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Piano Lesson summary videos cut to the chase

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I used to customarily record segments of lessons in progress that required sensitive editing before I uploaded them to you tube. It was not only a big job, but much of the video time was taken up with students lumbering through difficult passages, needing more settled post-lesson time to sift through teacher corrections, comments. Therefore with careful reflection, I decided to send my pupils a wrap-up of their lesson, (just me demonstrating) to flesh out pivotal practice routines that are meant to improve phrasing/shaping and over all fluidity. (Naturally, structural and theoretical explorations are central framings of the tutorial.)

For J.S. Bach Invention 1 in C, I found myself producing a few step-wise videos that covered sections of interest to the student as these played out over weeks. In a sample video, magnified views of the Subject and its inversion, augmentation, clarified my own approach to the learning process from the ground up, while it brought new personal awakenings. That’s when I realized that a post lesson tutorial was for my benefit as well as the student’s. (A mutual learning journey in progress!)

(Note correction of my playing parallel 6ths in a harmonic examination of Bach Invention 1–end of measure 10 to 11, but saying “10ths”–without doubt, one of my senior moments)

An Online student in North Carolina validated the importance of the wrap-up video.

“I love our lessons, but this added bonus of having you send summary videos is such a wonderful teaching tool. I for one, often sit at my piano with my computer backing sections up over and over.”

Likewise, many of my long distance piano students sit with their laptops perched by the piano, reviewing the main practicing goals derived from their lessons, and because of these video helpers, they make significant progress over the short and long term. The same applies to LIVE students who often forget some of the main points made during their lessons and need concrete reminders to improve quality practicing.

Here’s another recently Recorded Lesson summary that examines the Coda of the Beethoven Bagatelle in G minor, Op. 119 No. 1:

In conclusion, recorded lesson overviews are of great value to piano students while they create an important challenge to the teacher who must crystallize and fine tune approaches to music learning.

5 thoughts on “Piano Lesson summary videos cut to the chase”

  1. Shirley, you are an amazing teacher to take the time to do these videos for your students, who are very lucky for this gift! You are a rare caring teacher who goes above and beyond. Yes, the progress would be much faster for the student and for my little ones there would be less mistakes! Now motivated adult students or older teens would be thrilled at these demos.

    I do know the value of the lesson videos and reviewing at home. However I do all the recording in the lesson and send excerpts to the students so they may look at them and review them at home. You are incredible! I can see the two fold benefit though, to the teacher as well, fine tuning their teaching skills.

    For young ones, I send videos to the parents so that they can help their children at home. This goes a long way towards progress and saves weeks of difficulties. One funny story… a young child whose Mother does not play piano, was playing anything she wanted at home. Her progress was very slow. To solve the issue, I send videos of each piece she is supposed to practice including scales that I record in the lesson, and how I want it practiced. The Mom has the video to show the sneaky child the correct way and what should be done. However it is a great benefit to the student because now she takes my demonstration of pieces quite seriously and pays attention! She really wants to make sure she learns it correctly.

    Recently when I resumed piano lessons or coaching as we are calling it, I took two iPads to the teachers house, so I could have two separate views of the lesson. I thought of you and your great set up! Your influence has grown on me and I love it!


    1. Thanks Fran, for your insightful reply. And I appreciated your kind words. It seems that technology if used intelligently, is a great teaching and learning asset. I like how you integrate technology in your teaching practice, and as well bring the iPads to your lessons. Glad to have positively influenced you. Shirley


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