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Technology as a valuable piano teaching tool

computer screen

This is not a planned or staged informercial, but one of my students spontaneously reviewed the value of her piano lessons by Face Time, and I snatched her critique on my iPhone. NOTIFICATION: She was not impeded from sharing the down side of her piano learning experience so naturally I was riveted to what would pour forth from rural North Carolina to provide me important feedback.


April and I began lessons by Skype, but in this particular connection we had audio issues, so we decided to try FACE TIME, which was like night and day, by comparison. A few of my ONLINE students have made the same transition, and the transmission greatly improved.

Below is a lesson segment beamed by Face Time from Berkeley CA to North Carolina (The only problem with FACE TIME Record at the time, was it only provided SPLIT SCREEN views on record playback, so the keyboard was therefore attenuated)–UPDATE: FACE TIME CALL RECORDER now has a three-view RECORD option. LOCAL (Full-screen), REMOTE (Full Screen) and SPLIT SCREEN.

Marie in Fresno offered her assessment of Face Time transmitted Piano Lessons:

She had been my LIVE student in Fresno for 7 years before I moved to Berkeley. She then transitioned to ONLINE lessons.

Sherry from Louisville, Kentucky soon enough chimed in about her piano lessons by Face Time:

Yet, Skype has worked exceptionally well in transmissions from Berkeley, CA to Staten Island, New York.

In this example, I was able to demonstrate multiple SKYPE CALL RECORDER PLAYBACK VIEWS that are of great help to a student following his/her lesson. SKYPE affords the opportunity to use multiple cam views while recording is in progress. The student will therefore be able to see full keyboard views on PLAYBACK–(either my piano or the student’s instrument)–plus acquire additional split screen views if I choose to use)


FROM David, a piano student who used to commute for LIVE lessons from CHICO, CA to Berkeley and currently signs on weekly by SKYPE.

Dog one


I like the Skype lessons for several reasons:

1st, I don’t have to drive 320 miles round trip for my lesson every

2nd, the view of your keyboard is much better and I can see what you’re
doing with a clarity that sitting at the piano next to you doesn’t allow.

But there are some drawbacks to the Skype lesson too:

1st, I don’t get to visit Berkeley and shop at the Monterey Market which
I love!

2nd, I don’t get to fool around Berkeley and explore the restaurants and
other fun things about Berkeley. I know the bartender at a Berkeley bar
and I like to stop in for a (1) glass of wine before heading home to
Chico. It’s nice to “get outa town” once a week.

Overall I am surprised by how good the Skype session is. I wouldn’t have
guessed it would be so good. I’d say it’s every bit as good a lesson as
in-person, and better in some respects.



So the testimonials have played out, and I’m spared from looking into a camera and sounding like a politician running for office.

My NEXT Stop: The Music Teachers Association Branch Meeting in Oakland to spread the gospel about braving the new technology/teaching piano ONLINE–May 11, 2015–Where: Holy Names University.

By the way we had our first SKYPE/LIVE piano recital on March 15th that globalized our lessons and brought students far and wide closer together.


A SKYPE/LIVE adult piano student recital!

4 thoughts on “Technology as a valuable piano teaching tool”

  1. Great that it’s all possible with the technology around us, but i think a person to person lesson in real life is a total different experience, no?

    Liked by 1 person

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