Bassist Florian Friedrich is known all over Germany and was our first podcast guest. His self-learning platform and Germany’s largest bass school, “Florians Bassunterricht,” make him an absolute expert in digital learning aids and online lessons. In the interview, he revealed many valuable tips and, among others, these highlights:
Where do you stand on this? Online classes only for a particular group or for everyone?
Florian: “Nah, for everyone. Well, as a professional, I find myself being inspired by many people from whom I see tutorials and videos on YouTube. I say, “Wow, who is that? I don’t even know him yet. He plays fantastically. What kind of technique does he have?”
And then I go to it and listen to it or try to practice it somehow.
It’s just an amazing…, a bottomless pit, a source. I think it’s fantastic because you can learn anything you want. You no longer have to go somewhere and register for a course of study. In principle, you can now learn anything as an autodidact. There are no more limits.”
What has been your motivation for teaching online?
Florian: “Well, for me, I offer online classes simply because of personal contact. After all, many students have questions or say, “I’m just following your course, Basics or whatever, and I don’t know, I can’t find my way around it. You explain it well, but it’s…yeah, I can’t do it.”
Then, of course, it’s great if you have someone who says, “Oh, I can see where the problem is. Sit up straight, and no, try doing this differently somehow.”
That’s when the penny usually drops, and that’s how you can help people much more directly and personally. So no one is on their own to learn things for themselves, which is always good. But sometimes, the personal contact is much better.”
Why do you like to use doozzoo for this?
Florian: “[I use] doozzoo because I think it has fantastic features for teaching, especially for bass. Or for guitar. It has some valuable features that I can’t imagine doing without now.
For example, the library with all the songs. You can upload all the pieces, all the play along, all the PDFs, and you always have them at your fingertips wherever you have internet, and most importantly, you can start them directly […] on the student’s computer.
So there’s no more latency, and that’s fantastic, of course, when I can say to the student, “Play along. I’ll turn it on.” And especially since I have control over it, there’s no fumbling around with, “Yeah, wait a minute, can you hear it? Can’t you hear it?” But I know: I turn it on, and he can play along directly, without delay. I can hear what’s happening simultaneously, and I can judge it. So that’s a significant advantage.”
What advice would you give to teachers and music colleagues who are still reluctant to integrate online teaching even in hybrid form?
Florian: “Just do it. Most people shy away from it because they say, “What’s with all the technology? That’s not for me.” But everybody walks around with a smartphone, and everybody has a laptop with a camera and microphone. So you can get going super already with that.
Just do it, get over the hurdle, and go for it. You’ll notice that it doesn’t hurt that much. That it’s not so bad and that it’s enjoyable. It’s fun for the students, too, because you build up contact over the distance.”
Florian’s tip for fellow teachers
“It’s very convenient. First, you have to find your system for schedule; otherwise, you’ll have students sitting in your living room at times when it doesn’t fit. Just make your schedule, I would say, so your school moment and then schedule the students there. Then you can get started.
And the great thing about doozzoo is that it’s browser-driven or runs inside the browser. That means I don’t have to download an app, and I don’t have to install anything. Instead, I log in and can start right away with my browser. I log in, have direct access to everything, and can get going. And that’s what makes it so easy, too.”