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Before I began teaching piano over Skype, I was not convinced by the concept of remote teaching. Surely it is better to meet face-to-face? Perhaps productivity during the lesson would be slower? However, I quickly came to realise that Skype teaching is a very effective method, and even contains some benefits that you do not have with face-to-face tuition. Here are some of the advantages:
1. Convenience. You are literally learning from the comfort of your own home. No need to spend money and time - not to mention planning - on travel, you can simply make yourself a cup of tea and learn in the most stress-free environment.
2. Warm-up. It always helps to be able to warm up right before your piano lesson. With online tuition you will always have the opportunity to do so.
3. Productivity. When you learn over Skype you may realise how much time is wasted in face-to-face lessons that could have been spent learning. Taking your coat off, getting the books ready, chatting about the weather... Online piano lessons skip out these stages and get straight to the important part: learning the piano!
4. Notation Software. During, or prior to the online lesson, I often quickly type up exercises or short pieces that I can workshop with the student and then send it to them as a pdf. In face-to face lessons there is no such option, except to write the music by hand which may be difficult or messy to read and annotate.
5. You may not have local teachers to learn with. For those who live in remote areas, or would have to travel far to meet a teacher, Skype provides the opportunity to learn with a professional teacher without difficulties. Or perhaps you are not happy with the teachers in your country, or want to learn in another language.
For the a driven student, Skype lessons are ideal. However, there are some important things you need in order to get the most out of your Skype lesson:
- reliable internet connection
- access to an instrument
- webcam (preferable placed where both face and keyboard can be seen)
- Skype or similar software
- decent earphones and microphone