Curious about how online piano lessons work, and if they’re right for you? Here, Brooklyn, NY teacher Liz T. shares what to expect as you learn to play piano online…
Thanks to technology today, you can learn to play piano online, right from your own living room, with some of the best music teachers anywhere in the US! You may be apprehensive about starting at first, and wondering if learning to play piano online is as effective as taking lessons in person. The answer is yes!
What You Need to Learn Piano Online
To ensure successful online piano lessons, make sure you have a working camera with your computer, a strong internet connection, and good speakers. Place the camera either in front of you or to the side of the piano, so your teacher can see you playing the piano clearly, to make sure you are using correct fingering and posture. Same goes for the speakers — make sure they are positioned so that your teacher can hear you playing!
It’s also important to have a working email you check regularly. I send music and recordings through email often, as well as notify my students about schedule changes. Along with that it’s a good idea to have a working printer for sheet music.
What to Do Before Your Lesson
You’ll want to exchange contact info with your teacher well before the lesson, so you’re not wasting time trying to find each other on Skype. I also suggest doing a trial run a day or two before your first lesson, to make sure Skype and your video camera and sound are all correctly working on your computer. Then, sign into Skype or the online platform you are using at least 10 minutes before your lesson starts to make sure the program is working then, as well. Same as an in-person lesson, you want to be on time!
If it’s your very first lesson, I tell all my students to have one piece prepared, so I can get a feel for their playing. Of course, your teacher might ask for something else — so that’s why it’s important to chat beforehand!
What to Expect During Your Lessons
I treat my online piano lessons the same as if the student is physically in the room with me. Specific learning schedules and teaching methods may be used by different instructors, but for the most part, the basics of piano are the same.
For beginning piano students, I teach piano playing technique and basic music theory (how to read music, note names, key signatures, rhythms, scales, etc). I start my students off with simple exercises and songs, and incorporate technique and theory into this, so they are ready to tackle pieces in any style!
For my intermediate/advanced players, there is still a heavy emphasis on music theory. I teach my students how to incorporate music theory into their playing, and how to perfect their pieces so that they are performance-ready! I love to challenge my students in learning all styles, such as Classical, Jazz, and Broadway.
What If I Experience Technical Difficulties?
Sometimes there are delays or Skype freezes — just be patient if this happens. Try closing all other programs running on your computer, as this will make it run faster. If for some reason Skype doesn’t work for you, there are other programs you and your teacher can try, like Google Hangouts or Vidyo.
Online piano lessons may not be for everyone, just the same as in-person lessons may not work for everyone. With online lessons, however, you’ll feel comfortable in your own home, have more control over your schedule (since you don’t have to worry about rushing around town to get to a lesson), and have more options for teachers. You can study with professionals anywhere in the US, not just in a 10-mile radius. It’s perfect for students who do not live in a big city, but want to be exposed to top-notch teachers. Pretty cool, huh? As a teacher in NYC, I have online students in California, Ohio, Texas, and Canada!
In the end, the only way you will know which type of lesson is right for you is to give it a try. Browse piano teachers and start your online piano lessons today!
Liz T. teaches online singing, acting, and music lessons. She is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music with a B.M in Vocal performance and currently performs/teaches all styles of music including Musical Theater, Classical, Jazz, Rock, Pop, R&B, and Country. Learn more about Liz here!
Photo by keynotespianostudio