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Student perspective -- What's different about online lessons vs. in person? (Read 1261 times)

Offline Bob

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What do you do differently?

Or what does your online teacher do differently?
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline keypeg

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That's a really broad question, Bob.

Well, "in person" you have to travel to the location, knock on the door, hope you can warm up in a hurry.  If something upsetting happens on the way there, it can throw you for a bit.  You're stuck with the choice of teachers who are in your geographic region.   "online" you can be ready and warmed up before your teacher comes on.  If your Internet connection goes wonky, you have a different set of problems.  "In-person", your teacher can see you clearly, walk around for a different angle, maybe touch a hiked shoulder, and you can see what your teacher is doing clearly.  "In-person" your teacher can point to a section on the page, pull out a book and show you something.  "On-line" in the middle of a lesson something might pop into Dropbox which I quickly print out, and then circle what I'm told to circle, and work with that.   Things like that.

In a recent lesson, my teacher reported a lag between what he was hearing me do, and what me fingers were doing (you're playing C,D,E and he's hearing the E while seeing you play the D).  I watched a filmed Skype lesson recently where rhythm and timing were emphasized.  The teacher was counting along or tapping, and his counts were off by half a second from the student's metronome and playing, because of the delay.   So you can't do what you normally do in-person.

But then, what form does a lesson take?   Does an on-line lesson have to imitate the format of in-person, only remote?  What about the Artistworks type of work, where you have a generic set of teaching material that has been pre-produced, filmed professionally from multiple angles, the student does homework, gets a video response, and sees the playing and responses of fellow students?

We're seeing a lot of hybrid things.  There are in-person teachers who create on-line videos that are generic for all their students to also watch, for things that crop up again and again.  The videos of Dr. Mortenson (sp.) come to mind.

When I work with my main teacher, this is supplemented with video and audio files that I send him, and written communication.   The video & audio files make up for what can't be heard as accurately live.  We do a form of theory that combines listening skills; I send my written homework to a shared Dropbox folder, and we go over it live.  Some of these devices could be used by in-person teachers.  For example, the "I played it better at home" - record yourself and bring that in.

Is that the kind of thing you were looking for?

My primary reason for going on-line is that I ran into a superb teacher, and I can't regularly fly into another country.  I'm not that rich.

Offline keypeg

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Bob, do you happen to have experience in both camps?  It would be interesting to read.  :)  Also curious why you're asking.

Offline louispodesta

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Thank you "Keypeg," for your insightful post.  It suggests (I am not speaking for you) whether or not this post is for real. Accordingly, when one clicks on "Bob" and the clicks on "Recent Posts," it pretty much answers that question.

Conversely, is this a topic worthy of serious discussion?  Of course, it is.

However, by Pianostreet "soliciting" fake posts, it (in no way) furthers a serious discussion of the future of piano pedagogy.

Offline keypeg

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"Louispodesta" - I'm interested in the topic, which is why I responded to it.  Likewise, if you have thoughts or experiences in regard to online lessons vs. in-person lessons, I would be interested in reading those thoughts.  That is the point of topics.  Please do share your insights into this.  I seem to remember that you have also worked on-line at some point recently?

The topic of why people write what they do, or how a site might be promoting itself, this is an entirely different topic.  How about opening a thread on this, and those who are interested in that type of thing can participate?  I am someone studying music at a rather late stage in life, having spent decades without instruction, and I'm on this forum to explore such things.  That is why I joined a forum called PIANOstreet.  I don't care or know much about politics, psychology, suspicion but might give it a try.

The topic here is on-line versus in-person piano and music lessons.  That is what interests me.

Bob?

Offline Bob

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No, no experience on either side.  I was just wondering.  I think I'm working on a more basic level in my playing.  I don't want anyone messing with that, and it's more ideas there.  Teaching-wise, I wonder about issues like lag, keeping the same beat, the real sound, maybe something with being able to demonstrate something where weight is a factor.

Longer term vs. short spot checks sounds interesting too.  I could see it working or creating problems in both cases.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline outin

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Louis has repeatedly opened up about his aspergers, which would explain his obsessions, repeated OT posts and the attacks on other posters. I think we would be wise to just ignore his ramblings. He seems to be unable to control himself in this aspect.

Offline keypeg

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No, no experience on either side.  I was just wondering.  I think I'm working on a more basic level in my playing.  I don't want anyone messing with that, and it's more ideas there.  Teaching-wise, I wonder about issues like lag, keeping the same beat, the real sound, maybe something with being able to demonstrate something where weight is a factor.

Longer term vs. short spot checks sounds interesting too.  I could see it working or creating problems in both cases.
Got it.  Well, I wrote a fair bit in a kind of general answer since I didn't know where you were coming from.  Did any of that help, or bring about new questions?

Offline Bob

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It was interesting. The travel part I wasn't really thinking of but that's there, travel for the teacher, mental state for the student.  I suppose on either side if you really wanted to, you could click off the connection and that's it.

Changing the entire nature of the lesson structure is interesting too.  I wasn't thinking of that.  From what you described, you could still have something like that with in person lessons.


I was thinking if the lesson was recorded it would be interesting to see someone else's lesson, either for the student information or for critiquing the teacher.  Then again... It might either become too dull for seeing a lesson or too easy to critique the teacher possibly.  I keep thinking back of to a masterclass for an online lesson but that doesn't sounds right or normal either.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Online timothy42b

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My primary reason for going on-line is that I ran into a superb teacher, and I can't regularly fly into another country.  I'm not that rich.

Exactly.  On line gives you choices simply not available locally.  You have the possibility of finding a higher quality experience, depending on the luck of where you live.  Time zones matter too - if your only possible lesson time is 10:00 PM, good luck finding a teacher in person. 

It also potentially makes leaving a teacher you are not a good match for much less intimidating.  <smiley>

The part I find interesting is the potential for expanding the format beyond the traditional, but I don't know anything about this.  My experience with Skype was that we just duplicated what would have happened in person. 
Tim

Offline bernadette60614

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I would add this:

Preface all this with in my opinion:

A great teacher is better than an fair one, be that teacher be on-line or in person.  The advantage of the RIGHT real life piano teacher is that when you play your best (meaning closest to your conception of perfection) piece for that teacher, the teacher can note your strengths and weaknesses and work with you in a more targeted way to improve where you need to improve.

We're not all the best judges of our own abilities and the right teacher can provide that objective, individualized judgment---as well as a practice plan.

And, at least for me, I enjoy having a relationship with a real person. I've never become great friends with my teachers, but I've enjoyed learning about their backgrounds, their current experiences (my last teacher was a page turner for some of the greats, and even those little anecdotes make me feel more like a member of the larger musical community.)  I enjoy my current teacher's golden retriever and that I leave each lesson not only with a new challenge, but a fair amount of fur.



Offline keypeg

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Bernadette, I understood everything you wrote including the part about a personal relationship, learning things about your teacher's background such as the page turning experience of your teacher.  However, I was not able to catch how this relates to on-line vs. in person.  When you work with a teacher on-line, you can also get to know your teacher.  That depends more on how formal and closed off your teacher is, than whether your presence is in the same room or via a communication medium.  This is why I wasn't able to catch the connection to "online vs. in person".   :)

Offline bernadette60614

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I hear you.

This may be me, but there's something about seeing what is blooming in my teacher's yard (lessons in her home), the faint smell of breakfast, how the light shines through the windows (or doesn't..since I'm in the Midwest, and we never know what the time will bring), and, perhaps most relevant technically, the fact that she has a boss full sized Steinway.

I don't think one is better than the other..as I said initially it is having the RIGHT teacher, be that teacher on-line or in person.