A Skype piano lesson-in-progress bundled with technique and Romantic era phrasing

Most people think web cam-ing piano lessons is no substitute for a spiritual person-to-person connection with a student. I used to think the same, leaving a tiny crack in door open for a change of heart.

Now in the course of two years in cyber, weathering every variety of transmission imaginable, from great to barely tolerable, I can say that I’ve become an overall advocate of SKYPING, POW-WOW-ing, and anything in between.

The following lessons-in-progress prove to me, that even with a Steinway vintage grand piano speaking to a Casio Px model digital, not too far away, incidentally, that a student can make progress in baby-step advances. (not unlike what would play out LIVE in my respective studios in the East Bay Hills and below)

In the first video segment I work with a student on smoothing out a D Major Arpeggio. Blocking techniques, shifts over the thumb, angles of the hand in relation to the keyboard, etc, are explored in LIVING color, and the bonus of this media event, is the student will get a copy of the video and have it as a companion to her daily practicing.

In the second and third videos, I work interactively with the pupil on the first two pages of Chopin’s A minor Waltz, No. 19 (Op. Posthumous) Oddly, you’ll notice my miming physical motions intrinsic to the phrasing. These are conspicuously displayed because I realize that the student will observe my physical gestures upon footage review. These gestures will have framing musical and aesthetic value.

(Breathing techniques are explored above, in smoothing out an arpeggiated figure)

In an Internet-based instructional setting the teacher leaves an indelible impression, not subject to a faint recall of what transpired at the lesson.

Yet within the “live” learning environment, one can add a supplementary teaching video and email a You Tube link, or film the lesson-in-progress.

Many teachers might not have the resources, skills or time to invest in these uploading activities, but their work is still as pure as it can be, not needing a cyber-launch. That is understood.

I happen to enjoy my visits to foreign countries, without the hassle of airport security checks. And for a student on a Greek Island, a cyber connection is particularly sacred.

For some the jury is not yet out on whether these Cyber-sprung piano lessons are the best way to celebrate the music Masters. Surely, explorations of tone production, timbre, color, are easier to navigate in person with an acoustically clear-sounding instrument. Still, where students cannot easily access piano teachers, or have cluttered business schedules, cyber-driven piano lessons seem to work and have validity.


Online Piano Lessons: Pros and Cons


POWHOW lessons by web cam

Skype lessons by arrangement…
contact through You Tube Channel

About arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

International piano teacher by Skype, recording artist, composer, piano finder, freelance writer, film maker, story teller: Grad of the NYC HS of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, NYU (Master of Arts) Studies with Lillian Freundlich and Ena Bronstein; Master classes with Murray Perahia and Oxana Yablonskaya. Studios in BERKELEY and EL CERRITO, California; Member, Music Teachers Assoc. of California, MTAC; Distance learning and Skyped instruction with supplementary videos: SKYPE ID, shirleypiano1 Contact me at: shirley_kirsten@yahoo.com OR http://www.youtube.com/arioso7 or at FACEBOOK: Shirley Smith Kirsten, http://facebook.com /shirley.kirsten TWITTER: http://twitter.com/arioso7 Private fund-raising for non-profits as pianist--Public Speaking re: piano teaching and creative approaches
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