Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons

Posted by: Joe K.

Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 10/02/12 04:52 PM

I had been taking lessons with an extremely skilled pianist and teacher, but unfortunately, working full time, I do not have the time to invest to justify the price of $45 lessons every other week.

Searching on the web, I came across Piano Career Academy. The woman has done numerous youtube videos, and this new site is the newest iteration of lessons.

Link here->http://www.pianocareeracademy.com/

Quite unique...

"The only holistic piano community and coaching program on the internet. Discover the secrets of the Russian piano school. Online piano lessons available."

What caught my eye with this was the quality of the main instructor, or owner of the site, LLinca Vartic, Youtube video tutorials.

Price of monthly access? $45 last time I checked.

Anybody have any experience with these online lesson type of places, or is it not worth the money?

I would consider myself able to practice and teach myself, just in need of that little bit extra guidance/teaching
Posted by: keystring

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 10/02/12 05:01 PM

I didn't have time to listen to the whole presentation, and there was no way to fast forward. Does she ever show anything in that demo? Does she ever elucidate beyond vague terms what she is offering? You may want to ask in the ABF if anyone has tried this.
Posted by: Joe K.

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 10/02/12 06:17 PM

Yeah...Wasn't sure which forum to put this in...feel free to move it.

And no, there is no elaboration on exactly what the holistic method is based on, other than the Russian piano school.

If you check out some of her youtube videos from the past...the tutorials she gives are fairly good.

By reading her blog and watching video tutorials on pedaling techniques, I improved my performance of a piece drastically, cause she covered things that my $45 piano teacher never really got around too.

Site disclaimer I found:
"PianoCareerAcademy.com is not a step-by-step piano playing course. The intent of the author is only to offer information (via a private forum) of general nature to help you in your quest for a fulfilled musical career, a more productive and meaningful piano practice and a better understanding of the pianistic interpretative principles."

So...like a paid version of Piano World...or perhaps something more personal and direct in the form of lessons and more actual instructor interaction.
Posted by: John v.d.Brook

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 10/02/12 06:33 PM

Joe, I haven't looked at her website, nor do I plan to. It's too time consuming. But consider, what does she mean by monthly access? Is this just to look at past videos? Surely she doesn't mean 4 hours of instruction at $10/hr.

More likely, you're looking for a teacher who will Skype with you and give one on one lessons via the Internet. I recall that several teachers here do it, but not as their main bread and butter. I don't know their rates, but I'm willing to guess they're not giving away their services.
Posted by: John v.d.Brook

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 10/02/12 06:35 PM

Originally Posted By: Joe K.
I had been taking lessons with an extremely skilled pianist and teacher, but unfortunately, working full time, I do not have the time to invest to justify the price of $45 lessons every other week.

Actually, considering the very low fee for instruction, it's amazing you got anything of value from these lessons.
Posted by: kayvee

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 10/02/12 07:00 PM

Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted By: Joe K.
I had been taking lessons with an extremely skilled pianist and teacher, but unfortunately, working full time, I do not have the time to invest to justify the price of $45 lessons every other week.

Actually, considering the very low fee for instruction, it's amazing you got anything of value from these lessons.
They could have been for 30 minute lessons. Many teachers in my area with an MA charge $45-50 for the half-hour.

I haven't looked at the site either, Joe, but it seems to me as though you'd get more from going to monthly lessons ($45 being the same price as the site) and posting recordings of yourself on YT/somewhere for others to critique you where they can.
Posted by: John v.d.Brook

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 10/02/12 07:09 PM

Originally Posted By: kayvee
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted By: Joe K.
I had been taking lessons with an extremely skilled pianist and teacher, but unfortunately, working full time, I do not have the time to invest to justify the price of $45 lessons every other week.

Actually, considering the very low fee for instruction, it's amazing you got anything of value from these lessons.
They could have been for 30 minute lessons. Many teachers in my area with an MA charge $45-50 for the half-hour.

Advice to any adult taking 30 minute lessons. Stop immediately and move to an hour. A 30 min lesson is 25 min at best. You're barely starting and it's time to wrap up. My 50 min students are always surprised when I stop the lesson and tell them I'll see them next week. Even my 90 min students find themselves so involved, that they are not aware of the passage of time.

KV, I cannot imagine that low of a rate in Santa Barbara. Do these teachers even play the piano? What are their credentials? Sounds more like day care rates (we have relatives who teach in SB and know they do not suffer such abysmal rates).
Posted by: Minniemay

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 10/02/12 08:28 PM

$45-$50 per half hour in Santa Barbara sounds about right to me. That's what teachers are charging per hour in the central valley of CA, so that's double for SB.
Posted by: kayvee

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 10/02/12 09:12 PM

Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted By: kayvee
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook

Actually, considering the very low fee for instruction, it's amazing you got anything of value from these lessons.
They could have been for 30 minute lessons. Many teachers in my area with an MA charge $45-50 for the half-hour.

Advice to any adult taking 30 minute lessons. Stop immediately and move to an hour. A 30 min lesson is 25 min at best. You're barely starting and it's time to wrap up. My 50 min students are always surprised when I stop the lesson and tell them I'll see them next week. Even my 90 min students find themselves so involved, that they are not aware of the passage of time.

KV, I cannot imagine that low of a rate in Santa Barbara. Do these teachers even play the piano? What are their credentials? Sounds more like day care rates (we have relatives who teach in SB and know they do not suffer such abysmal rates).


John, I completely agree. 30 minutes just doesn't cut it, really. I'll have private lessons at my university starting this week but we're only given 30 minutes. I don't know how much we'll manage in that time... An hour seems too short sometimes too!

I should have clarified by the way: the rates I mentioned earlier were in Orange County of CA, where the average hour lesson is about $50. Now I'm afraid to find additional private lessons here in SB!!
Posted by: DinaP

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 10/02/12 09:31 PM

I have FMS, and I never know when I will have a rough day where I can't practice so my teacher and I worked out that a one hour lesson every other week would be better than a weekly one -- and it's working out fine. I'm in the Tampa Bay area and my teacher gets $25.00 a half hour, so I pay $50.00 every other week.

It's interesting to see what lessons cost in different areas of the country.
Posted by: MaggieGirl

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 10/02/12 10:00 PM

@kayvee - My son's music lessons in college were part of the music program so 30 minutes was not billed to him but to the university program. The music teacher offered to have him pay $30 more for the full hour. It worked out well because as you said, 30 minutes is not enough at that level.
Posted by: keystring

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 10/02/12 11:09 PM

I was able to see a few of her videos. She teaches the things a good teacher teaches, but I wonder if they can come across in a video. I saw something that I'm working on right now. Her demonstration lasts maybe 10 or 20 seconds in the middle of a lot of talk. I wonder whether the demonstrated thing might not need to be broken down and taught in stages. And also whether this can be done by video, or whether it wouldn't be better to work directly with a teacher and get feedback. The elephant in the room is that so often students who do engage a teacher end not being taught what they need, and so we look for other resources.

The words "holistic" etc. is just a euphemism for what music study should be about. But how often is it?

Addendum: The other video I watched seemed thorough.
Posted by: kayvee

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 10/03/12 02:18 AM

Originally Posted By: MaggieGirl
@kayvee - My son's music lessons in college were part of the music program so 30 minutes was not billed to him but to the university program. The music teacher offered to have him pay $30 more for the full hour. It worked out well because as you said, 30 minutes is not enough at that level.
Yes, I will speak to the teacher about that; however, I know a lot of teachers require students to sign up for an extra unit to get that other half hour, but they'll end up paying for it.

On the plus side, it's more worth it than a website of videos you can probably find elsewhere:

http://www.youtube.com/user/Lypur

(Not that I necessarily endorse this and think the website the OP posted isn't good, but it makes you wonder why there is a need to pay for something that you can readily find all over the internet if it isn't targeted to a specific goal or need.)
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 10/03/12 09:32 AM

Joe, give it a try for a month. It's only an investment of $45, and your initial look at the site helped your playing. Good for Mme. Vartic. Clearly it's not a brand of Skype teaching, but more self-instruction.
Keep us posted.
Posted by: attaboy

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 11/02/13 11:54 AM

I'm an old guy who, after not playing piano for over 50 years, decided to get back to it 3.5 years ago. During the intervening years I played clarinet for much of that time. Piano was to be a hobby where I would try to do it without a one on one teacher. My teacher was to mainly be the internet and any other info I could glean therefrom.

I've made a lot of progress, mostly with ragtime, but with a little classical as well. The Alexander Technique has helped as well, but mostly with pain issues. But I reached a point where I was stuck. I could not play mistake free, it is sloppy, often awkward and uncomfortable, and otherwise unrefined in the manner of which Ilinca Vartic speaks in her free presentations. I've seen other presentations that I found very impressive, particularly those of Josh Wright, Living Piano and Bach Scholar. But Ilinca's presentations have been the most impressive of all.
I now feel I need guidance that is more in depth. I hesitate about the one on one teacher situation because in my area I don't have confidence in knowing I can pick the right teacher for me, if in fact there is one. So right now I'm considering Ilinca's Piano Career Academy. It is also the reason I came to this forum hoping to get some expert opinions on this approach. I might add, though, that another aspect holding me back is that I know I don't practice enough. At most, I only get in two hours a day, and often its less than that. I fear that with only a year with Ilinca, I will be overwhelmed and will come away with only being able to tackle a small part of what she has to offer over the year. I'm writing this because I felt my situation might be of benefit to some of you and also that you might possibly have some thoughts of benefit to me.
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 11/02/13 02:18 PM

Originally Posted By: attaboy
I might add, though, that another aspect holding me back is that I know I don't practice enough. At most, I only get in two hours a day, and often its less than that. I fear that with only a year with Ilinca, I will be overwhelmed and will come away with only being able to tackle a small part of what she has to offer over the year.


One to two hours a day at the piano marks you as a very committed adult pianist student: you would be a dream for the right teacher to work with!

If you subscribe to this online program, clearly you will be working at your own pace, and absorbing what can absorb. I can't think of a single reason not to try it. It's pretty inexpensive: try it for a few months, or a year.

But don't rule out eventually finding a "real" teacher, preferably one who has some experience with adult learners.
Posted by: attaboy

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 11/02/13 02:58 PM

Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Originally Posted By: attaboy
I might add, though, that another aspect holding me back is that I know I don't practice enough. At most, I only get in two hours a day, and often its less than that. I fear that with only a year with Ilinca, I will be overwhelmed and will come away with only being able to tackle a small part of what she has to offer over the year.


One to two hours a day at the piano marks you as a very committed adult pianist student: you would be a dream for the right teacher to work with!

If you subscribe to this online program, clearly you will be working at your own pace, and absorbing what can absorb. I can't think of a single reason not to try it. It's pretty inexpensive: try it for a few months, or a year.

But don't rule out eventually finding a "real" teacher, preferably one who has some experience with adult learners.


Thanks, Peter, for your comments. I'm living in the Buffalo NY area for which I'm sure you have some familiarity. I don't hear good comments pertaining to teachers here.
Pace is a concern. I do want to be sure I can move fast enough so as to get my "money's worth" so to speak. She seems to favor Chopin which is a good thing - can't say enough for how incredibly awesome his music is.
Posted by: cbettis007

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 11/03/13 06:14 PM

My mother teaches Piano and charges 130$ month for 4 1/2 hour lessons. Hope this info help someone.
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 11/04/13 12:40 AM

Despite what Attaboy may hear, I have no doubt there are splendid piano teachers in and around Buffalo, NY. He should find one - and if he wishes, supplement his studies with videos from Mme Vartic.
Posted by: attaboy

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 11/04/13 05:30 AM

Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Despite what Attaboy may hear, I have no doubt there are splendid piano teachers in and around Buffalo, NY. He should find one - and if he wishes, supplement his studies with videos from Mme Vartic.


Well just to give two examples, when I asked one of the best pianists in the area, a personal friend, for a recommendation he stated I'm probably just as well off continuing on my own. Another fine pianist, who has impressive youtube presentations, got his early training from area piano teachers. His comments indicated that he really didn't realize how poor his training had been until he began studying with out of the area teachers.
I also asked for a recommendation from a classical viola/cello player of some renown in the area. I didn't get what I felt was an encouraging response. Of course, I came to this area later in life so I suppose its possible I've missed some valuable resources. I've never heard mention of a stand out piano teacher in this area. In contrast, in my much smaller home town of Scranton Pa. there was one teacher that was considered the best and in my youth this was well known to aspiring pianists. I think its possible that with both Eastman in Rochester and the fine music department at Fredonia, both an hours drive away, teachers in Buffalo area have been overlooked.
Making a recommendation that "I should find one" is fine, and I appreciate your suggestion. But how does one go about that in a quality way that doesn't consume a lot of research time?? One thing I want to dearly avoid is spending a lot of time and money on going thru piano teachers to find the right one.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 11/04/13 08:04 AM

Originally Posted By: keystring
I didn't have time to listen to the whole presentation, and there was no way to fast forward. Does she ever show anything in that demo? Does she ever elucidate beyond vague terms what she is offering? You may want to ask in the ABF if anyone has tried this.
No. I had looked into what she was claiming and sat through 2 videos that I couldn't fast forward through. Nowhere does she offer any solid support for her claims. That doesn't mean anything necessarily, but come on - throw us a bone! Give us something free to know that you can actually follow through on your claims. This makes me suspicious.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 11/04/13 08:23 AM

Originally Posted By: attaboy
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Despite what Attaboy may hear, I have no doubt there are splendid piano teachers in and around Buffalo, NY. He should find one - and if he wishes, supplement his studies with videos from Mme Vartic.


Well just to give two examples, when I asked one of the best pianists in the area, a personal friend, for a recommendation he stated I'm probably just as well off continuing on my own. Another fine pianist, who has impressive youtube presentations, got his early training from area piano teachers. His comments indicated that he really didn't realize how poor his training had been until he began studying with out of the area teachers.
I also asked for a recommendation from a classical viola/cello player of some renown in the area. I didn't get what I felt was an encouraging response. Of course, I came to this area later in life so I suppose its possible I've missed some valuable resources. I've never heard mention of a stand out piano teacher in this area. In contrast, in my much smaller home town of Scranton Pa. there was one teacher that was considered the best and in my youth this was well known to aspiring pianists. I think its possible that with both Eastman in Rochester and the fine music department at Fredonia, both an hours drive away, teachers in Buffalo area have been overlooked.
Making a recommendation that "I should find one" is fine, and I appreciate your suggestion. But how does one go about that in a quality way that doesn't consume a lot of research time?? One thing I want to dearly avoid is spending a lot of time and money on going thru piano teachers to find the right one.

First of all, you will have to do research if you want to find a quality teacher. Sometimes people get lucky and on their first attempt they find the right teacher for them. I'm not saying your friend doesn't know what they're talking about, but they are not necessarily in the educational field to know who to refer you to. Clearly, they had not done this research before getting their teachers (or their parents didn't), and they paid the price. Someone training to be a concert pianist will be in the market for a very different teacher than an adult intermediate student. Not to say the two can't overlap, but the kind of teacher they find valuable may not necessarily be the kind of teacher you would find valuable. A couple of suggestions:

- Do a search on this website for how to find a good teacher. This has been covered exhaustively in other threads and there will be many good points that perhaps you did not first consider.

- When you have read the advice given, be patient in your search for the right teacher for you. Interview, try out an introductory lesson (many teachers will do a free interview/first lesson), and then make your decision from there.

- Bear in mind that bad habits are inevitable. We all get them, even the best pianists, and yes, even teachers. You have developed them in your self-teaching, and you will need some remedial work to undo them. The problem is, it's hard to notice them until they've become so ingrained in your playing they begin to affect your ability to play. A teacher who can see this and tell you this is going to be much better than one who doesn't notice you have bad habits at all.

- With an hour or two per day of practice, you can accomplish quite a bit. I found this resource:

Quote:
According to one of Chopin’s student Madame Dubois, it seems that Chopin agreed with Hummel. For Delfina, another of his students, Chopin wrote: “Once again I repeat – don’t play more than two hours a day; that is quite enough during the summer.”32For von Timm Chopin recommended “not practicing too long, but to reading, looking at beautiful art works, or taking walks as periods of rest from practice.”33 Chopin did not believe that six or eight hour practice periods “signified diligence. He considered it mechanical, unintelligent and useless labor. He insisted upon complete concentration, alertness, and attentiveness as the utmost requirements for good practicing.”34
Taken from http://www.forte-piano-pianissimo.com/ChopintheTeacher.html
Posted by: Evaldas

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 11/04/13 10:15 AM

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
<...> No. I had looked into what she was claiming and sat through 2 videos that I couldn't fast forward through. Nowhere does she offer any solid support for her claims. That doesn't mean anything necessarily, but come on - throw us a bone! Give us something free to know that you can actually follow through on your claims. This makes me suspicious.

Then you might want to look at her Youtube channel there are many samples that you can fast forward and even a full (53 minute long video) "Correct Piano Practice".
Also here's a video to show that she can actually play the piano illustrating the use of scales in pieces. I'm not a pianist, but I like her playing a lot and wanted her to finish that Rachmaninoff prelude Op. 23. No. 5 smile
I would love to have access to her website, but I can not afford it at the moment plus I don't have the time (first year in university) and also I have a teacher who is also teaching me using the methods of the Russian school of piano playing. My 4x45min lessons cost me only about 30 USD a month...
Anyways...
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 11/04/13 10:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Evaldas
... I have a teacher who is also teaching me using the methods of the Russian school of piano playing. My 4x45min lessons cost me only about 30 USD a month...
Anyways...
What is the "Russian school" of piano playing? Can you define it for me?

I have a feeling it's a catch-all phrase, like the Bel Canto method of singing. Everyone claims they teach it, and yet their students all sound nothing like great singers of the past - nor do these Bel Canto students sound like each other.

I hear a lot about the Russian school of playing, but so far all I've seen is that it means you have a teacher with a Russian accent. Hopefully there's more to it than that.
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 11/04/13 10:35 AM

Originally Posted By: attaboy
One thing I want to dearly avoid is spending a lot of time and money on going thru piano teachers to find the right one.


I'll echo Morodiene, as I often do. Finding the right piano teacher will indeed take time. Accept this. Or else choose someone online with a few mouse clicks and good luck.

But finding the right piano teacher won't cost much money. You can come to Toronto and spend an hour with me for free. I do that with every potential piano student. It's not a gimmick: I'm looking for a student/teacher relationship that is going to endure. Most piano teachers view their work similarly, and would not charge for a first meeting (though it might be only 20-30 minutes).

But if you want to do something more interesting, take a single paid piano lesson of 60-90 minutes with each of 3 piano teachers in Buffalo. You'll grow musically, you'll probably enjoy yourself, and probably at least one teacher will feel right for you.

P.S. As Morodiene has suggested, don't find a piano teacher by talking to a concert pianist: people do this often, and it's usually a mistake.
Posted by: Evaldas

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 11/04/13 10:56 AM

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Evaldas
... I have a teacher who is also teaching me using the methods of the Russian school of piano playing. My 4x45min lessons cost me only about 30 USD a month...
Anyways...
What is the "Russian school" of piano playing? Can you define it for me?


Sure I can , - it's when you are being taught to play piano by someone who has been trained in the former Soviet Union territory :P
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 11/04/13 01:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Evaldas
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Evaldas
... I have a teacher who is also teaching me using the methods of the Russian school of piano playing. My 4x45min lessons cost me only about 30 USD a month...
Anyways...
What is the "Russian school" of piano playing? Can you define it for me?


Sure I can , - it's when you are being taught to play piano by someone who has been trained in the former Soviet Union territory :P
And what benefit is there in that exactly?
Posted by: Evaldas

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 11/04/13 03:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Evaldas
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Evaldas
... I have a teacher who is also teaching me using the methods of the Russian school of piano playing. My 4x45min lessons cost me only about 30 USD a month...
Anyways...
What is the "Russian school" of piano playing? Can you define it for me?


Sure I can , - it's when you are being taught to play piano by someone who has been trained in the former Soviet Union territory :P
And what benefit is there in that exactly?

I don't know about the benefits wink. I'm not teaching it... One thing I know that in this method there's a HUGE difference between playing legato and non-legato. Between phrases or non-legato notes it is important to lift the hand from the keys bending the wrist (fingers pointing downwards) and the elbow almost draws a circle in the frontal plane around the sagittal axis. My teacher calls it a "ballet" move. (The teacher from Piano Career academy talking about this topic)
Also we don't practice scales with a metronome and we octaves aren't practiced usually at all...
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 11/04/13 08:58 PM

Originally Posted By: Evaldas
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Evaldas
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Evaldas
... I have a teacher who is also teaching me using the methods of the Russian school of piano playing. My 4x45min lessons cost me only about 30 USD a month...
Anyways...
What is the "Russian school" of piano playing? Can you define it for me?


Sure I can , - it's when you are being taught to play piano by someone who has been trained in the former Soviet Union territory :P
And what benefit is there in that exactly?

I don't know about the benefits wink. I'm not teaching it... One thing I know that in this method there's a HUGE difference between playing legato and non-legato. Between phrases or non-legato notes it is important to lift the hand from the keys bending the wrist (fingers pointing downwards) and the elbow almost draws a circle in the frontal plane around the sagittal axis. My teacher calls it a "ballet" move. (The teacher from Piano Career academy talking about this topic)
Also we don't practice scales with a metronome and we octaves aren't practiced usually at all...
What you have said is not really anything that I could attribute to a Russian school. Perhaps I'll start another thread on this topic rather than further derail it smile
Posted by: keystring

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 11/05/13 08:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: keystring
I didn't have time to listen to the whole presentation, and there was no way to fast forward. Does she ever show anything in that demo? Does she ever elucidate beyond vague terms what she is offering? You may want to ask in the ABF if anyone has tried this.
No. I had looked into what she was claiming and sat through 2 videos that I couldn't fast forward through. Nowhere does she offer any solid support for her claims. That doesn't mean anything necessarily, but come on - throw us a bone! Give us something free to know that you can actually follow through on your claims. This makes me suspicious.


Just to make the picture complete, that post of mine was followed by another, after a response to that first one led me to the right place.
Originally Posted By: keystring-a-bit-later smile
I was able to see a few of her videos. She teaches the things a good teacher teaches, but I wonder if they can come across in a video. I saw something that I'm working on right now. Her demonstration lasts maybe 10 or 20 seconds in the middle of a lot of talk. I wonder whether the demonstrated thing might not need to be broken down and taught in stages. And also whether this can be done by video, or whether it wouldn't be better to work directly with a teacher and get feedback. The elephant in the room is that so often students who do engage a teacher end not being taught what they need, and so we look for other resources.

The words "holistic" etc. is just a euphemism for what music study should be about. But how often is it?

Addendum: The other video I watched seemed thorough.
Posted by: keystring

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 11/06/13 07:49 AM

I want to respond to the ideas posted earlier, which compares choosing an on-line teacher through "a few clicks" versus visiting local teachers for a one-time lesson. It's too simplistic.

In general, I prefer the idea of working with a teacher in-studio, locally, in regular lessons. The advantages have been stated often enough. But as some posters have been saying, it is not that easy.

In regards to that site - well, to say anything about it, you first have to examine it. It is not something to be gotten through "a few clicks". For the course she teaches for group consumption - i.e. pre-created lessons - there is an organized outline. There is structure. In the sample lesson for a particular piece, she is including the types of things that I would want to see, and that are often missing. But this is the point where I have questions:
- I agree that before working on a piece you should study the piece, do "analysis" so you understand it. But if someone is a beginner and novice to music, he will first need to get the underpinnings. You cannot find phrases if you can't recognize a phrase; ditto for any of the other concepts. Does she teach these underpinnings?
- ditto for technique demonstrated for passages.

I'd think that if I went that route, I would want to have one-on-one Skype lessons, and that her material would be a supplement. In fact, maybe traditional in-class teachers might have supplements that they can refer all students to: reference material.
------------------------
Back to the idea of attending a single lesson of different teachers. Can you actually get an idea through one sample lesson or visit? Is what is described on that site less - or more - information? I am especially cautious about teachers who "specialize in teaching adults" - because there are some ideas floating around on what adults want and need which I don't particularly care for. I would want to know what that teacher's philosophies and expectations are for all students. If they have ideas about adults, I'd want to know what they are. Including negative experiences, in order to avoid them on my side.

IF a suitable local teacher can be found, that is probably almost always better.
Posted by: billrogersandiego

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 04/12/14 01:40 AM

I've been considering trying her lessons. The Youtube videos are really good very informative. And it's the Russian School of piano study.
Posted by: Ilinca

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 06/18/14 04:38 AM

Hi guys!

I am Ilinca Vartic, founder and teacher at PianoCareerAcademy.com.

I was pleasantly surprised to accidentally find this topic on Piano World - and I will be more than happy to answer your questions about my Piano Coaching Program grin.

Moreover, if you have specific questions about the functionality of PianoCareerAcademy.com (that are not covered below), you can send an email to my Customer Support assistant (Natalia), who will be happy to share with you all the details you are curious about! wink

Also, I am well-aware that the homepage of PCA is far from being perfect, and that the video presentation is not detailed enough. PCA was launched in February 2012, and that video was made before I even started creating videos for this project.

But this is about to change really soon! cool

Now my team and I are working on transforming the entire design of the web-site - and the improved homepage will contain everything you might want to know before joining:
- a detailed video tour of the Members Area,
- excerpts from my lessons,
- what exactly is included in the membership -
and many many other useful things!

We're actively working on this now - and we hope to launch the new web-site by the end of summer! laugh

In the meantime, I will share with you a short presentation of PianoCareerAcademy.com (including what you can find in the Members Area):

PianoCareerAcademy.com is the only Piano Coaching Program on the internet that shares the professional principles of the Russian piano school in a detailed, holistic, very in-depth manner - offering its members premium quality tutorials that cannot be found anywhere else (unless you study with a professor trained in a Russian-style Conservatoire).

For those of you that are skeptical about the term 'Russian piano school': it is not a vague combination of words with a marketing purpose LOL - but a very specific teaching/studying system used in the professional musical schools, Lyceums and Conservatoires/Academies from Russia and all the countries of the former Soviet Union (such as Moldova, my country). This system is very different from the one used in the Western world - its main characteristics being (very shortly): simultaneous and harmonious development of ALL the skills of a future pianist, in-depth understanding of the artistic concept of each piece, focus on expression (everything starts with the message of the piece), very complex and flexible approach to repertoire, whole-arm action (as opposed to the old-school finger-only action, still widely used in Western countries), relaxation and ergonomic playing, the complex science behind creating an extremely wide range of sound colors especially the famous Russian deep singing sound, that transcends the percussive nature of the piano; focus and awareness; magnifying glass practice; a very complex and very useful scale system and the list could go on and on! smile I share all these (and many other) principles - in a very detailed manner - in all my tutorials.

You can find out more about my experience and qualifications by reading my short bio on my blog: www.pianocareer.com/about.

By the way - on my blog you can also find the Complete List of Tutorials (http://www.pianocareer.com/holistic-piano-playing/piano-career-academy-tutorials/) available for the members of my Coaching Program.

Returning to the PCA presentation grin: Once you become a member, you'll have instant access to our ENTIRE database (there are NO limitations): hundreds of exclusive video and written tutorials (including step-by-step courses) focused on the most important piano playing topics, being structured according to categories and levels. We also share many scores and teaching resources (including unique materials we use in the Russian piano school).

Besides the enormous database of existing tutorials, I am posting new ones on a regular basis.

I'm currently working on the following projects:

1. Piano Masterpieces - Detailed Video Lessons for All Levels. I take one piece at a time (alternating levels, styles and genres) and I analyze it in detail, also sharing LOTS of practice tips.

2. Practicing Scales and Arpeggios - The Art Behind the Exercise. This step-by-step holistic practice guide comprises many progressive episodes, covering the entire scale system we use in the Russian piano school, with super-detailed practice tips for every level.

3. Nikolaev - Russian School of Piano Playing. Step-by-Step Video Practice Guide for Piano Beginners. By following this progressive Practice Guide (62 lessons are already LIVE - and I continue to post a new lesson each fortnight), you will learn how to play piano from scratch, discovering all the principles of correct practice and studying in depth the professional secrets of the Russian piano school (which will help you to play with ease, fluidity and expressiveness)!

The Video Lessons start at the beginning of this useful method book - and I demonstrate how to practice each piece in detail, simultaneously sharing all the fundamentals that any beginner should know for setting a stable, comfortable, enjoyable piano playing foundation: musical notation and theory, correct posture and key attack, the basics of tone creation, relaxation and tension-free ergonomic playing, technique and expression, phrasing and musical analysis, imagination and artistry (to name just a few).

4. Piano Masterclasses. Once in several months, you can share your recordings in our 'online masterclass', so that I could give you better practice advice! wink

Besides teaching the secrets of a correct, productive and enjoyable piano playing, our Piano Coaching Program also helps each student to grow, to discover his/her unique talents, to learn more about the psychological aspects of musical performance (including how to increase our confidence, how to get rid of performance anxiety etc.), to improve his/her health and well-being and so on.

On our forum you'll also find support and motivation - and an awesome community of piano enthusiasts!

Therefore, the membership includes:
- 24/7 access to ALL our hundreds of video and written tutorials;
- Access to our step-by-step courses (the Lessons for Beginners, the Scale Lessons);
- New tutorials every week;
- Downloadable scores and method books (including unique materials we use in the Russian piano school);
- Thousands of captivating piano conversations with piano students/teachers/enthusiasts from the entire world;
- The possibility to submit recordings in our MasterClass and receive detailed feedback;
- The possibility to chat with other members of our big community, to share your recordings and your piano progress with them;
- Piano motivation, inspiration, health advice;
- ... and much much more!

If you have other questions about the functionality of PianoCareerAcademy.com, don't hesitate to ask - by sending an email at pianocareeracademy@gmail.com.

And, as several of you have mentioned above, you can always watch/read the free tutorials available on my blog (PianoCareer.com) and on my YouTube channel for assessing the quality and style of my teaching smile.

Thank you so much for reading this post and I hope that my answer was helpful! wink

Sincerely,
Ilinca Vartic
Posted by: TimR

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 06/18/14 08:06 AM

Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted By: kayvee
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted By: Joe K.
I had been taking lessons with an extremely skilled pianist and teacher, but unfortunately, working full time, I do not have the time to invest to justify the price of $45 lessons every other week.

Actually, considering the very low fee for instruction, it's amazing you got anything of value from these lessons.
They could have been for 30 minute lessons. Many teachers in my area with an MA charge $45-50 for the half-hour.

Advice to any adult taking 30 minute lessons. Stop immediately and move to an hour.


That suggests to me a test for finding a good teacher.

If the whole hour is valuable, that's good. If you get through everything in a half hour, they're missing something.
Posted by: J.T.1986

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 06/18/14 08:27 AM

I am doing 30 min lessons weekly, I find they usually go for about 40 min(my teacher doesnt have a student immediately after me). And it doesnt seem like we get through everything, but I always leave feeling fullfilled and with more than enough to keep me busy during the week.

Im considering trying to change it to a full hour, would a full hour bi weekly be better than 30 min weekly? I really dont want to double the cost of my lessons =P lol
Posted by: TimR

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 06/18/14 08:49 AM

Originally Posted By: J.T.1986


Im considering trying to change it to a full hour, would a full hour bi weekly be better than 30 min weekly? I really dont want to double the cost of my lessons =P lol


You're not looking at cost the same way. Are you getting the same value at twice the price? Are you getting more than twice the value?

Thinking out loud:

I've had some teachers that had covered all they knew to teach in that half hour. I could pay them for an hour's lesson but I'd still get only 30 minutes value.

Another teacher might give you 60 minutes value for a 60 minute lesson. Then you've broken even.

But a really good teacher might be able to give you instruction of more depth given enough time - then you're getting 70 or 80 minutes worth of value, maybe even more, for the price of 60 minutes. That's what you hope for.
Posted by: J.T.1986

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 06/18/14 12:34 PM

thats a good way of looking at it.. I think as far as value goes im getting more then 30 min value, in 30 minutes time. It definitely to me feels like im getting great value of instruction for the amount of time spend..
my previous teacher was a very good jazz pianist, but id give his lessons 15 minutes value for 30 minutes of time spent, and more expensive also.

My current instructor is great and very giving and thoughtful when it comes to sharing her knowledge and ensuring I am having a good understanding.
so maybe its better for me to stay at 30 min weekly as opposed to 60 min bi weekly?

Thanks for that reply:)
Posted by: Jonathan Baker

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 06/21/14 10:28 PM

Hello Joe,

If you do not have the time to invest "to justify the price of $45 lessons every other week" then it appears that the issue is not who your teacher is, but finding practice time - a very different issue.

I am skeptical of something-for-nothing sales pitches asserting you "won't have to work hard" or "sacrifice anything". Those are buzz words directed to exploit lazy Americans who are suckers for anything that promises to be "easy". That was never the "Russian School"! LOL. I can imagine how Vengerova, Blumenfeld, Lhevinne, or Neuhaus would react to that sales pitch if they were still with us.

Or, to peer through the other end of the telescope: if one doesn't mind playing really badly, then it will not take "hard work" or "sacrifice" to achieve that end, and instantly, by the way.

There are no longer national schools of piano playing as in the 19th and early 20th century, per se, for all musical and technical information is freely available to all who pursue it - no one has a monopoly on information where piano playing is concerned - those days are long over.

Contrary to the sales pitch, I have not encountered any piano teachers who advocate the "fingers only" method of harpsichord playing. If you wish to subscribe to those videos, fine, but the "Russian School" exclusivity claim is merely wishful thinking. The elements of piano practice discussed in the sales promotion video are the commonplace in all music conservatories and among reputable private teachers, and have been for decades.
Posted by: Jonathan Baker

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 06/22/14 10:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Ilinca

PianoCareerAcademy.com is the only Piano Coaching Program on the internet that shares the professional principles of the Russian piano school in a detailed, holistic, very in-depth manner - offering its members premium quality tutorials that cannot be found anywhere else (unless you study with a professor trained in a Russian-style Conservatoire).

For those of you that are skeptical about the term 'Russian piano school': it is not a vague combination of words with a marketing purpose LOL - but a very specific teaching/studying system used in the professional musical schools, Lyceums and Conservatoires/Academies from Russia and all the countries of the former Soviet Union (such as Moldova, my country). This system is very different from the one used in the Western world -


But it is, indeed, a "vague combination of words with a marketing purpose" otherwise you would not use them at all.

Being new to the Western hemisphere you are not yet aware that all the methods of which you speak have been commonly employed for decades in Europe and North America. Among reputable teachers and conservatories there is only one international school at this point. And contrary to your assertion, nobody I have ever encountered teaches a "fingers only" technique a la Couperin.

Your claim of exclusivity is entirely untrue.
Posted by: Ilinca

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 06/23/14 03:58 AM

Hi Jonathan!

Thank you for your reply smile.

I am actually not that 'new' to the Western hemisphere.

I have been teaching online for almost 5 years (in real-life for more than 10), having lots of students from the entire world - and during this time I have always been baffled by how MANY piano students are STILL playing by using the old-school finger-only approach!

Yes, I'm perfectly aware that in the top Conservatoires of the Western world (NY, Paris, Vienna etc.) there are GREAT piano professors who teach according to the principles I mentioned above. I'm sure you're one of them - and so are most of the other awesome members of this Piano Teachers forum! smile

BUT - what happens in Conservatoires is one thing - and what happens in thousands of piano studios across the world is something entirely different!!! Since I launched PCA, I had many hundreds of students, and about 90% of them have never heard about whole-arm action and relaxed playing, have never been taught how to analyze the artistic concept or dramaturgy of a piece, have never been shown expressive techniques in detail... and this list could go on and on! Obviously, I'm talking about intermediate and advanced students here (because my absolute beginners start from scratch with the correct fundamentals).

Most of them are suffering from various types of injuries and muscle pain (related to incorrect posture and tensed playing) - and only after a couple of weeks on PCA, they feel a great relief and discover that piano playing can be a comfortable, enjoyable, fulfilling activity!

Of course, because of globalization we can no longer say that the secrets of the Russian piano school are known only to Russian teachers LOL. Most of them are indeed available in the best Conservatoires of the world, and hopefully very soon they will be known to all pianists out there!

But, unfortunately, these principles are NOT yet widely spread - and, for sure, they are not taught online either (in a thorough, very deep, professional manner like the one I use in all my tutorials).

About one year ago I was in Vienna, and I had an awesome meeting with a professor from the Viennese Conservatoire (who was familiar with my online work, and wanted to meet me in real life and discuss piano teaching). We talked about many interesting things - and he did mention that while my YouTube tutorials are really good (he said they are the best online, but that was HIS opinion LOL), many of my methods ARE different from the ones they use (we were talking specifically about the arm-finger focus, sound quality, expressive techniques etc.). He definitely accepted the term 'Russian piano school', and he had a great respect for our methods.

So I talk from experience (from teaching hundreds of people from the entire world) when I say that the finger-only approach is STILL unfortunately alive, that there are teachers out there who still start with 5-finger exercises when teaching beginners (instead of playing with the entire relaxed arm, one finger at a time, like we do in the Russian piano school), that so many students focus solely on correct text and fingering (instead of starting with the artistic concept of the piece) - and again, the list can go on.

By the way, on PCA we have a really cool MasterClass tradition - where our members can post their own video recordings and receive detailed video feedback from me. Guess which is the main problem that most of them experience? Yes, finger-only action, 'suspended' tensed playing, lack of wrist navigation, brutal harsh sound etc. etc.!!! The great thing is that after only several months their playing changes dramatically - and my heart fills with joy when I see someone from Texas, or Japan, or South Africa, or Korea, or Australia, or Brazil playing with professional gestures, in a relaxed manner, with awareness, bringing out most of the needed expressive tasks smile.

Of course, you're entitled to your opinion (which I respect) - but the facts are unfortunately different. Just go to YouTube and watch some student performances (and I don't mean those who study in the best Conservatoires of the world) - and you'll see straight away what I mean.

We have many teachers on PCA (who have their own studios, and joined our community to improve their teaching methods) and they say the same thing I mentioned above smile. Therefore, my opinion is not taken from my experience alone - but also from everything our teachers (and students) have shared with me.

Of course, there will always be different opinions about a certain term (such as 'Russian piano school'). What else is new on the Internet? LOL People disagree everywhere, and this is normal. When I was doing my PhD research, I was constantly laughing at how definitions and concepts varied from one 'academic' book to the next one. Professional musicologists disagreed and fought fiercely about terms, notions, interpretations of various pieces, harmonic rules, the boundaries of certain national schools LOL etc. etc. etc.

I know LOTS of professional teachers and concert pianists who have the same beliefs as I do when it comes to the term "Russian piano school". I know others who (just like you) disagree with us. It's certainly their right - and both 'parties' have hundreds of arguments in their favor.

But in the end, the only thing that matters is to help people and to teach them correctly. My credo is that everyone deserves to learn how to play correctly and professionally, even amateurs! Why should amateurs suffer from tension and muscle pain? Why should they only learn correct notes and fingering? Why should they get disappointed and give up on our amazing art simply because nobody showed them how to relax their wrist? Why should ergonomic playing be taught only in Conservatoires?

I would love to continue this conversation, but I have a very demanding work schedule (I post 2-3 new video tutorials per week, not to mention all the other admin activities), and I usually work 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week. I found this PianoWorld thread accidentally, and I just wanted to answer those very fair questions that people had here (especially about our home page LOL, which is now being improved).

So enough talking for me - words are just words, and I prefer to let my work speak for itself, which means that I have to get back to it and design some new tutorials! smile

But, as I mentioned above, my assistant Natalia will be happy to answer any questions about the functionality of PCA if you send her an email at pianocareeracademy@gmail.com.

Thank you and have an amazing week everyone! wink

Cheers,
Ilinca
Posted by: keystring

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 06/23/14 04:32 AM

Welcome to the forum, Ilinca. It would be good and useful for you to spend some time exploring past discussions, so that you can catch up to the mindset of the majority of members here. It helps communication to know the people you are talking to. smile Since joining 6 years ago, I'm struck in particular by the insistence of the whole body working together in playing piano. It is almost universal here. Occasionally "finger oriented" teaching is pointed out, as something to be avoided. You will have a better communication if you talk to people from where they are at. The finger-only system is considered a dinosaur in most places.
Posted by: keystring

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 06/23/14 04:43 AM

@Ilinca again:

I watched several of your videos a while back. Many of the ideas that you express are ones that I know of. However, to get at them one also needs prerequisite knowledge and skills that need to be built up. For example, in one sample video, you present a given piece and how to approach it. One part of the approach is to first analyze it in order to get at its musical form. I forget the details: you'd have repetitions such as in sonata allegro form, phrases, modulations etc. But to do that, the student needs to know how to recognize these things: even basic things such as key signature, modulation, recognition of a chord and such. If the student simply follows your analysis, then these things are not there. Do you have a methodical way of building all of this up?

The same is true for other things. If I am to emphasize a melody line and play the other voices softer, that is a coordination that needs to be built over time, in stages. In addition to using the whole body in playing, and learning to do that, you don't just start with an advanced piece of music, and try to get all of that in at once. Is there an underlying structure to what you do?

Finally - I'm reading about many instructional videos to follow. Does the student get observed? I don't mean feedback on a recording, but actually observance, one-on-one, with hands on guidance? Or at least, is there such an option?

These are the kinds of question that came to my mind when I first examined your site.
Posted by: Jonathan Baker

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 06/23/14 02:41 PM

Ilinca,

The "fingers only" piano players you refer to are self-taught amateurs you encounter on the internet. Your website promotion pushes the idea that "fingers only" is a failing of the educational system of European and American piano teachers and conservatories, and as such your claim is misleading, no question about it. Self-taught Russian amateurs are as dysfunctional as self-taught amateurs around the world. I respectfully suggest you re-edit your advertisement since, as it stands, your assertion borders on libel.

Also, your sales-bait of "you won't have to work hard" or "sacrifice anything" is insulting to anyone of average intelligence. Any student of mathematics, chemistry, farming, cooking, engineering, will know what it means to work hard and sacrifice. Pianists are no different.

I wish you all the happiness and success in the world, but I will share with you my self-imposed rules regarding advertising as further 'food for thought': I refuse to attempt to elevate my status by disparaging my 'competitors' or claim superiority over other teachers (since I usually cannot know that to be a fact), I never claim to potential students that learning to master the keyboard is "easy" or always "fun", and I never make any claim I cannot demonstrate Right Now. That keeps me on the honest side of a line I do not want to be found crossing.
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 06/24/14 07:35 PM

Bravo, Jonathan. Do you think Ilinca can turn me into Murray Perahia if I give her my credit card? I'm tempted....
Posted by: The Wind

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 06/24/14 08:07 PM

What's that old saying, "you get what you pay for..."
Posted by: keystring

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 06/24/14 08:34 PM

The lack of an answer to my questions seems to tell me what I need to know.
Posted by: Miguel Rey

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 06/25/14 11:03 AM

This is 100% correct.
"BUT - what happens in Conservatoires is one thing - and what happens in thousands of piano studios across the world is something entirely different!!!"


But $97.00 /45 min lesson? ouch
Posted by: keystring

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 06/25/14 01:25 PM

Originally Posted By: Miguel Rey
This is 100% correct.
"BUT - what happens in Conservatoires is one thing - and what happens in thousands of piano studios across the world is something entirely different!!!"

In the whole of the message, it is not correct at all. Ilenca is stating that in piano studios the outdated finger-based playing is taught, and implying that this is only different in conservatories. That is incorrect. A quick browse in this forum alone will show that pretty well nobody teaches that way among the teachers who have their own studios.
Posted by: Gary D.

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 06/25/14 05:31 PM

Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook

Advice to any adult taking 30 minute lessons. Stop immediately and move to an hour. A 30 min lesson is 25 min at best. You're barely starting and it's time to wrap up.

Not true of my lessons at all. I literally start the moment the lesson starts and work up the the second the lesson ends.

Stop immediately because you are taking 30 minutes? I think you mean switch to more time. smile

I agree that for any GOOD student, 30 minutes seems like nothing. But would you agree that we must teach students who do almost no work, even 30 minutes can feel like an excruciating amount of time. wink
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 06/26/14 03:39 AM

Originally Posted By: Gary D.
But would you agree that we must teach students who do almost no work, even 30 minutes can feel like an excruciating amount of time. wink

I've had two horrendous transfer students whose mother wanted them to take 30-minute lessons every OTHER week, and they still wanted to do CM? Good grief! Every minute teaching these two loons is sheer torture. I literally cheered when they finally quit.
Posted by: Jonathan Baker

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 06/27/14 12:00 AM

Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
But would you agree that we must teach students who do almost no work, even 30 minutes can feel like an excruciating amount of time. wink

I've had two horrendous transfer students whose mother wanted them to take 30-minute lessons every OTHER week, and they still wanted to do CM? Good grief! Every minute teaching these two loons is sheer torture. I literally cheered when they finally quit.


LOL. I refuse to teach small children more than 30 minutes because I just cannot possibly endure one more minute than that. Let me tell you those lessons End On Time. It is to the benefit of children that I do this, otherwise I instantly morph into W.C. Fields, if not Bela Lugosi.

For adults, well, if they are really engaging, intelligent, and great company then an hour will sail by. With adults I can have an intellectual relationship, but children? - they must be spoon-fed at every micro-second, and boy is that exhausting.
Posted by: malkin

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 06/27/14 08:13 AM

lol @ Jonathan!
Posted by: mbself

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 09/14/14 10:22 AM

Originally Posted By: Jonathan Baker
Ilinca,



Also, your sales-bait of "you won't have to work hard" or "sacrifice anything" is insulting to anyone of average intelligence. Any student of mathematics, chemistry, farming, cooking, engineering, will know what it means to work hard and sacrifice. Pianists are no different.



In her defense, it does say you won't have to do these things AND not see results. But, to agree with your premise, it does smack of hyperbole, much like the many "unlock the secret code to ...." whatever instrument you want to insert there.

I am also one of those "self-taught amateurs" you referred to above. I am proud to be an STA. I would love to have the time to devote to lessons with a professional teacher who will help square away all of the little technical things. But, I chose to study guitar at an early. Piano came along as a hobby where I tried to "transfer" things I learned on guitar to other instruments.

As a STA, I frequent sites like this one, purchase piano instructional materials, watch videos on youtube and rely on my other musical knowledge and instincts to play with my own distinctive style. Not that it is any good, mind you, but it is a style all my own.

I have come to realize that I am a "finger player" and am actively trying to develop better arm, shoulder wrist involvement in my playing. Unfortunately, I discovered this as I was diagnosing a sudden and unexpected bout of tendonitis in the upper forearm. It was difficult to decide whether it was piano, my guitar work, weight lifting routine, or time at work on the computer that had wrecked my right arm.

Even though my technique is not refined, it is useful. I am the only piano player at my church that can create an arraggement by ear and put it in standard notation for the "regular" pianists and other musicians to use. Also, I am used when an improvisation is required because the other pianists are "attached/addicted" to the sheet.

For the record, I don't consider my self a "pianist" per se. But I do play and am known locally as a multi-instrumentalist.
Posted by: Rusco

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 02/16/15 07:25 AM

I have been using the Piano Career Academy sight for 3 weeks or so. I am a beginner but with a reasonable amount of prior musical knowledge gained through gtr playing-music programming - recording studio work etc. I was (and still am to a certain extent) working with the Alfred's books. However, I found their watered down arrangements a bit lame and uninspiring. I saw Ilinca's youtube videos recently and was impressed by her playing style and ability. I have worked with enough musicians to recognise a good solid professional. I was hesitant of trying the site as there is no free trial period and whilst I think it is good value now, obviously I didn't know this at the time.

After studying the videos and content for a few weeks I must say that I find the site excellent. Of course it is not a substitute for having private tuition but there is a huge amount of really useful content covering technique-posture- theory- in painstaking detail. That can be accessed 24 hours. To get all this information from a tutor while paying for lessons would be very expensive indeed. Personally I will probably take some lessons as well from time to time to monitor progress.

I don't wish to offend any of the teachers out there and I do understand some of the sceptiscism about the site, I was sceptical myself, but I do think it is unfair to make very strong judgements without actually checking it out in a little more depth. I for one find it both useful and challenging.


Posted by: Carlos-CR

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 02/16/15 12:07 PM

Originally Posted By keystring
Originally Posted By Miguel Rey
This is 100% correct.
"BUT - what happens in Conservatoires is one thing - and what happens in thousands of piano studios across the world is something entirely different!!!"

In the whole of the message, it is not correct at all. Ilenca is stating that in piano studios the outdated finger-based playing is taught, and implying that this is only different in conservatories. That is incorrect. A quick browse in this forum alone will show that pretty well nobody teaches that way among the teachers who have their own studios.


If we are so strict, unless you know all piano studios you can't guaranty it isn't true.

In my -I admit short (2 teachers)- experience with teachers, what you see in this forum is not representative of the typical teacher and in fact there could be 1000s studios where this musically holistic approach is not the norm..

By definition, 49,9% of teachers in the world are below average and only 10% are exceptional. So I believe her when she says that lots of students come to her with such problems. Although the sales pitch was a little too much.

Just my cent.

Carlos CR
Posted by: keystring

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 02/16/15 04:04 PM

Carlos, she gives a very specific type of stereotype of other teachers - perhaps she has read about them. There is an old fashioned subgroup that still exists which teaches that the hand should be curved like holding a ball, you try to get "strong fingers", the action is in the fingers, you should be able to balance a penny on the flat of your hand, and if you study a given traditional sequence of repertoire; Czerny, Clementi, Hanon.... that in and of itself will teach you to play piano. My grandmother was taught that way around 1910, as was told by my mother.

It is not a matter of saying that there are poor quality teachers out there. It is more like only one geographic area teaches certain things.
Quote:
If we are so strict, unless you know all piano studios you can't guaranty it isn't true.

I agree, but it is also true the other way around. All piano studios also do not teach in the stereotypical way.
Posted by: Carlos-CR

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 02/17/15 03:05 AM

Originally Posted By keystring
Carlos, she gives a very specific type of stereotype of other teachers - perhaps she has read about them. There is an old fashioned subgroup that still exists which teaches that the hand should be curved like holding a ball, you try to get "strong fingers", the action is in the fingers, you should be able to balance a penny on the flat of your hand, and if you study a given traditional sequence of repertoire; Czerny, Clementi, Hanon.... that in and of itself will teach you to play piano. My grandmother was taught that way around 1910, as was told by my mother.

It is not a matter of saying that there are poor quality teachers out there. It is more like only one geographic area teaches certain things.
Quote:
If we are so strict, unless you know all piano studios you can't guaranty it isn't true.

I agree, but it is also true the other way around. All piano studios also do not teach in the stereotypical way.


To be fair she doesn't say all piano studios but thousands of them and that surely can be true. But I don't want to be nitpicky.

I only posted because some of you were mocking at her and using ad hominem attacks AND, marketing pitch apart, the way he teaches doesn't seem to be the norm everywhere. Call it the Russian school or the finger school or whatever, her point is that there are a lot of teachers that don't really know how to teach. I prefer to call their methods the no clue school instead of the finger school and I'm sure there are lots of teachers that use that method in Russia too.

But just by making people aware of what is involved in learning the piano she is making everyone (but the bad teachers) a service. I didn't know my teachers weren't good until I started to read online forums and resources.

If I ever hire a teacher again for me or for my children I know a lot more about what to expect from a good teacher and how to tell a bad one apart.

So I think she raises the bar and in the end that is good for everyone but the bad teachers.

Also I agree that all that stereotypes and name calling she does is not necessary to make her point and is a little offensive, specially in a teachers forum.

Carlos CR
Posted by: piano_friend

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 02/28/15 03:15 AM

Originally Posted By Jonathan Baker
Originally Posted By AZNpiano
Originally Posted By Gary D.
But would you agree that we must teach students who do almost no work, even 30 minutes can feel like an excruciating amount of time. wink

I've had two horrendous transfer students whose mother wanted them to take 30-minute lessons every OTHER week, and they still wanted to do CM? Good grief! Every minute teaching these two loons is sheer torture. I literally cheered when they finally quit.


LOL. I refuse to teach small children more than 30 minutes because I just cannot possibly endure one more minute than that. Let me tell you those lessons End On Time. It is to the benefit of children that I do this, otherwise I instantly morph into W.C. Fields, if not Bela Lugosi.

For adults, well, if they are really engaging, intelligent, and great company then an hour will sail by. With adults I can have an intellectual relationship, but children? - they must be spoon-fed at every micro-second, and boy is that exhausting.


Hahahahah lol. End in time. Yeah, so true.
I am still learning be relaxed at the lesson coz otherwise I feel exhausted.
Posted by: piano_friend

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 02/28/15 03:40 AM

Well, we all have strong and weak sides to improve. But I would rather focus on the good side, and I think she is just great, dreams big, educates the entire musical world and surrounded by 1000 of people who needs what she is doing.
Posted by: pavanne1

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 02/28/15 08:45 AM

Seems like an interesting site. I think it would be great for adults with some prior training. I will definitely check it out. I really like the idea of having a personal teachers though. For many reasons. I have so many great memories of my teachers, what they taught me was more than just the piano.

Doreen Hall
www.palomapiano.com
Posted by: imustlearn

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 05/17/15 08:08 PM

After watching a ton of piano tutorials/teachers on YouTube I stumbled across pianocareer and after a few videos I thought this was by far the best I have seen . So I decided to join yesterday , still waiting for my details before I can access the membership area and let you guys know.
Posted by: smmcroberts

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/01/15 09:35 PM

imustlearn, can you give us an update on your experience using PianoCareerAcademy.com? I'm thinking of signing up myself. I had 2 years of basic lessons a few years ago from a teacher who mostly taught children (I'm a senior.) She taught me the basics, and I've been looking for someone (or something) to teach me advanced concepts.

I did the 30 day free trial of PianoMarvel, and was just about to subscribe when I found PianoCareerAcademy. The latter seems to be on a different level altogether. I think all that PianoMarvel is going to teach me is playing the right notes at the right time. That's certainly important, and something I need to work on; but what Ilinca says about expression and touch strikes a chord with me. From the little I've watched of her videos she is demonstrating the types of things I want to know: arm and wrist movement rather than just finger movement (I knew there was a fundamental reason why even if I get the notes and timing right I still sound nothing like a real pianist making music!)

Now I'm starting to think that "playing the right notes at the right time" is something I pretty much KNOW how to do by now (I just need more practice DOING it) so I really don't need to be taught that. What I need to be taught is expression and touch; which seems to be what Ilinca is teaching.

So, I'm very interested to hear your opinion, imustlearn (or anyone else who has subscribed).

Thanks in advance!
Posted by: Horowitz67

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/06/16 11:01 AM

As a 'fairly objective observer', I would just like to state that I think her Piano Career Acadamy website is utter gold.
About myself. I am a former conductor. I live in the US and I have conducted the Detroit, Oregon, Houston, symphonies, and was at various times a cover conductor for the National Symphony And Boston symphony.
My training was as a pianist.
Two of my primary teachers, Nina Lelchuk,and Alexander Edelman were pure Russian School. Edelman was A classmate of Vladimir Howowitz, and Nina was a Flier student. While she is not a household name, she is one of the greatest living pianists on this planet.
And no.. while there is not one clear path to being Russian School( even Neuhaus, Flier, Oborin etc.. all taught differently), there IS a central
thread in what is the Russian Piano Method,
I have watched quite a few of Ilinca's videos ( I am not a member).. and they are superb and spot on.
I am a curious case, as I have been away from the piano a very long time and I am slowly finding my way back to it. I myself have desperately looking for a piano teacher at this point in my life. (I am also desperately looking to hit the lottery to buy a Fazioli Grand.. lol. )
But in COMPLETE seriousness ..If I could take direct lessons with this lady, I would be doing it in a heartbeat..
And for me,that says a lot...Because at this moment, the only teacher that I want to have some lessons with is Adele Marcus..and yes.. I know that would be a little tough ...

David
Posted by: smmcroberts

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/06/16 11:41 AM

I did subscribe a year ago, and have just renewed for a second year. Ilinca is the real deal. Her video tutorials are informative, and her replies to members' questions are thorough, and she goes the extra mile (or ten!)

I have been mostly going through her "beginners' course" this past year. The first few lessons I breezed through, but have slowed way down around lesson 40, and so am now only about half way through the course. The nice thing about this is that you can go at your own pace, and replay the lessons (or parts of the lessons) over and over. At this point I typically spend at least two weeks on one of her lessons (she usually has 2-3 pieces to learn per lesson.)

If anyone is considering this, or comparing it to other online teachers, I would say they can't go wrong with Ilinca. She has a large quantity of high-quality tutorials, and is always adding more content. She is an inspirational teacher and a pleasure to learn from.

I also subscribed this past year to Piano Marvel, and found it somewhat helpful to a beginner as an adjunct to Piano Carer Academy, and I will probably be renewing it as well (also being only half through their course.) But if I had to choose just one, it would definitely be Ilinca's Piano Career Academy.
Posted by: Gary D.

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/06/16 05:27 PM

Well, from what I've read what she is teaching is pretty solid and therefore much better than the absolutely inept teaching by many of the hacks I know about who know next to nothing about teaching and next to nothing about playing the piano.

But this is comparing second-rate (or 10th rate) private lessons to very good online instruction.

Ideal would probably be using her and a few other really good online teachers as supplements to a first-rate private teacher - which apparently she actually encourages.
Posted by: laguna_greg

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/06/16 08:51 PM

Originally Posted By Gary D.
Well, from what I've read what she is teaching is pretty solid and therefore much better than the absolutely inept teaching by many of the hacks I know about who know next to nothing about teaching and next to nothing about playing the piano.

But this is comparing second-rate (or 10th rate) private lessons to very good online instruction.

Ideal would probably be using her and a few other really good online teachers as supplements to a first-rate private teacher - which apparently she actually encourages.


I was thinking the same thing. Why waste your time with an online tutorial, when you can just go out and find a really good teacher for one-on-one?

The online garbage will never be as good as the in-person lessons. Past the second year, online garbage will simply not get you where you want to go. Just like group classes in community college.
Posted by: ThaiBlue

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 03:12 AM

Originally Posted By laguna_greg
Originally Posted By Gary D.
Well, from what I've read what she is teaching is pretty solid and therefore much better than the absolutely inept teaching by many of the hacks I know about who know next to nothing about teaching and next to nothing about playing the piano.

But this is comparing second-rate (or 10th rate) private lessons to very good online instruction.

Ideal would probably be using her and a few other really good online teachers as supplements to a first-rate private teacher - which apparently she actually encourages.


I was thinking the same thing. Why waste your time with an online tutorial, when you can just go out and find a really good teacher for one-on-one?

The online garbage will never be as good as the in-person lessons. Past the second year, online garbage will simply not get you where you want to go. Just like group classes in community college.


The key is finding quality tuition, whether it be online or face to face. There's plenty of in-class garbage out there as well as online.
Posted by: Gary D.

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 04:51 AM

Originally Posted By ThaiBlue

The key is finding quality tuition, whether it be online or face to face. There's plenty of in-class garbage out there as well as online.

It's not easy. You have to remember that the average teacher is "average", and in my mind average is not very good if you have some talent or are highly motivated.

Many people have never had a great teacher. I didn't get one until I was around 19, and until you have a great teacher, you have no idea what you are missing.
Posted by: Gary D.

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 04:55 AM

Originally Posted By laguna_greg


I was thinking the same thing. Why waste your time with an online tutorial, when you can just go out and find a really good teacher for one-on-one?

The online garbage will never be as good as the in-person lessons. Past the second year, online garbage will simply not get you where you want to go. Just like group classes in community college.

I'm not going to say "online garbage" because that's a blanket statement. For sure this is real garbage online, but there are some excellent videos by some good people showing things that are important that, unfortunately, are usually not taught.

That said - and repeating - if you have a first-rate teacher, nothing in the world will replace the things you will learn with that teacher, one on one.

While we are throwing insults around, here's one of mine. I'm sick to death of famous pianists giving master classes who don't have a clue how to teach. That's one of my a pet peeves.
Posted by: keystring

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 09:37 AM

I explored it a couple of years ago as far as I could without paying the $50 or so for a month (we're in $CAD here). There are a few videos on Youtube. If these are overviews outlining what will be taught in individual lessons then ok. But if they are actual lessons, then each time I'm left with lots of impressions about lots of things, a teacher who appears clever, but wondering when do we start working on anything so that I can make one of those things mine - then the next - then the next. What I saw on-line was nothing one could work with.

In what I saw on-line (the freely available things), if someone already had a fair background in music and piano, then it would be a refresher with new insights. Is the actual material within the course itself different than what is freely visible on Youtube?
Posted by: keystring

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 09:54 AM

Originally Posted By laguna_greg
I was thinking the same thing. Why waste your time with an online tutorial, when you can just go out and find a really good teacher for one-on-one?

The online garbage will never be as good as the in-person lessons.

You cannot "just" find a really good teacher, and if you are an adult the deck is stacked against you even more since many will refuse to take you for the fact of not being a child. Even children are not guaranteed a good teacher, and if the parent is a non-musician, how can they discern? Some of us got lucky with our private teachers, but some of those teachers are located in a different region or country making it on-line again. Quality is quality wherever you can find it. And conditions are seldom ideal.

This year I joined ArtistWorks for violin, in a course done by a teacher and artist with superb technique and who knows how to teach it. I should add that I had 4 - 5 years of regular private one-hour lessons every week of the year, and did not touch the instrument for about a decade after that. In AW students submit their homework if they want, for fellow students to also see, along with the teacher's video feedback. You start seeing some patterns.

Among them, (common), is the student with a private teacher. The private teacher zips them through the pieces in the book - whether ABRSM, RCM, method book, or pieces - maybe tells them how this or that should sound. At the same time that same student is learning - on-line - how to play; developing their playing skills; learning basic theory to be applied to their playing - which they then apply to what has been assigned by their private teacher. Obviously there is something wrong with the picture, but this is common. I have my own ideas about which side the quality lies in these scenarios.

It is easy to surf the Net and pick out a dozen so called "tutorials" that have an overhead view of somebody playing a piece at slow-mo, possibly with stiff weird hands, the keys lighting up, and calling it "teaching". Yes, there is on-line garbage. But have you actually investigated thoroughly what exists? I have seen excellent teaching units, carefully thought out, and I have seen one or two people's quality of playing grow through their work through this.

Yes, the excellent one-on-one teacher is preferable. He or she cannot always be found locally.
Posted by: smmcroberts

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 11:01 AM

She has different types of tutorials. The Beginners' Course (80 some lessons and counting) starts with the very basics and builds step-by-step using Russian piano exercise books.

I had gone through the Alfred Adult Learning books with a one-on-one teacher years ago, and must say that personally I am getting more out of the online course.
Posted by: keystring

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 11:56 AM

Originally Posted By smmcroberts
She has different types of tutorials. The Beginners' Course (80 some lessons and counting) starts with the very basics and builds step-by-step using Russian piano exercise books.

I would have to see it.
One thing you can tell me, however, is whether those few on-line ones we can see on Youtube - are these actual lessons - do they resemble actual lessons? Or are they overviews / introductions to course content rather than being lessons?
Posted by: Albunea

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 12:49 PM

I've watched the first one, which I found very funny...But I agree doing all those exercises must be good to play piano! laugh Then I chose one randomly (emphasizing the melody) and have to say that she has very good communicative skills despite the accent and a very pleasant voice, which is a plus already.

I'm more of a reader myself but can understand that many people find her a very good teacher to listen to and learn from.

The short video with exercises here. There is another that lasts more than 11 minutes.

I like those videos of exercises!
Posted by: smmcroberts

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 01:12 PM

From what I've seen of hers on Youtube, they are just overviews or introductions. I don't see any of the actual lessons from the beginner's course or scale course on Youtube.
Posted by: Gary D.

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 02:03 PM

Originally Posted By keystring

In what I saw on-line (the freely available things), if someone already had a fair background in music and piano, then it would be a refresher with new insights. Is the actual material within the course itself different than what is freely visible on Youtube?

If you are talking about this particular "course" then no, it can't possibly work very well for a beginner. Her presentation of how to solve various common problems is not even the best available online. From what I could tell what she is presenting is pretty good, but she's all over the place, very wordy. I'm saying I could do better or even as well IN THAT FORMAT, but I wouldn't want to.

She also has a tendency to play bits and pieces of things, not to play anything all the way through, the idea being (I guess) that if you pay money you will get to "the rest of the story".
Posted by: Gary D.

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 02:07 PM

Originally Posted By smmcroberts
From what I've seen of hers on Youtube, they are just overviews or introductions. I don't see any of the actual lessons from the beginner's course or scale course on Youtube.

OK, but the problem is that I would never recommend to someone to pay for the full deal when is see nothing that convinces me, as a teacher, that she knows how to teach in depth.

I could not find one video that is public that really impressed me, either about her playing or about her presentation.

There are other people I WOULD recommend to students as solid sources, based on their videos.

So basically the idea is that she "really does teach well, but you have to pay money to find out".

I remain unconvinced.
Posted by: Gary D.

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 02:13 PM

Originally Posted By Albunea
I've watched the first one, which I found very funny...But I agree doing all those exercises must be good to play piano! laugh Then I chose one randomly (emphasizing the melody) and have to say that she has very good communicative skills despite the accent and a very pleasant voice, which is a plus already.

I'm more of a reader myself but can understand that many people find her a very good teacher to listen to and learn from.

The short video with exercises here. There is another that lasts more than 11 minutes.

I like those videos of exercises!

Try this at home if you want to seriously hurt yourself

Doesn't get more stupid than this. The idea is to make a fast movement without being totally warmed up that is DANGEROUS if you don't know what your doing.

Let's see how popular this would be if she were 70 and overweight. The idea is that if you look like a gym bunny, you will play way better.

It's a crock.
Posted by: Gary D.

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 02:18 PM

Originally Posted By smmcroberts
She has different types of tutorials. The Beginners' Course (80 some lessons and counting) starts with the very basics and builds step-by-step using Russian piano exercise books.

I had gone through the Alfred Adult Learning books with a one-on-one teacher years ago, and must say that personally I am getting more out of the online course.

Then you had a lousy teacher.

There are no "Russian piano exercise books". This is just a way to hype the public. Her way of playing puts a premium on relaxation in the body, supple wrists, a bunch of things like that.

When you see her zip up and down the keyboard with a chromatic scale, both hands, there is zero extra movement in her hands, wrists, shoulders, elbows and so on. I have no argument with what she is doing, but it's 100% standard. On the last note she does the usual "pretty movement of the upper body thing", which is totally extraneous and has nothing to do with the rest of what she does.
Posted by: smmcroberts

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 02:34 PM

I'm not trying to convince anyone. I'm just letting people know that I have tried it for a year and have found it convenient and helpful enough to renew for another year. For me it is a good value for the money, and I find that I'm motivated to continue practicing. I feel comfortable recommending the course to other beginners like me who may not have found a good one-on-one arrangement for whatever reason.

I'm just supplying the type of feedback I was looking for a year ago when I was trying to decide whether to subscribe.
Posted by: laguna_greg

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 05:03 PM

Originally Posted By Gary D.


While we are throwing insults around, here's one of mine. I'm sick to death of famous pianists giving master classes who don't have a clue how to teach. That's one of my a pet peeves.


smile

It's one of mine too.
Posted by: laguna_greg

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 05:07 PM

Originally Posted By Gary D.

Doesn't get more stupid than this. The idea is to make a fast movement without being totally warmed up that is DANGEROUS if you don't know what your doing.

Let's see how popular this would be if she were 70 and overweight. The idea is that if you look like a gym bunny, you will play way better.

It's a crock.


Now THAT'S my idea of garbage.

And I have no problem saying it.


(..."pretty movement of the upper body thing"...can't stop LOL...)
Posted by: Albunea

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 05:12 PM



I think that one is good! (But I'm not sure, of course). We can do it slower.

I had not read the whole thread nor visited their site (still haven't). I don't like "The Only Russian School" message. Anyhow, maybe because of it we are attacking it more than other piano sites?

Probably, potential customers should ask themselves "What amount of time am I going to devote to watching videos every day?" If they can be the whole day learning with videos, it might be cheap. I am not like that myself.
Posted by: keystring

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 07:21 PM

I'm in a position where in some ways I'm probably fairly advanced, but because initially as a child I self-taught for years, I've had a need to revamp the physical end of my playing through fundamental things that support everything. At this point I've had a fair amount of time with good teaching, and usually when I look at a site I can get some idea. I've also been in a position some years ago when I was not yet able to do so, because I didn't have that kind of experience behind me. Until you have something to contrast it with, you can't really tell for sure. It may simply be better than something worse you've worked with.

In this case I can't tell, because what is visible publicly for free is not a sample of the actual teaching. That was established today. It is a way of selling the product by giving highlights that seem good, but one can't tell. When I thought those were actual lessons (samples of), that would have kept me away. Any on-line material I have seen other than this usually allows students to try some sample lessons so that you can get a feel for how the teaching goes. This one is the exception. With the difference of the Cdn dollar, that trial would come to over $50 and that is just too much.

In regards to the physical exercises - the vigourous arm whirling and such - I saw those some years ago - I'm not comfortable with them. The one I had seen started with some jerky snapping open and shut of the hands. In contrast, I have followed some of Yehudi Menuhin's "6 Lessons for the Violin" which was originally aired on BBC I think, and the first of the "6 lessons" focuses on the body before every touching the instrument. He has arm circles of a similar nature in there, but it is quite different, done with a loose flexible body, done loosely, and with the same flow of the whole body working together that we want in playing (any) instrument itself. I do not get that feeling here, and not being young I could injure myself.
Posted by: JohnSprung

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 07:34 PM

Originally Posted By Gary D.

Try this at home if you want to seriously hurt yourself

Doesn't get more stupid than this.


In all fairness, there's 8:46 of warm-up in the video ahead of this point, and just before, she tells beginners not to try to do it as fast as she does.
Posted by: Gary D.

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 10:48 PM

Originally Posted By JohnSprung
Originally Posted By Gary D.

Try this at home if you want to seriously hurt yourself

Doesn't get more stupid than this.


In all fairness, there's 8:46 of warm-up in the video ahead of this point, and just before, she tells beginners not to try to do it as fast as she does.


In equal fairness there is no reason for rotations at that speed, ever, for piano.

I was unable to move that way at all for a couple years and had to slowly get movement back. There is absolutely zero impact on my ability to play the piano, but I can't comfortably swim the crawl, which I used to do literally for miles with no discomfort.

I can just imagine saying to my 80 year-old student, forget about playing the piano unless you can move like this young lady.
Posted by: Gary D.

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 10:59 PM

Originally Posted By keystring

In this case I can't tell, because what is visible publicly for free is not a sample of the actual teaching. That was established today. It is a way of selling the product by giving highlights that seem good, but one can't tell.

Listen to the first 13 seconds:

Nocturne

This is just horrible, and if I played this section for a student this way, I'd immediately apologize for totally screwing it up, and I'd fix it, on the spot, in a lesson.

The RH trill is too slow, the LH then falters, the pedal is poor, then when she gets to the high F#, she mis-times the pedal on the low B so that it abruptly stops. She lifted the toe late.

Correct pedal

You can instantly find this played by Horowitz, Pollini, Richter, Rubinstein, Arrau, etc. to hear what it SHOULD sound like, and this particular passage is not especially advanced or difficult.

As for the physical playing of it, there are simply much better sources. All that hand waving she does so seriously impacts the musical effect that it is just horrible.

Russian school?

I don't THINK so...
Posted by: smmcroberts

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/07/16 11:12 PM

Originally Posted By Gary D.
Try this at home if you want to seriously hurt yourself

Doesn't get more stupid than this.


I appreciate that this category of the forum was an insensitive place to post about online lessons (I was only responding to what had inadvertently been posted here by someone else.) And I don't mean to detract in any way from the value of private one-on-one lessons with a teacher who is a good fit for the student.

But, I'm 60 years old, and for me the spinning-arm exercise (preceded by the others she demonstrates) does seem to help circulation to my hands (which are otherwise always cold.) I don't understand why this is being characterized as "stupid" or "dangerous" especially when the instructor clearly states that nothing should be done that causes discomfort.

Originally Posted By Gary D.
There are no "Russian piano exercise books". This is just a way to hype the public.


The book used in the beginners' course is called The Russian School of Piano Playing by A. Nikolaev. The preface to the English edition states:

"The Russian School of Piano Playing is the piano method officially recommended for use in Children's Music Schools throughout the Soviet Union today. It represents the work of a number of distinguished teachers and pianists, and is generally considered to be one of the most systematic and successful piano methods ever to be produced.

"Its success stems partially from the meticulous grading of pieces, and the perfectly timed introduction of every aspect of technique that the beginner is likely to require in the first few years. However, the method's overriding merit lies in its completely musical approach, which results in the pupil gaining an appreciation of musical colour and characterisation and a true sense of musical feeling."

It's hard for me to imagine that this book, and what is stated in its preface, are made up out of whole cloth. I'm not here to argue the relative merits of online verses private teachers. I'm only a beginning student, so I know my opinion doesn't count for much, but I think it's fair to say that there are pros and cons to both types of instruction, and I think both types of instructors need to treat each other with respect, and recognize that what works well for some students might not work as well for others.
Posted by: keystring

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/08/16 12:13 AM

Smmcroberts - If an exercise book is written in Russia and in Russian, then it is a Russian exercise book; If written in Holland then it is a Dutch exercise book, etc. That is not being disputed. It is not meant literally. But there is a hype we see from time to time which puts on the one side the idea of secret special knowledge that is dubbed as Russian --- and it is juxtaposed by a fictitious stereotype of "other" (non-Russian, Western?) teaching which this "Russian" school is supposed to substitute. The things represented as "Russian", supposedly absent in the stereotyped Western education, exist in the teaching of many good teachers everywhere in the world. This special exclusive thing being called Russian as a special exclusive thing - that is what is being said does not exist. Does this make sense?

Quote:
.. there are pros and cons to both types of instruction ...

by "both types of instruction" can I assume that you mean "on-line" versus "in-studio"? If so, I don't think the present discussion as about that.
Posted by: JohnSprung

Re: Piano Career Academy anyone? Alternative Piano Lessons - 12/08/16 02:08 AM

Originally Posted By smmcroberts
... throughout the Soviet Union today. ...


The Soviet Union is yesterday, gone about a quarter century. So, the book is quite old. What might it be missing? Perhaps the Taubman ideas?