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#1497134 - 08/16/10 02:01 PM learning via skype?
bobby smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/09
Posts: 28
Loc: Carlsbad Ca
Hi

I've been with my teacher for about a year and a half now. We're about half way through Alfred's book 2.

Well, she's moving away in a few weeks, and she wants us to continue our lessons via skype.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. I much prefer the idea of my teacher sitting next to me, as opposed to watching me through a webcam. Here are some of the pros/cons of skyping I've come up with so far.

Pros:
very flexible schedule
my lessons would be slightly cheaper
I'd save on gas too
I'd stick with a teacher that I like
No searching for a new teacher
I could just wear a shirt and underwear, as long as I didn't stand up

Cons:
It's via internet...so we could have all kinds of technical issues...lag, disconnect, sound distortion, poor lighting, screensavers turning on, and so on...
a little less personal maybe?

I'm the kind of person that is loyal to my instructor, but I also know the value in having multiple teachers. You learn new styles and ways of doing things. I've been in similar situations before, but with a different hobby.

What do you guys think?

Any advice welcomed.

Thanks
Bobby

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#1497174 - 08/16/10 02:48 PM Re: learning via skype? [Re: bobby smith]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
There really aren't any pros to speak of.
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#1497181 - 08/16/10 03:06 PM Re: learning via skype? [Re: keyboardklutz]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
My roommate's fiance lives far away, and they do skype or google chat or suchlike every night. No matter which service they use, there are often problems with connection quality, disconnects, etc. Also much depends on the camera/mic quality of each computer involved.

I personally have found that connecting 2 Macs via iChat gives the best connection, but YMMV.
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#1497185 - 08/16/10 03:13 PM Re: learning via skype? [Re: tangleweeds]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1640
Loc: Colorado
Some things might be better left on the internet, some not - and some things might be better left to in-person interaction.

Nothing wrong with giving it a try, but I suspect you will want to find a local, in-person, piano teacher after a few sessions, especially considering your already preference for having a teacher in your presence.

Glen
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#1497262 - 08/16/10 04:45 PM Re: learning via skype? [Re: Inlanding]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17747
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
bobby, I'd try to find a new teacher in your town if possible. People can and do take lessons via Skype (PW member lilylady takes Skype lessons with PW member Jeffrey Biegel, for example), but it's usually because a satisfactory teacher cannot be found locally. Take your time, interview a bunch of prospective teachers, and you can always Skype with your old teacher until you've lined up a good replacement.
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#1497286 - 08/16/10 05:19 PM Re: learning via skype? [Re: Monica K.]
bobby smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/09
Posts: 28
Loc: Carlsbad Ca
Yeah, I'll end up getting a new teacher.

It's too bad. I told myself I'd stick with my current teacher thru Alfred's book 3, but I guess that isn't the case. There's nothing wrong with changing teachers from time to time. Sometimes it's good to get a new point of view.

I do want to finish thru Alfred's 3rd book, so I'll need to make sure my next teacher is ok with that. There are obviously a lot of teacher's that use Alfred, since the threads here are so popular.

Or should I just let my next teacher choose their book of choice?

Decisions, decisions...

Thanks
Bobby

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#1497288 - 08/16/10 05:20 PM Re: learning via skype? [Re: Monica K.]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5221
Loc: Europe
You've been with your teacher for a bit more than a year. I can't see many reasons to go the route of skype, unless your teacher is THAT amazing, that is worth the trouble.

Don't be scared to search around for new teachers and your "old" teacher should understand that you wouldn't want to have internet lessons.

Again all this unless the teacher is stunning, in which case don't lose him/her
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#1504963 - 08/28/10 06:27 PM Re: learning via skype? [Re: Nikolas]
Bonnie Woodruff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 30
Loc: Florida, USA
I, as a teacher for 50 years, 10 years online teaching even without the visual (I could be bind and still teach), stay with your teacher!!!! It really works. I have had to move around US because of my husbands ministry, so started doing this with my left-students, and it is like being right there with them, even when they are in Paris, France, and I in US. In fact they became better students then my face-to-face in my studio....AWESOME experience for teacher and student!My students online or by phone would say, now did you know I was using the wrong fingering on that? They were amazed!


Edited by Bonnie Woodruff (08/28/10 06:29 PM)
Edit Reason: miss spelled words
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#1504967 - 08/28/10 06:36 PM Re: learning via skype? [Re: Bonnie Woodruff]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
I've had some skype lessons, and I have to say I've learned loads. I would never have believed it. The technology has worked very well.

The only situation I can see it not working is very technical things where it would help for the teacher to be able to see your hands from close up. If you've been playing for a year and a half then you may feel you know by now how to hold your hands and press the keys. I honestly think it's worth a try. If it doesn't work out, then look for another teacher.
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#1505126 - 08/29/10 12:27 AM Re: learning via skype? [Re: ten left thumbs]
lontano 1 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/08/10
Posts: 17
Loc: Seattle, WA
I have been taking weekly lessons through skype with Terry Dybvig for a year. I have to say it is not ideal even though she has eagle eyes and can see a lot though the computer. But still she is such an amazing teacher and I improve so much under her that I would not go to another teacher. I just supplement that by attending her music camps (well balanced pianist) twice a year. I wish she gives more music camps, every time I attend, I come back playing at a different level!

It really is exciting that if one positions one's camera right, and have a good microphone, one can take lessons from some of the best teachers in the world! I am very grateful for skpye, or else I can only take lessons from her twice a year through her music camp.

Kam

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#1505155 - 08/29/10 02:57 AM Re: learning via skype? [Re: Bonnie Woodruff]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: Bonnie Woodruff
....AWESOME experience for teacher and student!
Er.., you would say that.
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snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1505180 - 08/29/10 05:21 AM Re: learning via skype? [Re: Bonnie Woodruff]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Bonnie Woodruff
it is like being right there with them, even when they are in Paris, France, and I in US.


Sounds like going to Paris and spending all of your time watching "Sex in the City" instead of going to the Tuileries.

Quelle horreur !

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#1505182 - 08/29/10 05:33 AM Re: learning via skype? [Re: landorrano]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
There is actually a real buzz in thinking, OMG, this person lives half-way round the world, and yet we can connect musically through skype. Maybe the novelty just hasn't worn off yet... But I can imagine it's a bit like the very first phone calls, where people couldn't believe it, and shouted into the receiver.

smile
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I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

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#1505184 - 08/29/10 05:35 AM Re: learning via skype? [Re: ten left thumbs]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
One of the advantages of living in a big city is the quality of teaching available.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1505185 - 08/29/10 05:35 AM Re: learning via skype? [Re: landorrano]
casinitaly Online   content


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4878
Loc: Italy
My experience with skype is that it is just not reliable. When it works, it is brillian - but........

You can have 10 calls that are perfect - then randomly you get out of sync, or there is an echo, - or it shuts dow.

Last week I lost the line 5 times in a matter of 25 minutes. It was pretty frustrating. - And we were talking, so I noticed right away that we'd lost the line. If you are playing and hoping for feedback, you could get through your whole piece without realizing that you've lost the line.
It could be fun to stay in touch once in a while, but I wouldn't plan on trying to do lessons via skype.

Iknow I'd hate to lose my teacher if one of us moved away, but I wouldn't go to skype for my lessons.
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Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1505509 - 08/29/10 07:00 PM Re: learning via skype? [Re: casinitaly]
bobby smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/09
Posts: 28
Loc: Carlsbad Ca
I guess what it comes down to is that it just seems too impersonal to me to learn piano this way. Until they can make the holodeck I'll just keep doing it the old fashioned way.

So... I've already found a new teacher. I had a free hour long session with her a week ago, and I think she's pretty amazing. She's a little more expensive, but definitely worth it in my opinion. I think it'll be good to change things up a little.

I'll miss my current teacher. She's brought me a long way.

BTW, next week will be my final lesson with her.

I just created a link in the piano teachers forum asking for thank-you gift ideas.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1505504.html#Post1505504

Thanks
Bobby

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#1505787 - 08/30/10 04:52 AM Re: learning via skype? [Re: bobby smith]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
That's very sweet, Bobby! Good luck with your new teacher.
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

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