Personal Piano Teacher Vs. Learning Online – What Kind of Pianist are You?
There is no doubt that the internet has forever changed the way we live, interact, communicate, consume and learn. Today, the internet allows us to work from home, meet our spouse on the social network, and freely talk with anyone from anywhere as long as both sides have a computer with internet connection. The long term implications of the internet phenomenon are still being explored by many, and the argument about whether these developments are good or bad for the human race are still under debate.
Music learning in general and piano learning in particular were deeply affected by the internet, and today’s world offers the beginner pianist various ways to begin is learning journey. In order to determine what would be the best course to take, I will address the advantages of each of the two main methods (Personal teacher Vs. Learning Online) on important parameters one should take into consideration before starting, and will conclude with a recommendation for the different type of piano students.
This is perhaps the most crucial advantage of online learning. The complete majority of piano lessons online are free. A short research online reveals hundreds of piano teaching sites waiting to teach anyone the piano basics, piano theory and how to play one’s favorite song with no cost at all. It is also known that the average price for a lesson with a teacher is between 15$-35$. Not something that anyone can afford, especially if he already have other hobbies.
Bottom line: Learning online wins
Here as well, learning online has significant advantages. Firstly, by learning from home one is not bound to the schedule of a teacher that sometimes can be very busy. In addition, the convenient and flexibility of learning online allows those who are very busy themselves not to neglect their piano playing.
On the other hand, putting one’s learning time into a stable curriculum has its own benefits. It is much harder to give up on a lesson that you scheduled and paid for in advance and so it keeps you in a steady framework of learning, which is highly crucial for the beginner musician.
Bottom line: It’s a Tie
Although one can easily find basic and theoretic stuff on the internet, there are very few people than are so autodidactic to teach themselves the theory of music without a teacher. In a sense it’s like teaching oneself math or a new language.
Piano teachers usually have years of experience not only in playing music but in the right methods of delivering the educational material in terms of timing and the student’s progress. When learning theory of any kind, the method of learning is always crucial.
Bottom line:Personal teacher wins.
Variety of learning:
The downside of having strict learning methods when learning with a piano teacher is the limited variety of music genres and songs that can be learnt. The old generation of piano teachers usually sticks to classic and jazz music which are not always preferred by the younger generation. Younger piano teachers might include more current material in their curriculum, but one should not forget that these teachers usually learned everything they know from the older generation…
The huge variety of websites on the internet allows beginner pianists to choose the materials the wish to learn, may it be classical compositions, music scales or simply their favorite song from the radio. Moreover, the combination of different types of methods and music genres is much more accessible on the internet.
Bottom line: Learning online wins
Learning curve means the progress of one’s piano skills over time. The pianist who chooses to learn online must have a very strong self discipline in order to see a growing learning curve. For most people, deciding to learn without a teacher that “pushes” you to do so is not an easy task. On the opposite side, once a pianist has already paid for a teacher and has an organized schedule of lessons and practice times that he follows, the learning curve is being something that is much easier to measure and thus, to improve.
Bottom line: personal teacher wins
At the end of the day, it is up to the student to decide which method suits him best. Those who know that they have the tendency to start something and leave it relatively quick should at least for the beginning go for the learning online option. Whether is is a vertical piano or baby grand you are learning to play, those who merely wish to learn several of their favorite songs and do not pursue a pianist career can easily do it online. On the other hand, those of you that need an organized studying framework should go for the piano lessons via teacher, especially those of you who wish to pursue a professional or semi-professional career.
The beauty of the internet is that it opened the learning gates to everyone, and not only for the gifted one or the ones with the resources, and this goes not only to music.
Guest Author – Nimrod Cohen