Now that the internet is an integral part of life, piano lessons online are becoming very popular. I’d like to give you an honest review of what you can expect from learning piano online versus offline.
Online piano lessons do have their advantages. For starters, you can learn at your own pace and review material as needed.
Furthermore, it may be easier to learn the essentials of piano theory, since you can review and repeat the material at will.
Ear training is a suitable application for piano lessons online. Ear training is best done for several minutes each day rather than in larger chunks only once in a while. An hour’s piano lesson once a week needs to focus on playing the piano, and there’s little or no time to focus on this crucial aspect of becoming a musician.
It is true that piano lessons online are cheaper than studying with a teacher. Still, I see a lot of entirely false claims surrounding online piano courses. Unscrupulous vendors try to get you to buy their course by arguing that you won’t have to “waste your money on a piano teacher.” Any professional-level teacher can tell you immediately that such sales tactics are nothing but deceitful.
Further, no professional piano teacher would claim that online piano lessons are a substitute for private study with an expert teacher, that if you only have “their” method you won’t have to “waste” money on a teacher. I caution strongly against any piano courses that claim that their course is superior to private study, as it is telltale sign of an amateur teacher at best, and an unscrupulous one at worst.
Still, piano teachers are not all alike. Unfortunately there do exist incompetent or only marginally competent ones, and the really great piano teachers are few and far between.
What I see most often lacking in piano students is a solid musical foundation. I meet many students who are able to play intermediate to advanced music but who don’t know all their piano scales and basic harmonies. This is an area in which online piano lessons can be of great use, though it is up to the teacher to drill students in these basics until they know them literally like the back of their hand.
The obvious disadvantage to taking piano lessons online is that there is no teacher to evaluate and correct your playing. I believe that the most difficult part of becoming a musician is learning to listen to ourselves. There are so many things to concentrate on when playing piano and the brain can only focus consciously on so much at once. Until many aspects of finger coordination, tone production and rhythm become second nature, an expert teacher can give you feedback about how you actually sound versus how you think you sound. Remember, every drunk person thinks he can sing!
A teacher can give you personal suggestions for which pieces to play, music that is suitable to your level and that you love. It’s not possible to do this effectively in an online format since no teacher is present to hear you play in person.
The fine movements involved in developing a good and musical piano technique can only be effectively addressed in person by an expert teacher. Controlling the arm and suspending it or transferring its weight to the keyboard, controlling muscle tension and its release, developing finger independence, and the ways in which each movement affects the sound are all critical elements of piano playing that can only be taught in person by a master teacher.
With these points in mind, taking piano lessons online is a wonderful starting point for learning piano. If you haven’t yet signed up for key-notes’s lessons, you can do so by filling in the form below!
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