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Are online piano lessons any good?

Are online piano lessons any good?

 

“Are online piano lessons any good?” by asking that question we are actually asking:

man holding a question mark

“Are online piano lessons better than face-to-face lessons?”

Since the Coronavirus pandemic, we have all learned to use online resources a lot more.

As a piano teacher, I had to start teaching online obviously.

Did I prefer it? was it more comfortable?

I need to be clear on this, I absolutely prefer face-to-face lessons! Music is about sharing and passing energy.

It is very hard to pass any energy to someone through a screen!

Let’s try to look at the pros and cons of online piano lessons versus face-to-face lessons!

Picture of a thumb up and a thumb down

 

let’s start with the pros:

  • Online lessons are better than no lessons at all
  • Online lessons cost less as you don’t have to travel
  • Some teachers also work with videos, not in a live session. Students record themselves playing and the teacher records advice and tips. The good thing is that you can go at your own pace and replay the lesson as many times as you want.
  • You have lessons from the comfort of your home

And this is all the positive point that I can think of…

I know, not much right?

Well, let’s see the cons now:

  • The most important thing is, if the student doesn’t have a good camera and a good sound system, it might be very hard to teach. With a bad camera or a very restricted view, your teacher can’t see your hands properly or your posture, or which finger number you use on a fast run. This means that you will have to stop and decompose the run note per note to show your teacher which fingers you use. The sound system is very important. Personally, as a music teacher, I think that it is just a very bad marking from a professional point of view to have a very bad sound system online. I always make sure that I have good Microphones, at least two cameras to show my hands and myself in high definition. I also need a very good internet connexion and good hardware. All of This costs money, but I’m a professional, so if I choose to teach online a lot it is a good investment. But for a student, is it really what you need? Because don’t forget that a student needs to be heard by the teacher. During the lockdown, I had a very hard time with a lot of students, because they didn’t have any good connexions or the sound was very bad, or I couldn’t see anything,… When the lockdown finishes, all my students were very happy to go back face-to-face. I’m a piano teacher providing piano lessons in Derby
  • Online, showing something to a student can take 5 or 10 minutes and face-to-face it would take 5 seconds! Literally!
  • We are not talking about motivation!
You have noticed that I don’t particularly like online lessons…

Online lessons can be great if you want to have a few lessons with a particular teacher on a very specific subject and he doesn’t live nearby or on the other side of the world!

But in the long run, I think you shouldn’t expect any results from it.

In conclusion, It is proof that even with all the technologies and connexions that we have at our disposal, nothing will replace real human contact. Music is all about sharing, it is a solitary activity that we need to share with others.

picture of a man's hand holding the hand of a baby

 

 

 

 

 

 

Show me how you practice, I will tell you how motivated you are

My name is Dominic Scohy and I’m a teacher providing piano lessons in Derby.

 

Today we are going to talk about practice time:

 

That’s it! You just had your first piano lesson! You promised yourself that you will practice every day, you promised that to your teacher, your parents, your partner, your friends,…

A few weeks pass and you realize that you are not practicing as much as you imagined…

So you are questioning your motivation, did you really wanted to learn piano? Maybe it was just a flash… A dream but it is not really made for you. After all, if you are really motivated, the practice would just come on its own, isn’t it?

Maybe it is time to give up and find something else to do.

Schoolgirl bored
Schoolgirl bored

 

 

 

 

Let’s try to take some distance for a moment…

What brings you to the piano in the first place? Was it the pleasure of playing some familiar tunes? Or a challenge? A wish to change career? …

Whatever the reason, it was the good one. when you start something new, any reason is the good one.

Now, I can tell you by experience, first of all for myself, for my time providing piano lessons in different countries and for my time being a piano teacher here in Derby;

Practice NEVER comes on its own!

You have to make it part of your life. a bit like going to sport regularly. That requires a bit of discipline.

Just sitting down in front of the instrument 5 minutes a day.

Even if you mess around with the instrument for 4 minutes and you actually do 1 minute of practice.

By the way, messing around is very important!! Don’t neglect that part, it helps to connect with the instrument and feel more comfortable.

 

So why is practice so boring? Why can you find a way to get around it? Because you actually don’t practice!

Or you are setting a too big target in front of you.

For example, Setting a practice for a week! That’s a bit too far ahead!

Let’s put a practice for today or tomorrow. choose the moment, set it up in your mind. Then do it. 5 minutes…

Then after that practice, set up the next one.

one tiny goal at the time.

 

I have started to do regular and intensive sport. I keep a routine for it. I do it day by day, practice after practice and I don’t rush.

but sometimes, I miss a day. I feel guilty, I feel like I’m failing and I will probably give up with time.

Then I start to think positively about it. I missed one day, so what? I do the next day.

sometimes, I do one session a week, because of my busy schedule. Should I give up then? So everything I did is good to throw at the bin?

 

Then I find a way to practice more again and everything seems to go well again.

I also put real targets, not imaginary idealized ones!

If I can’t practice every day because I have a busy life, there is no point in putting on targets that I would probably not being able to follow.

 

then I will give up very quickly because I know I will never meet my targets!

 

"Do not give up" picture with scrabble letter
A picture with some Scrabble letter saying “Do not give up”

 

So just relax, set up a realistic target, like practice today or tomorrow and for the rest, you will see later on.

 

Life is too short to give up! Give up leads to regrets, life is too short for regrets!

 

Common now! enough screen! Go practice!