few inhabitants of a remote idyllic south sea island – i just say: lots of sun, little internet – this would only be possible ‘for real’ (but you would have clarified the travel expenses in advance; right?).
if you have internet, however, you can use the whole range of possibilities and advantages that DOOZZOO offers you.
and all that in one place!
because this is exactly the big advantage of DOOZZOO: for all components & functions there are also other programs, separate apps or external devices – but here you have everything bundled in one place, available/usable at any time; and in mutual (e.g. teacher and student) access.
now let’s get to the 5 most important reasons why i think you will love DOOZZOO:
1. DOOZZOO is your classroom.
the most obvious application is video lessons between a music teacher and one or more students. (of course, ‘audio only’ is also possible…)
before the very first meeting, the teacher generates an individual invitation link; with the help of this link, the student can register for free (and create a funny avatar picture).
very pleasant: this link remains; there is no need to send another invitation or meeting ID in advance, as with other video chat programs.
the software runs browser-based; there are no apps or other programs to install. this keeps the ‘barrier to entry’ pleasantly low and minimizes any technology concerns on the student side.
before the start of the session, audio and video settings can be defined; however, many things are already preset practically.
and off you go – shake your hair, fix your collar… & smile, please!
(and always remember: the better the internet connection, the more pleasant & ‘melodious’ the lesson).
where, how & what is suitable in terms of image & sound can of course be vary depending on the instrument, application & personal requirements.
to explain this in detail here would go beyond the scope. however, there are already personal approaches to this from colleagues in this blog.
i will also explain my personal setting in a separate article soon, along with the associated experiences & tips.
so far, so good, so “there-are-also-other-providers”.
but now comes one of the big ‘bangers’ for me:
2. DOOZZOO is your practice room
independent of the lesson or session together, you as a student (as a teacher anyway) can access & ‘enter’ your room at any time. there you have all helpful apps (see 3.) and all media (see 4.) at your disposal; & you can work with them.
so the ‘classic excuses’ of not practicing on the student’s side like “oops; forgot at home/ the dog ate my notes/ they slipped behind the piano” and “did you send me the file/ i didn’t get anything/ where did you send it to…. or so; i don’t have THIS number anymore” are unfortunately or luckily already gone.
but seriously: to be able to work with all your files anytime, anywhere & in the familiar application is great!
3. DOOZZOO is your musical toolbox
one of the most significant advantages of this platform is the integration of valuable tools for which you previously needed either external devices or additional software.
by clicking on the “apps” button, the following useful ‘helpers’ are available:
a tuner/reference tone:
not everyone needs it- but those who do, need it.
everyone needs it.
you can tap a button in the desired tempo and: voilá; the metronome takes over your tempo!
for each beat, 5 variations (4 different sounds and a pause – yes; pauses are music too!) are adjustable; this helps to practice & facilitates acoustic orientation.
the small 2-octave piano keyboard for “just checking out a melody or a few chords” is not missing here, of course. mute it; and you can do a round of ear training in a session with your opposite.
the keyboard is always available outside the current session in the apps.
if you want to take your pianism to the next level, you will find a ‘full-blown’ virtual piano within the session as an alternative:
range (up to 88 keys), octave position, key size, labels & sustain pedal are selectable; there is also the mute function.
it can be played by mouse click, by computer keyboard or – much more comfortable and especially polyphonic – via a connected midi-keyboard.
by the way: the sound generation for the piano is based on original bechstein samples. in the sense of fast transmission, it is a compact ‘stripped down’ version; but basically a bechstein piano. i like it!
does what you expect it to do – it controls the volume of the individual audio signals (microphone, metronome, audio player, piano) & routes or mutes them if necessary.
in addition, there is also the possibility to readjust the latency (for the first time, this was measured & leveled before the start of the session).
great thing – you can record yourself & your performance in picture and/or sound; or even everything that is happening on the screen.
possible scenarios for this:
you record what you play; & can listen to it afterwards and judge it more objectively
you record yourself practicing & send it to your teacher via the media library (see 4.) to get feedback independently from the lesson. (it goes without saying that the teacher can answer you, record himself; & send the whole thing the same way…)
during the session, the teacher starts the recording, e.g. to demonstrate something & then provide it to you via audio/video for practice or later listening.
and not to forget- the audio player:
play, stop, loop individual sections, show current time position & total duration….all standard.
but what is really incredibly practical (and in my experience only usable with a few external – and then mostly not ‘in-expensive’ – programs in good quality) is the possibility to change the audio file in pitch and tempo. (if you want – e.g. to find a suitable key for singing/playing – even in ‘running mode’).
so: load song, open the matching note…and: “play music!”.
i’ll say it again: all this can also be implemented with several separate programs & messenger services; but we can really stay consistent here in DOOZZOO & have…right: everything in the same place & available at any time!
brilliant; isn’t it?!?
4. DOOZZOO is your music library
this is now our storage place for everything we need for practicing, teaching & making music. and by “everything” i really mean everything: sheet music, screenshots, photo files, audio, text documents & videos.
(small symbol icons clearly show what kind of file it is. very handy for browsing through a rapidly growing number of files).
of course you can manage this database (it’s called “media” here) individually: everything can be stored in self-selected folders, renamed, searched by name or type of file, uploaded and downloaded as well as opened & displayed for yourself and others.
this is where the proven ‘drag-and-drop’ comes in – it really couldn’t be any easier!
for teaching purposes, it’s also incredibly convenient to share with each student exactly the files that are relevant to them.
5. DOOZZOO is your digital mailbox
in addition to the so-called “session chat”, which allows you to send text as well as audio/video during class, DOOZZOO also makes it easy for you to communicate outside of sessions without having to leave the platform.
there are two main helpful places to do this:
- using the “shared with me” folder, available in the media library from the beginning, each student can send files to their teacher: for example, sheet music they’d like to play; or songs they’d like to learn; or photos of instruments or musicians they’d like to know more about, etc….
- for audio recordings – independent of audio files & songs in the media collection – there is the folder “session recordings”, which is also preinstalled. there, teachers as well as students can store e.g. recordings made during lessons and send them to the other one. even pure voice messages are possible (if it can’t be put into 3 words again…).
and also here: no bungling a lá “the notes via mail, the voice message via messenger, the audio files via cloud-server, screenshots via sms…”- start browser, log in; and go!
those were my TOP 5 advantages of this software – reason enough to switch to DOOZZOO!
i think the professional technical & especially the musical-practical implementation speak for themselves. just try DOOZZOO yourself and discover how practicing and teaching music is possible nowadays!
about the author
ric engelhardt is – always & with pleasure – many things that can be located in the music, media & teaching area:
studied jazz pianist & keyboardist, lecturer & correpetitor (for over 25 years), musical director (e.g. of barbara schöneberger), music editor of the “giovanni zarrella show”, author of 3 piano books so far (see links); wrote a piano arrangement for lang lang; is promoter for casio keyboard instruments, ocean pianist, professional support of the learning platform zapiano,…and enthusiastic doozzoo user!