After my first week of providing online lessons, I'm pleased to say I think they are working really well for everyone.
I've got my home studio set up so that students can see and hear me well, and see what I'm playing. I've spent time with everyone making sure that things are working well are their side so I can see and hear them. Something this has highlighted technical issues, which have been overcome, but mostly it has worked smoothly.
Most people are using laptops but a couple of students have used their phones and this has worked okay. I have used a function in Zoom where I can put music or chord sheets on screen to work on. This is useful but I also e-mail relevant music/tablature in advance of the lesson where needed and I have also sent follow e-mails with links to recordings or whatever else will help with individuals' practice.
Are online lessons more impersonal? A lot less so than I expected. With existing students I already know, it feels much more 'normal' than one might expect, and quite a few students and parents have said it's great to have a way of continuing some 'normality' when so much in all our lives has changed quite suddenly recently. I have had a couple of new students begin lessons this week and I feel I am getting to know them and they are getting to know me just fine in their initial lessons.
The main difference between traditional face to face 1 to 1 or small group lessons and online tuition is the inability to play together, so there are no duets. Actually, the need to go back and forth - I play then you play - provides some learning advantages; it is quite disciplined, because you have to concentrate and focus. I'm using the strengths of the online medium in the way I'm teaching.
So yes, online lessons work can really well, and I'm finding they are a good fit with my personalised approach to tuition.