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#932246 - 07/22/05 01:28 PM Long Distance Lessons?
alamodemer2003 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/03
Posts: 84
Loc: Central Coast, California
My 9 y/o daughter started taking piano lessons almost 2 years ago and is still with the same instructor. I go with her to her 90 minute weekly lessons so I can reinforce the instruction at home. She is a good student, shows up prepared for her lessons, practices almost daily, etc. A sample of her progress can be found here:

Audio/Video Clips

However, we are moving from CA to the Raleigh area, NC in late August. My original plan was to hire another instructor in NC for weekly lessons. For a variety of reasons, we would like to maintain a relationship with her current instructor, so I thought we could hire her current instructor as a consultant (master classes) a few times a year since we will probably have business travel to CA from time to time.

Somewhere along the line, the idea of having lessons long distance with the use of dvds was presented to us. It was suggested we could make a weekly video of her progress. Her instructor could give us feedback on the video. She could see the instructor every few months - at best.

The more I think about this, the more it doesn't seem like the right way to go. The closer to moving time we get, the more this is being encouraged. The more this is being encouraged, the more my daughter is reluctant to move on to another instructor. Is there any hope for success with this method of instruction? Has anyone ever heard of doing this?

I've lost all objectivity on this matter and I've a feeling everyone else close to the situation has, too.


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#932247 - 07/24/05 11:46 PM Re: Long Distance Lessons?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
unless her teacher is a famous pianist/teacher in the world, i really don't see the reason to have this teacher for your daughter on regular bases. you still could have the teacher doing master class a few times a year if you really like this teacher, but for regular weekly lessons, surely you could find some good local teacher. there are many piano teachers around, especially in places near some music school or conservatory.

#932248 - 07/25/05 09:22 AM Re: Long Distance Lessons?
mound Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 782
Loc: Rochester, NY
or if you're both computer savvy and have broadband connections, you could setup a video conference.

but I agree with signa on this one.
"You look hopefully for an idea and then you're humble when you find it and you wish your skills were better. To have even a half-baked touch of creativity is an honor."
-- Ernie Stires, composer

#932249 - 07/25/05 10:33 AM Re: Long Distance Lessons?
junmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 397
Loc: United Arab Emirates
About the video clips, I praise you and your daughter for her very fast progress. How did you, as a parent, do your part? How did your daughter practise and for how long, and how did the teacher carry out the lessons? How often did she have lessons? What's the secret? My hats off.

Piano tuner / Piano teacher
United Arab Emirates

#932250 - 07/25/05 11:42 AM Re: Long Distance Lessons?
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
I agree with Signa. A decent local teacher, preferably concervatory trained, would suit your daughter well. If you want, she can travel with you to California for impromptu coaching and quick lessons with her old teacher.

I've actually done this with my uncle. He's a graduate of Eastman School and SUNY Binghamton. About once a year, when the family gets together, we have our couple of hour piano lesson. It's a great way to see a different perspective than the one you're used to all the time.


#932251 - 07/26/05 10:15 AM Re: Long Distance Lessons?
alamodemer2003 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/03
Posts: 84
Loc: Central Coast, California
Signa and John: Her instructor is not a world famous pianist/teacher. It makes sense to me to find someone local and then supplement with lessons with her current instructor when we happen to visit CA. I'm not quite sure why the long distance idea is being strongly encouraged. It looks like I need to find a way to reject the idea of long distance lessons without hurting anyone's feelings.

mound: Everyone involved is not computer savvy.

#932252 - 08/10/05 01:31 AM Re: Long Distance Lessons?
pianocliff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 398
Loc: Washington, DC Metro
First off, your daughter is very talented, you should be quite proud of her. Her teacher probably doesn't want to lose her b/c she is one of his/her star pupils. Looking at things purely from the standpoint of what is in your daughter's best interests however, I'd say any local teacher with a well established name and conservatory background would suffice. There are just too many things a teacher can show you that work only in person.

As a previous poster already mentioned, you can always "drop-in" for single lessons whenever you happen to be in the area. I have a friend who does this with an old college professor he had and he says it's nice to do from time to time, but of course he is at a level of proficiency that doesn't require much in the way of oversight.



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