Why we need to get back to in-person piano lessons


Online lessons saved the year but let’s discuss the importance of one to one music lessons.

We all know the difficult situation we, as teachers,   have all been through since 2020 and the need of keeping up with our piano  or any other instrument lessons virtually.

I must say that teaching online was a huge relief for me. I could keep working which was really good for my mental health and I had an income, too.

Of course it  wasn’t a simple thing to do. I had to do a lot of searching through the internet and I also needed to learn how to use social platforms that I’ve never heard them before (zoom etc)

We all did that! But there was another problem to solve. How do I keep my student’s interest in learning the piano from a screen? Without interacting on the piano?

I had to figure out other ways of teaching. I basically focused on educational systems that could work from a distance. For example, I could easily teach most of my students the music score, notes and fingerings. We also had some ear training games  on line and they were really fun.

I did everything I could and I kept searching for solutions to any problematic situations my students and I came through while our online lessons. Not to mention the ‘not always great’ internet connection that made some lessons even harder.

With some students we could also work on their technique and their sound.

But let’s be honest.

Not all students are the same. They don’t learn at the same pace,  they don’t have the same hand and finger posture and of course they don’t have the same sense of rhythm. Let’s not forget that they don’t have the same willing of practicing. And let’s not forget that relationships are important for humans.

All the above, and I’m sure other teachers can write more differences, make the one to one music lessons VERY IMPORTANT FOR THE STUDENT.

Interacting with the piano teacher during a music lesson is very important for the students. For example, when you teach a student the right hand of  a piano piece, try to play the left hand with him so the music piece sounds complete. Play the right hand when he plays the left hand. In this way the student gets used to the rhythm and tune of the piece and playing  both hands on his own becomes a  lot easier. But most important? THEY ENJOY THE LEARNING PROCESS!

I tried sending a recorded video with me as teacher playing the left hand (or the right hand) of a music piece and asked my students to try plying the other hand at the same time. It works only if the student knows perfectly how to play his part. Otherwise this procedure can be very stressful for the student and we definitely don’t want that.

In the video  below you can see the interaction between teacher and student. In case of a mistake the teacher waits for the student to find his way. And it can be achieved in a nice easy going way and no stress at all. We are having fun when learning to play the piano!!

I ‘m sure we all agree that this kind of interaction can not happen during an online lesson. And this is what our students had in mind when they asked for piano lessons. To learn how to play music and to feel that they are able to do it. With student-teacher interaction, all seems much easier. And as I always think, a student is motivated to practice only  when he feels capable of doing it

Let’s be honest. We had to go through online lessons for a  way too long time. Let’s not get used to it.

From a parent’s point of view, online lessons save time for them. Some of my student’s parents asked me to keep going with online lessons while we were not in lockdown and I kindly answered that this wouldn’t be the best for their children.  I’m sure you as teachers had the same experience with some of your student’s parents. And I know that some teachers do only online lessons.

I briefly explained why one to one lessons are very important for the  best music education of a child.. The choice is still yours as a teacher or as a parent.      But please, think wisely. There is no better than the joy of interaction between teacher and student when making music.

I would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.

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