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Thread: Skype piano lessons

  1. #1
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    Post Skype piano lessons

    Hi guys,
    I'm an amateur pianist and I've been playing the piano for several years now. Recently I have discovered skype piano lessons and was wondering whether anybody have ever had one and what did you think of it?
    Thanks,
    CM

  2. #2
    Duckmeister teddy's Avatar
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    Hello cm and welcome to the forum. Never heard of them, but it sounds like a good idea

    teddy
    Pining for the South of France

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso wljmrbill's Avatar
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    It is actually better than the DVD's one an buy. Requires good teacher and internet connection...just no hands on..but can still teach by listening and example as both have keyboards to see as well as listen to eaches performance. Have seen this done for voice, organ and general subject mabnner...hence online universoty courses. Good Luck and let me know what you think.
    ....To play only what is written is the domain of science. To realize what is not written is the domain of art."
    - Jean Langlais

    I wish you the Best for each day, now and always.

    Bill

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Not heard of this before (other than what Bill mentions above done by universities as online classes, which are not done on Skype). In those cases, one logs in to a hard wired 'server' that is owned by the university offering the course(s).

    I would be a little concerned though - one needs to have a way to check the credentials and get references about the teacher/mentor/tutor. I, for instance, would want to know "who" exactly is teaching me and what their experience level is. I would also ask for references.

    My personal next area of concern is about Skype itself - their Fair Usage policies are quite clear about not using their resources for one's own personal financial gain

    Quote Originally Posted by Skype FUP
    . . . Skype’s subscriptions are for personal, individual, non-commercial use only, in accordance with our Terms of Use and this FUP (“Legitimate Use”). The following is a non-exhaustive list of practices that would not be considered Legitimate Use:

    Using subscriptions for commercial purposes or commercial gain . . .
    The teacher (on one site) gets $50 per hour - paid one month in advance, no less - in all my years of private piano and organ lessons, the customary (and accepted) method of payment was made after the lesson was completed ... I would be a little leery of paying a month in advance before the lesson(s). And, what is to prevent your lesson, that you paid for, being hacked into by other unscrupulous people - getting the benefit of a lesson that someone else has paid for?

    Granted, with vidcams the student and teacher can react in real time, but there is something special about the actual 'hands on' experience of a teacher, seated at the piano or organ next to the student - they are able to physically place your hands, arms, fingers in the proper positions, whereas on a 'video conference call' (Skype) that is not possible.

    Bottom line, speaking as a professional organist with over 50 years of playing experience, I would not succumb to this method of teaching and/or learning. There are sufficient universities and private teachers all across the nation/world that can give you the special attention that can only be experienced by a one-on-one study, in person.

    I guess I'm 'old school' when it comes to music lessons . . . I would want that personal interaction that can only be achieved between the student and the teacher being in the same room at the same time ... especially if one was taking organ lessons.

    Kh

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    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    My gut reaction to Skype Piano Lessons is "NO GO!" My esteemed forum colleague KH vindicates my gut reaction.
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

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    Rear Admiral Appassionata John Watt's Avatar
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    Uh, uh, yeah, and, uh, is this looking like a "gut reaction" or is my mind fomenting?

    I can sympathize with beginner players who grew up online.
    It's amazing to have real-time interactions with another human being, even good clones, online,
    a big upgrade from no animation, or even no sound, at all.
    Best of all, for computer heads, is the fact you're not leaving your computer safety zone.
    There's no-one there to grab you by the arm and drag you out into offline.
    That means you won't have someone sitting beside you who wants to move your arms or body for ease of use.
    Especially someone passing himself off as an organ teacher.
    Okay, okay. I'm ready to serve my penalty on the bench.

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Watt View Post
    . . . That means you won't have someone sitting beside you who wants to move your arms or body for ease of use.
    And ... at a solo recital ... my teacher was always present during my rehearsal time for an upcoming organ recital ... offering guidance on registration and any technique changes required because of building acoustics and/or organ console placement. Charles (my teacher) was always there at the program listening and would offer constructive criticism afterwards, which was a very valuable aid, and something that one can't get in an online situation.

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  13. #8
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    Hi guys,
    thank you very much for replies! u've pointed out some important issues such as body movements and sound quality. My problem is that the teacher I would like to work with lives in a different city and I cannot afford travelling regularly. She's created a new technique which I'm keen to try, its a mixture of piano technique and yoga exercises!

  14. #9
    Duckmeister teddy's Avatar
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    Money will often be a deciding factor. I assume this method of teaching is probably cheaper than individual lessons and facilities may not be close enough to travel to. Then you have the disabled or those who suffer panic attacks, like my daughter. It may be a good alternative for some.

    teddy
    Pining for the South of France

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Well, that's a new twist ... piano lessons and yoga ... sound and meditation ... should be an interesting combination.

    Although I agree with teddy about money issues ... the old phrase comes to mind: one get's what one pays for. I'm sure my 12 years of lessons cost my parents a small fortune, but they wanted only the best for me, and we had to travel to other towns for those lessons. I know they did without lots of things in life so that I could have those lessons ... for them, it was worth it, and I put those years to good use and reaped all the benefits and turned it into a wonderful professional career because of them.

    I wish you all the success in this new endeavor ... please keep us informed of how things are progressing.

    Kh

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso wljmrbill's Avatar
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    I noted there are some examples of this type of teaching on youtube and DVD. I have done some in this manner like maybe the term "masterclass".. where you listen and offer suggestions as how to improve the performance of said composition by using Skype...or cam to cam methods. Mostly from rural areas and foreign countries...where I am sure money was the big issue ( I did not charge for my observations). When I was in Sarasota, Fla.. even had some tapes sent to me to offer my opinion.... so I feel there is some value in this method and by far maybe not the best: but better than nothing I also feel....IMHO
    ....To play only what is written is the domain of science. To realize what is not written is the domain of art."
    - Jean Langlais

    I wish you the Best for each day, now and always.

    Bill

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