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Originally Posted by HBIII
Everyone keeps saying that I need in person lessons, yes I understand and it just makes it more disheartening each time knowing that I won't be able to have that experience. Not everyone can, no matter how determined.

But I am still going to learn the piano somehow...
I hear you on that discouraging feeling when everyone keeps saying that and you just can’t swing it. I’m disabled & on a fixed income, so while I myself recommend lessons and have even tried a few times to work them into my budget, it’s never worked out for long.

You might try what I do, which is use my phone to video myself playing and review it a few times per practice session. You can then compare it to your PCA demo videos.

So yeah, it gets really depressing when as OP you need to keep explaining what prevents your having lessons, while the same people keep popping up to repeat , “You’re DOOMED without lessons!!!”in every thread, apparently not having actually read the OP. Yet honestly, I confess that I myself probably make the same mistake sometimes too blush, when I lose track of which thread goes with whom.


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Originally Posted by HBIII
But I am still going to learn the piano somehow...

Do not despair! People learn to play very well with PCA.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
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Originally Posted by HBIII
The retired teacher that was one hour each way said no :-(. Another one a similar distance has not responded. So it is looking like it will be a 4-5 hour drive for in person lessons if we can even get a response from any of those teachers.

Of course I would love in person lessons, who wouldn't, but it is looking more and more like it will be impossible. Everyone keeps saying that I need in person lessons, yes I understand and it just makes it more disheartening each time knowing that I won't be able to have that experience. Not everyone can, no matter how determined.

But I am still going to learn the piano somehow...
You should really look at some online teacher from Canada or Europe. You can get someone good enough to play a Rachmaninoff concerto for 50$ an hour or so, from what I've seen. In the US, in your situation, you'll be paying much more for quite a bit less, given your situation. If you can trust yourself to pay attention, they can be very effective.

I've stopped talking about my own experience because everyone's experience is different and one should not use it as a measuring yardstick. However, I learned all of my technique for years from YouTube tutorials such as Graham Fitch and Josh Wright, as well as using my own intuition by watching concert pianists play. I then learned with online lessons for a few months, and they were about 80% as effective as in person lessons imo. I improved a lot. As long as you can understand and follow what the teacher is saying, you should be good with online lessons from a good teacher, imo.

I emailed him directly about whether it's possible to self teach piano to a very high standard (Chopin ballades etc) and here's what Josh Wright had to say: It completely depends on the individual. I have seen very few succeed doing this but I know it can be done. I still suggest taking occasional lessons to keep you on track.

Now if even self teaching may be possible, online lessons would be much better. Imagine Graham Fitch teaching you, one on one over a Skype call. Do you think you'll still miss out on good instruction? I don't think so. For most practical purposes and especially for your situation, it should be more than enough. And trust me, there are teachers out there who are 90% as good and willing to take on a student online if you're willing to put in the commitment, if you take the world as your search space.

I think the reason many people don't accept this over here is dogma, plain and simple. I feel a bit bad for posters here who have to face the music, don't cut short your dreams by listening to such purist bs. It's a bit harder, but still definitely possible. Good luck.

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Originally Posted by tangleweeds
So yeah, it gets really depressing when as OP you need to keep explaining what prevents your having lessons, while the same people keep popping up to repeat , “You’re DOOMED without lessons!!!”in every thread, apparently not having actually read the OP. Yet honestly, I confess that I myself probably make the same mistake sometimes too blush, when I lose track of which thread goes with whom.
I was depressed too at the starting by having so many people tell me it's impossible. I learned completely on my own for five years, and still turned out fine. Not suggesting that you follow my tracks, just that there's hope out there smile

Take a look at some of the posts I made here about my journey, adult learning and self-teaching. Many of the same principles apply if you're learning from an online teacher. I think many teachers get worked up at the thought of them becoming obsolete, lol. But that's just not the case, given enough money and a good location, most people will choose a teacher anyway.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
You should really look at some online teacher from Canada or Europe. You can get someone good enough to play a Rachmaninoff concerto for 50$ an hour or so, from what I've seen. In the US, in your situation, you'll be paying much more for quite a bit less, given your situation. If you can trust yourself to pay attention, they can be very effective.
Youtube celebrities like Josh Wright are quite a bit more expensive (his rate was USD$ 200/hour last I checked) but in general I agree with you that private online lessons are definitely the best option in this situation. You have basically the whole world to choose from and it can be nearly as effective as in person. I think this is much better than a video course with no feedback or only limited 1 on 1 feedback.

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There are many excellent teachers who teach online and are not overly expensive. There's no need to get online lessons from some famous internet teacher like Josh Wright who is very expensive or even consider traveling some long distance for lessons. Online will probably not be quite as good as in person but if both of you have adequate camera and mike setups and the teacher is good it should still be extremely helpful and far better than self teaching.

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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by ranjit
You should really look at some online teacher from Canada or Europe. You can get someone good enough to play a Rachmaninoff concerto for 50$ an hour or so, from what I've seen. In the US, in your situation, you'll be paying much more for quite a bit less, given your situation. If you can trust yourself to pay attention, they can be very effective.
Youtube celebrities like Josh Wright are quite a bit more expensive (his rate was USD$ 200/hour last I checked) but in general I agree with you that private online lessons are definitely the best option in this situation. You have basically the whole world to choose from and it can be nearly as effective as in person. I think this is much better than a video course with no feedback or only limited 1 on 1 feedback.
Yes, I wasn't referring to Josh Wright in particular. I think 35 euro per lesson is a fairly typical going rate for advanced piano tuition in much of Europe, and you can get very good teachers for that price if they are willing to take you on as a student. In the US, I would expect the going rate for similarly qualified teachers to be over 80$ an hour. It's good if you plan to take lessons with them in person on occasion, but for purely online I wouldn't go for it.

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I like online lessons more than in person and find it far more enjoyable. I believe anyone can learn just as well online as in person. If you have to commute hours to an in person lesson good chance you’ll be burnt out by the time you get to it and you might end up canceling lessons. I believe the more convenient and lower the barriers to a lesson make it more fun and much more likely to continue.

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Originally Posted by Sebs
I believe anyone can learn just as well online as in person.
I disagree with this, though. There is value to providing immediate feedback, on a good piano, with a teacher who knows what they are talking about. Also, you can physically demonstrate arm weight etc. during a lesson. A lot of aspects of tone control are much harder to hear (though usually not impossible, it compounds the difficulty 10x as a beginner) over a video call.

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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by ranjit
You should really look at some online teacher from Canada or Europe. You can get someone good enough to play a Rachmaninoff concerto for 50$ an hour or so, from what I've seen. In the US, in your situation, you'll be paying much more for quite a bit less, given your situation. If you can trust yourself to pay attention, they can be very effective.
Youtube celebrities like Josh Wright are quite a bit more expensive (his rate was USD$ 200/hour last I checked) but in general I agree with you that private online lessons are definitely the best option in this situation. You have basically the whole world to choose from and it can be nearly as effective as in person. I think this is much better than a video course with no feedback or only limited 1 on 1 feedback.


In Europe,the rates are very variable. It depends who and where. Teachers in large cities tends to be more expensive. More experienced teachers are more expensive. You can get students lessons for as low as 25 euros outside large cities. Average rate would be 35 to 50 euros. But more experienced teachers in large cities would go up to 70-100 euros per hour. But certainly it is unecessary to spend 200 $.

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Hi
Have you watched the PCA lesson "how to know when a piece is ready and it is time to move on"?

In there she recommends recording yourself, playing back the lesson demonstration piece followed by yours with critical listening. (How to hear)

If you can record a video of yourself even better. I hadn't realised I had a bad habit of curling my fingers 4 and 5 into my palm until I made my first recording.

I have only submitted the one video, looking at other submissions I believe response time is pretty quick, thorough and nothing like the week wait quoted.

I do hope you enjoy your PCA journey. Now you've joined why not get into it and put teacher search on hold?

I wish you every success and much pleasure in your piano progress.
Sunny

Last edited by Sundew; 09/17/21 06:01 AM. Reason: typo
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Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Sebs
I believe anyone can learn just as well online as in person.
I disagree with this, though. There is value to providing immediate feedback, on a good piano, with a teacher who knows what they are talking about. Also, you can physically demonstrate arm weight etc. during a lesson. A lot of aspects of tone control are much harder to hear (though usually not impossible, it compounds the difficulty 10x as a beginner) over a video call.
I think all the above can be done with no problem remotely with adequate cameras and mikes. Things like immediate feedback with a teacher who knows what they are talking about or technical demonstrations have absolutely nothing to do with whether the lesson is in person or remote. About the only thing that can't be done that you didn't mention is something that depends on physical contact, e.g. when a teacher puts their hands on the students hands or shoulders or vice versa to illustrate technical concepts. And talking and seeing some one else via zoom is not the same as in person. It's more impersonal.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Sebs
I believe anyone can learn just as well online as in person.
I disagree with this, though. There is value to providing immediate feedback, on a good piano, with a teacher who knows what they are talking about. Also, you can physically demonstrate arm weight etc. during a lesson. A lot of aspects of tone control are much harder to hear (though usually not impossible, it compounds the difficulty 10x as a beginner) over a video call.
I think all the above can be done with no problem remotely with adequate cameras and mikes. Things like immediate feedback with a teacher who knows what they are talking about or technical demonstrations have absolutely nothing to do with whether the lesson is in person or remote. About the only thing that can't be done that you didn't mention is something that depends on physical contact, e.g. when a teacher puts their hands on the students hands or shoulders or vice versa to illustrate technical concepts. And talking and seeing some one else via zoom is not the same as in person. It's more impersonal.
There's more than just physical contact that's lacking. Latency is an issue. Your teacher can't clap or count aloud to your playing, and your teacher can't play along with you to help you with some issue. Also, not everyone, everywhere, has rock solid, high-speed internet.

Still, in my experience, even though online is not as good as in person, it is the next best thing to in person and is well worth pursuing if the occasion warrants it (which it does in the OP's case).


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I do not have personal experience with PCA, but my impression of these asynchronous/video exchange learning platforms is that they can be very effective for the right student. The combination of carefully constructed pre-recorded content with personalized feedback can work really well. But it does require a lot of motivation (which it seems you have). You get the most out of this system if you really take full advantage of the personalized feedback and submit as often as you are able, in addition to taking full advantage of the other aspects of the platform.
The other thing I’d say — your goals seem atypical to me of many adult piano learners. My sense of PCA is that it is curriculum-focused and therefore not as flexible as one-on-one lessons can be. I think for this early stage of your piano journey, it’s probably a good place to start. However, if you look at the information on the website, it is very clearly classically focused, and she specifically states that there is almost no content oriented toward improvisation. Since you specifically mentioned that improvisation was important to you, I think that after you get some basics, you will want to look for someone who can help you achieve your specific goals. Finding an online teacher who will focus on helping you achieve your goals will probably be the best way forward, especially given your geographical constraints. Good luck!

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Sebs
I believe anyone can learn just as well online as in person.
I disagree with this, though. There is value to providing immediate feedback, on a good piano, with a teacher who knows what they are talking about. Also, you can physically demonstrate arm weight etc. during a lesson. A lot of aspects of tone control are much harder to hear (though usually not impossible, it compounds the difficulty 10x as a beginner) over a video call.
I think all the above can be done with no problem remotely with adequate cameras and mikes. Things like immediate feedback with a teacher who knows what they are talking about or technical demonstrations have absolutely nothing to do with whether the lesson is in person or remote. About the only thing that can't be done that you didn't mention is something that depends on physical contact, e.g. when a teacher puts their hands on the students hands or shoulders or vice versa to illustrate technical concepts. And talking and seeing some one else via zoom is not the same as in person. It's more impersonal.
Not really, all of those points I mentioned can't be conveyed really well unless the lesson is in person. You can't hear well enough, for example because audio technology basically isn't good enough to adequately reproduce a lot of the nuances. You may not hear these consciously, but they make a difference. By immediate feedback, I mean without latency. It's important in some situations.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Sebs
I believe anyone can learn just as well online as in person.
I disagree with this, though. There is value to providing immediate feedback, on a good piano, with a teacher who knows what they are talking about. Also, you can physically demonstrate arm weight etc. during a lesson. ......
The million dollar question is that of finding a GOOD teacher locally. On my other instrument that I started lessons on originally, a decade after I had to give up, part of the mess got cleared away by remote lessons. If you can find a good teacher locally, and that teacher agrees to take you, that is the best of worlds.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Sebs
I believe anyone can learn just as well online as in person.
I disagree with this, though. There is value to providing immediate feedback, on a good piano, with a teacher who knows what they are talking about. Also, you can physically demonstrate arm weight etc. during a lesson. A lot of aspects of tone control are much harder to hear (though usually not impossible, it compounds the difficulty 10x as a beginner) over a video call.
I think all the above can be done with no problem remotely with adequate cameras and mikes. Things like immediate feedback with a teacher who knows what they are talking about or technical demonstrations have absolutely nothing to do with whether the lesson is in person or remote. About the only thing that can't be done that you didn't mention is something that depends on physical contact, e.g. when a teacher puts their hands on the students hands or shoulders or vice versa to illustrate technical concepts. And talking and seeing some one else via zoom is not the same as in person. It's more impersonal.
Not really, all of those points I mentioned can't be conveyed really well unless the lesson is in person. You can't hear well enough, for example because audio technology basically isn't good enough to adequately reproduce a lot of the nuances. You may not hear these consciously, but they make a difference. By immediate feedback, I mean without latency. It's important in some situations.

Of course there are be pros and cons to both sides but those things will not make or break someones piano journey. Online remote lessons can work great for almost any adult learner. Also colleges used to think all teaching has to be in person, many businesses thought they all had to be in person to run and recently realized that's not the case. Point I'm trying to make is just cause things were one way before doesn't mean that's how has to be or is the best way. I bet as time goes on there will many pianists that will have been taught remote.

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Feel sorry for your situation, however, if you could sign up an online class, it would still be very beneficial.
There are misconceptions about how to use force, forearm rotation etc. If you practice too much with wrong approach, it is not only hard to correct later on, but may also lead to injury.

I actually took one year online course due to COVID. My piano teacher eventually started a piano education channel and share her class online.
These are very basic, you may find the resource useful, one video and play list is linked below, you may subscribe and check out her channel:
Use of arm weight:


Piano technique playlist:

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Originally Posted by scientistplayspian
Feel sorry for your situation, however, if you could sign up an online class, it would still be very beneficial.
There are misconceptions about how to use force, forearm rotation etc. If you practice too much with wrong approach, it is not only hard to correct later on, but may also lead to injury.

I actually took one year online course due to COVID. My piano teacher eventually started a piano education channel and share her class online.
These are very basic, you may find the resource useful, one video and play list is linked below, you may subscribe and check out her channel:
Use of arm weight:


Piano technique playlist:

Does your teacher’s online class offer video review? If so, how often can they be submitted?


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Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Sebs
I believe anyone can learn just as well online as in person.
I disagree with this, though. There is value to providing immediate feedback, on a good piano, with a teacher who knows what they are talking about. Also, you can physically demonstrate arm weight etc. during a lesson. A lot of aspects of tone control are much harder to hear (though usually not impossible, it compounds the difficulty 10x as a beginner) over a video call.
I think all the above can be done with no problem remotely with adequate cameras and mikes. Things like immediate feedback with a teacher who knows what they are talking about or technical demonstrations have absolutely nothing to do with whether the lesson is in person or remote. About the only thing that can't be done that you didn't mention is something that depends on physical contact, e.g. when a teacher puts their hands on the students hands or shoulders or vice versa to illustrate technical concepts. And talking and seeing some one else via zoom is not the same as in person. It's more impersonal.
Not really, all of those points I mentioned can't be conveyed really well unless the lesson is in person. You can't hear well enough, for example because audio technology basically isn't good enough to adequately reproduce a lot of the nuances. You may not hear these consciously, but they make a difference. By immediate feedback, I mean without latency. It's important in some situations.
Simple zoom connection is so quick I can't imagine what kind of latency problem you're thinking of. Even if there was a delay of a second I can't imagine how it could be a serious problem. Things like immediate feedback with a teacher who knows what they are talking about or technical demonstrations have absolutely nothing to do with whether the lesson is in person or remote. What you describe about audio technology, if it even exists, is so refined that it wouldn't matter for 99% of those taking lessons. There are certainly YT examples of teachers giving online lessons that show that any problems with online lessons are very minor if they exist at all.

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