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Joined: Aug 2013
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I'm finding this discussion to be fascinating. I teach both locally in-person and worldwide via Skype (and Zoom), and here's my experience, for what it's worth:

If you can find the right teacher for you locally, then yes, that's the route to take. There's something that happens when you're physically with a master musician that is very special and doesn't translate the same way over the internet. It's the same as sitting down to eat a good meal with your family or a friend as opposed to eating a meal together over Skype. The Skype meal can be great socially too, but it's not quite the same.

In my opinion, in-person lessons are essential for very beginners and, although I'm sure Skype works in some cases, for children.

On the other hand, if you can't find the right person locally, than Skype can work very well if it's the right teacher over Skype.

I mainly teach styles over Skype that involve improvisation, like jazz, blues, rock, pop, and some classical improv. If the student already has a basic piano technique, this works very well. I do a lot of trading improvisations back and forth, alternating with the student, and they get some of the "learning by osmosis" that happens when playing actual duets in person. I can also guide them to become better improvisers in the exact same way that I would in person, in these styles.

I agree with the other comments here that issues of touch and tone production are more difficult over Skype than in person.


Ron Drotos
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I was teaching my husbands friend on Skype, he is new to piano. I am a 5th year piano student (had taken lessons as a child) with 2 hour face to face lessons a week. It was hard to teach a beginner without being right next to them. I agree, Skype is an alternative if you cannot find a in person teacher. I think my progression was faster because I have a teacher right with me. We have also played duets together which I think would be hard online. For an experienced pianist, Skype lessons may be easier for both the teacher and the student.


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My teacher to be - I was planning to join her classes next September - has just answered me - via email - her academy is full and has no time nor place for me.
So, even though I wanted to try live lessons, I must rethink now Skype lessons.


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You mean, she has no time for you this summer or she won't have time for you in September?


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Rameau, Les Sauvages
- Mozart, K545, 1st mov
- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
- Pozzoli, E.R. 427, etude no. 6
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Originally Posted by Jouishy
You mean, she has no time for you this summer or she won't have time for you in September?

She won't have time for me in September. September is when the academic year starts here in Spain...
I liked the idea of an Academy - kind of non official school - because is less personal. In any case I am going to be always older than the parents who carry their children there to learn to play the piano: funny thing.


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Originally Posted by Sol Finker
Originally Posted by Jouishy
You mean, she has no time for you this summer or she won't have time for you in September?

She won't have time for me in September. September is when the academic year starts here in Spain...
I liked the idea of an Academy - kind of non official school - because is less personal. In any case I am going to be always older than the parents who carry their children there to learn to play the piano: funny thing.


Shirley Kirstein replied to this post; she is a forum member here who teaches by Skype
I have not had lessons from her, but I find her online postings to be excellent
http://www.pianoteachers.com/shirleykirsten/

SwissMs, a member here from Spain takes Skype lessons. You might send her a PM


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Originally Posted by dogperson

Shirley Kirstein replied to this post; she is a forum member here who teaches by Skype
I have not had lessons from her, but I find her online postings to be excellent
http://www.pianoteachers.com/shirleykirsten/

I know her blog!
Originally Posted by dogperson
SwissMs, a member here from Spain takes Skype lessons. You might send her a PM

I've just found another teacher in my village. She's a student of professional grade in the local Conservatory and I hope to meet her within a fortnight.
I'm going to give it a try and see what happens. I might not be an easy pupil, I don't know, but still I am optimistic.
I take into consideration your suggestion - I've read a lot of posts from SwissMs in the FOYD thread...
Thank you very much.


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For those who have never taken lessons or do not have any piano experience, live lessons are more advisable. The teacher can accurately correct the student's bench position (horizontal and vertical) and where he has the knees. The teacher may also feel the tension in the student's hands, wrists, or shoulders. The impact of the live example is also more striking and complete, because through skype there is a sound compression and an image with a limited frame. Also, in a live lesson teacher and student play on the same piano (usually), whereas in skype classes the pianos that are used can be very different. The student may have some difficulties that relate to that particular piano, and he does not even notice it. In a class by skype it's hard to handle with this sort of thing.

But for a non-beginner, skype lessons could a very good option, with good mics and good cameras (well placed). Today technology allows us to have contact with people we would never have access to before, who can give us much deeper insights. It would be even better to have direct contact with these people but this may be impossible.

I also think that a very good teacher who teaches by skype would be very reluctant to accept students who do not have any piano experience. I think he would first advise some time of live lessons or at least that the student would have help from some friend with good piano experience to help out in some basic things.

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