Teaching by video exchange?

Posted by: lotal

Teaching by video exchange? - 02/11/13 12:48 AM

There are live piano lessons, there are skype lessons. But what about lessons built upon exchanging prerecorded videos and opinions on them? I mean that a student prepares a video (or mp3 only) on a problem section he/she would get explanations from a qualified teacher. It is different than online skype intercourse, giving additional time both for the student and the teacher to prepare and get to the depths of the problem at their convenience. At the same time it may shorten lesson time to decrease lesson costs or afford a more qualified teacher. The goal is to pinpoint most important issues and errors in the student’s performance and form a sequence of prioritized advices or an action development vector for the student.

I am not a beginner and consider myself quite advanced adult piano player, but who still needs much of advice, corrections and supervising. Mostly I self study. My last thoughts are about Beethoven’s Appassionata, to which I spent 2,5 years until bogged down in a swamp. (http://lotal.narod.ru/music.html) Perhaps I am able to move even further, but time costs are tremendous. Hardly now I need a teacher who watches as a hawk my playing, standing nearby and ready to handle my hands with his/her hands at any moment to correct movements and feelings. I believe I need rare need to consult, but still I do need that. Trying advanced repertoire, I am getting more selective to teachers. Moreover, being a self-educated adult makes things worse for many teachers, not all of them are happy to uproot bad habits fused in the student. That is what pushes me to search for rather qualified teacher, while at the same time I try to save on costs.

So, what do you think? Have anybody met such service anywhere and what do you think about its efficiency? What drawbacks may be involved?
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Teaching by video exchange? - 02/11/13 08:27 AM

Well, first of all, spending 2.5 years on something, anything, means that it is probably beyond your grasp to play currently. In which case, it tells me that you do need some guidance more than an occasional lesson or video. If you think that lessons consist of someone watching you like a hawk to correct technical issues then I think you have not studied with an appropriate teacher for your level.

Many teachers of advanced students do lessons on an every other week basis, which gives the student enough time to work on their pieces on their own time, but frequent enough to have consultations.

As to the efficacy of doing video responses, I think your results would probably be no better than posting your video on this forum and asking for feedback. There's no shortage of people offering free advice. As a teacher, this method is only worthwhile if it is a student I'm currently working with where I know their strengths and weaknesses, their technique, their background, what they've already studied, so that I can truly offer sound advice that will be helpful. This is not a set up that I would ever offer on a regular basis to anyone, nor would I feel right getting paid for it. It's a benefit to my regular students that they have access to me during the week in between lessons.
Posted by: lotal

Re: Teaching by video exchange? - 02/11/13 10:30 AM

Thank you, Morodiene.

Yes, the term of 2.5 years is big enough, but I have not been pushing too much, and the sonata is a large piece just to memorize. It was a kind of experiment, a learning ground to play with, while I learned easier pieces along the way. I preferred to run its passages as exercises instead of scales.

Another point why I wonder about efficiency of video exchanging (which of course is not the best way to study, I must agree) that it is quite difficult to find a proper qualified teacher in my area for live lessons, so after all I have to keep distant learning in mind. So why not occasional video exchange instead of skype? Skype deteriorates the sound, while YouTube video might provide a better sound quality.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Teaching by video exchange? - 02/11/13 11:06 AM

Originally Posted By: lotal
Thank you, Morodiene.

Yes, the term of 2.5 years is big enough, but I have not been pushing too much, and the sonata is a large piece just to memorize. It was a kind of experiment, a learning ground to play with, while I learned easier pieces along the way. I preferred to run its passages as exercises instead of scales.

Another point why I wonder about efficiency of video exchanging (which of course is not the best way to study, I must agree) that it is quite difficult to find a proper qualified teacher in my area for live lessons, so after all I have to keep distant learning in mind. So why not occasional video exchange instead of skype? Skype deteriorates the sound, while YouTube video might provide a better sound quality.


You just have to change the setting that automatically adjusts the volume of the mic based on the volume of sound made. Other than that, one can hear and see enough via Skype so that the student still progresses very well. Especially for someone who doesn't need a lot of technical help (which would be more hands-on). The problem with video is the lack of immediate response. It would alos be harder to explain something and make sure a student "got it" before moving on. How much explanation is needed of a particular concept? How would one know? You'd just end up with a lot of back and forth until the student was able to show that they understood. Highly inefficient, much much worse than Skype, IMO.