How to Flip your Classroom or Studio & Really Teach Online

Real News: You can provide content, accountability, and assessment online, while maintaining a relationship with your students.
I’m going to give you my best actionable advice, with no fluff, based on teaching thousands of students online for over twelve years.
What is Flipping the Classroom?
 FB Groups, lesson videos, email drip courses, and webinars are all examples of tools used to flip the classroom. 

Why say something thousands of times when you can say it once and impact thousands of people? Why deliver content only in real time when you can schedule, automate and amplify it online?

The tips below will help you become a better teacher while helping students learn to better teach themselves.
First- If you are an orchestra or string teacher looking for lessons for your students now,  heads up that you can use my Done For You Lesson Videos for grades 4-12 (FREE) on This Youtube Playlist.

Steps you can take to flip your classroom:

-Teach over video, audio, and text (copy).  Make content for every important thing you teach. Teach to one student, repurpose for many. Batch create. Share your teaching materials via links or directly on any platform.

Here’s a post about How to Easily Make Teaching Videos

-Teach in an email. Teach in a voice memo. Teach with an infographic.

-SIMPLE is better. Use whatever apps are accessible for you and your students…Use Youtube videos, FB groups, Google drive, email, FB messenger, text, whatever is the easiest way to deliver or receive your content. I’ve even taught private lessons in a phone call (without video).

-Email drip courses. Drip out your teachings in emails at intervals. These could be multiple per day if needed. Generally dripping out smaller pieces of content is better than larger pieces of content. My students often tell me  that my email drip course is a powerful component of their membership.

-Ask students to submit videos (or text, or audio samples) of their work. Let them know that they can make a free Youtube channel and that Youtube allows for “unlisted” videos which retain privacy.

-Online forums (such as FB groups).  When you check the “social learning” box in your FB Group, you can curate Social Learning UNITS, i.e. posts organized by topic. Our Creative String Players FB Group uses this, so members can always find what they’re looking for, and I can add new posts as they come up. Join our free community here

-Don’t hold back content. Offer it.

Zoom Group Lessons– You cannot perform together online. However you can have students play for you individually in small groups on zoom and similar platforms such as Skype

Curate content from other artists.  Get my free Done For You lesson videos for Orchestra and String teachers on This Playlist 

To assess students, they just need to record themselves playing along to my, or others’, lesson videos.  Give your students these instructions along with the link to the video:

-Watch the video on computer, tablet, TV monitor, or connect a phone to a speaker to get substantial volume.
-Set phone (or tablet) to record on video or voice memo
-Push play on the lesson video, press record on their recording device, and play along to the video.
-Create their free Youtube channel (or Soundcloud for audio), publish their video as “unlisted”, & send the link to teacher for assessment.​

Even if you don’t give your students a lesson video, you can still assign them to submit videos to you, with or without a backing track. They could also record themselves playing to a metronome.  Keep it simple.

Email Support & Video Exchange-
This is a big one most that most teachers miss out on. It’s not that different than adding notes when grading papers.
You can share feedback on student submissions by making a video, writing an email, sending a voice memo, or leaving a comment underneath their post on Youtube or in an online forum.
An endless comment thread is a great place to keep a running dialogue.  It’s how I communicate, (sometimes for years!) with my Music Business Coaching clients in our support group.
It may take a few minutes to comment on a student’s work sample or question. The feedback you provide in those few minutes could be worth as much as an hour lesson or more.
Here’s a student’s response to an email I sent them commenting on their video submission:
“Oh. My. Thank you so much for this detailed/insightful/inspiring feedback on my reel…
I wasn’t ever given such a clear view of the work ahead and the way you express it makes me believe that it is in fact indeed manageable…”
The format can be as simple as this:
“Dear (student)- I watched your reel….The biggest conceptual thing I would encourage you to work on is … From a “skill building” side you can work on… From a “creative refining” side you can…. This can be practiced in these ways .. A variation could include …”
Does technology sacrifice your “relationship” with students?
According to my student above, not at all. 
After 12 years of teaching online, I’ve seen the benefits:
As a teacher you can make a bigger impact, enroll more students, build your influence, and save time.
As a student you can learn more and save time/money.

I’ve also seen the parallels between teaching and marketing.

This blog post is Teaching. It is also Marketing.
Flipping your classroom can enable you amplify your teaching and promote your services more effectively, so you get hired or promoted more easily.
Whether you work for yourself or an organization, you can more clearly communicate your ideas and your value. You’ll more easily create know, like, and trust.
You’ll become a better teacher and your students will learn more.
Related Resources:

– To maximize your teaching and/or reach using video, read/watch this.

– For private teachers: How to Move Your Students to Skype

How I got into Online Education
 I loved teaching at Berklee. When I moved for family reasons I needed to find different ways to teach.
Through trial and error I developed a combination of 1) online courses 2) private teaching on Skype 3) Email support 4) Retreats 5) School visits.
This combination offers students flexible options depending on their budgets, schedules, and goals.
BONUS TIP: ALWAYS offer your content.
If you’re worried your content isn’t worth sharing, you’re ripping the world (and your students) off.
You can always edit or recreate content. (I’ll likely edit this post!)
Don’t let perfect be the enemy of done. Don’t hold back.
Your content is unique because it’s from you, and it will help anyone a couple steps behind you to get where they want to be.
Help Us Make More Free Content!
– Purchase our individual courses  here
– Access ALL courses via subscription here
Reach out to me for help with taking your studio online and/or for more lesson plans for your students at

You might also be interested in…

Creative Strings Academy – become a more creative and versatile musician with a library of downloads and online DIY trainings

Creative Strings Shop – find trainings, resources, and downloads for your level by Christian Howes