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Piano Career Academy -diary for Russian Method online course #2618357
02/27/17 12:12 AM
02/27/17 12:12 AM
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Richrf Offline OP
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Hi,

I decided to sign up for a 3 month,$94, online beginner-intermediate course based upon the Russian School of Piano Playing by Nikoleav. I'll create some ongoing notes for others who may in the future contemplate signing up for the course.

pianocareer.com

1) So far the content is extremely well thought out with excellent presentation. The instructor clearly wants the students to understand the material as it would be presented in a one on one setting.

2) Thorough instruction on fundamentals with emphasis on technique, the holistic relaxed body, arm, wrist motion, intonation dynamics, the equality of the LH and RH all of which are a hallmark of the Russian Method she is presenting.

3) The instructor explains the purpose of each of primary pieces in the Nikoleav book, demonstrates the technique and sounds that should be produced, advices about potential problems, and suggests ways to practice. The videos are very professional and easy to follow. She also provides information for teachers who may be using her course.

This was the first day and I am extremely satisfied with the content and presentation thus far. Even though I have already worked through half of book 1, I am starting from the beginning so that I can review all of the instructor's video instruction.

The videos are embedded in a forum such as this one, so you can read comments made by her students as well as her answers. Often, she created new videos to answer the students questions which are linked in the forum.

This is going to be lots of fun for me, since I was looking for a course that was hotter-focused on developing good technique in both hands so as to be able to produce exceptional dynamics. More later. I'll be happy to answer questions, but I've just started and there many, many more videos that cover all of the Nikoleav books and then proceed to go deep into intermediate instruction.


Last edited by Richrf; 02/27/17 09:32 AM.
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Re: Piano Career Academy -diary for Russian Method online course [Re: Richrf] #2618375
02/27/17 03:13 AM
02/27/17 03:13 AM
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Richrf,
Is it $94 a month or for 3 months ?
Also, are the videos downloadable or just streaming ?
Thanks.

Re: Piano Career Academy -diary for Russian Method online course [Re: Richrf] #2618396
02/27/17 05:31 AM
02/27/17 05:31 AM
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Hi Richrf
Sounds like you are off to a very positive start with this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it's both helpful and interesting

Re: Piano Career Academy -diary for Russian Method online course [Re: Richrf] #2618434
02/27/17 09:16 AM
02/27/17 09:16 AM
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Orange County, California
bSharp(C)yclist Offline
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I look forward to hearing more about this. Is there any sort of video exchange process, where a teacher can comment on how you play?


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Re: Piano Career Academy -diary for Russian Method online course [Re: bSharp(C)yclist] #2618445
02/27/17 09:44 AM
02/27/17 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by bSharp[C
yclist]I look forward to hearing more about this. Is there any sort of video exchange process, where a teacher can comment on how you play?


While I haven't participated yet, there is a monthly Q&A Livestream where the instructor critiques or-submitted recordings of no more than 1 minute. You can email them your questions about the course and they do get back to you fairly quickly. I received my 30% discount (which is suppose to be lifetime renewable if I continue) by emailing and asking.

The Q&A videos I've looked at are extremely detailed with each question and answer together with timestamps outlined in the description. The amount of work they the authors put into the course is quite remarkable though I wish it was slight better organized.

Re: Piano Career Academy -diary for Russian Method online course [Re: Richrf] #2618457
02/27/17 10:34 AM
02/27/17 10:34 AM
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Thanks for updating us on your experience. I considered trying out the program in the past so I really look forward to your findings.

Have fun!


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Re: Piano Career Academy -diary for Russian Method online course [Re: Montuno] #2618463
02/27/17 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Montuno
Thanks for updating us on your experience. I considered trying out the program in the past so I really look forward to your findings.

Have fun!


Thanks. I'll try to post any significant new information that I find as I walk through the course. I am pretty fussy about learning tools and 99% that I've signed on to, e.g on Udemy,, I end up cancelling, but this one is a keeper. The quality of instruction is excellent so far. The instructor did have some sample videos on Youtube for those who are interested in her teaching style.

Re: Piano Career Academy -diary for Russian Method online course [Re: Richrf] #2618466
02/27/17 11:08 AM
02/27/17 11:08 AM
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Really interesting! I've seen many of her videos, she's really good, thanks for the info

Re: Piano Career Academy -diary for Russian Method online course [Re: Richrf] #2618485
02/27/17 11:59 AM
02/27/17 11:59 AM
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I am also following this with interest. I've looked at her various videos a number of times as they crop up, and have always seen a summary, but not actually how the things are taught, which has always been the unknown factor. Broad summaries don't cut it for me, because people who know things don't necessarily know how to break it down and teach them. You've given a bit of a window on this. Thank you.

Re: Piano Career Academy -diary for Russian Method online course [Re: Richrf] #2618491
02/27/17 12:07 PM
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Currently, I am practicing the second lesson which is focusing on pieces 8-11 in the book. The instructor demonstrated full arm wave-like movement (which energetically begins at the back) for each finger in each hand. I played along in order to emulate timing, technique and dynamics. Now I am practicing each finger for each piece in order to develop good fundamental technique. This will become part of my permanent practice for now. It is slow but I want to focus on technique for each hand, finger by finger so that the are no weak spots. Also focusing on relaxed shoulders.

Last edited by Richrf; 02/27/17 01:09 PM.
Re: Piano Career Academy -diary for Russian Method online course [Re: Richrf] #2618504
02/27/17 12:47 PM
02/27/17 12:47 PM
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What book are you using?


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Re: Piano Career Academy -diary for Russian Method online course [Re: Richrf] #2618507
02/27/17 12:52 PM
02/27/17 12:52 PM
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Richrf Offline OP
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This one:

Russian School of Piano Playing

The emphasis of this approach is equality of both hands, dynamics, nimbleness, technique. While the book is meant for children, I believe adults benefit from the fundamentals perspective, which I why I chose to use it.

Last edited by Richrf; 02/27/17 12:57 PM.
Re: Piano Career Academy -diary for Russian Method online course [Re: Richrf] #2618510
02/27/17 12:55 PM
02/27/17 12:55 PM
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keystring Offline
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Originally Posted by Richrf
Currently, I am practicing the second lesson which is focusing on pieces 8-11 in the book. The instructor demonstrated full arm wave-like movement (which energetically begins at the back) for each finger in each hand. I played along in order to emulate timing, technique and dynamics. Now I am practicing each finger for each piece in order to develop good fundamental technique. This will become part of my permanent practice for now. It is slow but I want to focus on technique for each hand, finger by finger so that the are no weak spots.

Do you get feedback from the teacher, for example by sending in videos? I've been in two programs of an on-line sort similar to what this is, which features this, so it is not an uncommon idea. In lessons, including in-person, it has happened more than once that I think I am doing what the teacher has demonstrated, and discover through feedback that I haven't. That is why I'm asking.

Re: Piano Career Academy -diary for Russian Method online course [Re: Richrf] #2618513
02/27/17 01:08 PM
02/27/17 01:08 PM
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Richrf Offline OP
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It's a great question and it would be great if there was, even if it required an additional fee, but as far as I can tell there isn't any way to get constant feedback. What they do offer, is very limited. You can submit a 1 minute video for feedback in their once-a-month Q&A which may or may not be reviewed in their live-stream broadcast.

The $30 a month bus you access to all of their demonstration and instruction videos (which are quite detailed and well thought out), access to their forum, and downloads. From my vantage point it is a terrific purchase depending upon what one is looking for. If I could buy 10 min. of feedback time it would be even better.

Last edited by Richrf; 02/27/17 01:10 PM.
Re: Piano Career Academy -diary for Russian Method online course [Re: Richrf] #2618519
02/27/17 01:28 PM
02/27/17 01:28 PM
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Richrf Offline OP
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The FAQ for this site is comprehensive and accurate:

Course FAQ

Here is a list of all of the video tutorials for the Beginning course:

Beginner Course curriculum


Re: Piano Career Academy -diary for Russian Method online course [Re: keystring] #2618520
02/27/17 01:28 PM
02/27/17 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Richrf
Currently, I am practicing the second lesson which is focusing on pieces 8-11 in the book. The instructor demonstrated full arm wave-like movement (which energetically begins at the back) for each finger in each hand. I played along in order to emulate timing, technique and dynamics. Now I am practicing each finger for each piece in order to develop good fundamental technique. This will become part of my permanent practice for now. It is slow but I want to focus on technique for each hand, finger by finger so that the are no weak spots.

Do you get feedback from the teacher, for example by sending in videos? I've been in two programs of an on-line sort similar to what this is, which features this, so it is not an uncommon idea. In lessons, including in-person, it has happened more than once that I think I am doing what the teacher has demonstrated, and discover through feedback that I haven't. That is why I'm asking.


I think I asked the same thing above smile


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Re: Piano Career Academy -diary for Russian Method online course [Re: Richrf] #2618530
02/27/17 02:34 PM
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Today I read some of the instructor's ideas on practice in the forum (which has tons of interesting insights but has become somewhat inactive), and noticed the instructor's emphasis on always practicing with expression. I went back to the simple exercises and performed them as if I am playing the words to the tune. It was a big difference. Imagination plays a big role in this teaching method.

Re: Piano Career Academy -diary for Russian Method online course [Re: Richrf] #2618800
02/28/17 07:39 AM
02/28/17 07:39 AM
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I've just realised that I have used her video on learning Chopin's C# minor nocturne no. 20 (the "easy" posthumous one. Not at all easy for me I should add!), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSo4oX0SUtI .
I found it excellent, I think her approach makes great sense and I love her emphasis on expression. I'm working with a teacher, but I found referring to this to support my practice at home was useful (especially during breaks in lessons.

Re: Piano Career Academy -diary for Russian Method online course [Re: barbaram] #2618827
02/28/17 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by barbaram
I've just realised that I have used her video on learning Chopin's C# minor nocturne no. 20 (the "easy" posthumous one. Not at all easy for me I should add!), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSo4oX0SUtI .
I found it excellent, I think her approach makes great sense and I love her emphasis on expression. I'm working with a teacher, but I found referring to this to support my practice at home was useful (especially during breaks in lessons.


Yes, there are many such tutorials that are part of this course. I would say the key elements of the instructor's teaching process is relaxation followed by the emergence of imagination which then manifests as expression. The sequence of the course lessons is designed to gradually develop a sense of these three skills.

Re: Piano Career Academy -diary for Russian Method online course [Re: Richrf] #2618925
02/28/17 02:38 PM
02/28/17 02:38 PM
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Today's lessons were about dynamics, playing with the thumb and fifth finger, pain, injury, tension, and the proper way to practice to avoid discomfort while learning. The instructor also demonstrated the appropriate gesture for initiating a movement with either hand and gestures that may be employed to create expressive tones with dynamics.

For my own practice, I continue to be aware of any tension that may be created and immediate relax such tension. Also, I observe with some attention the route of gestures the instructor is making and how it relates to the dynamics she is creating. All of this revolves around having a sound in my imagination and attempting to express that sound or melody through my body (energy) and then through the piano and then back to me. The smallest gesture thus becomes as enjoyable as the largest or most complex. It very much reminds me of Tai Chi.

On a technical note, the course seems to be about 5 years old and at that time the forums and instructor interaction appeared to be quite active. This is no longer the case. However, the is still a wealth of information in the forum's thanks to the questions that v were v asked and the instructor's answers. Lately, it seems a monthly Q&A video is used in lieu of an active forum. Also, I like using Chromecast to watch the videos. Casting these lessons is technically unpredictable, but with some effort I do get it to work.

Happy piano to all! Cheers!

Last edited by Richrf; 02/28/17 04:11 PM.
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