What Are Proper Piano Lessons?
It could be argued that all piano lessons are proper lessons.
If after a lesson you know more than you did before the lesson, then it must be a proper piano lesson.
My interpretation after teaching the piano for over 25 years is that unless everything taught is done properly it is not a proper piano lesson.
That is why I teach in a traditional manner. Not old fashioned! With nothing missed out although as a student progresses there are and will be courses to improve on how they play in a less traditional way.
Missed Out Lessons
I have seen a lot of piano lessons both good and bad. I have researched a lot of online piano courses too. Some are brilliant and others not so good.
There is a tendency for some teachers to make the lesson more about showing how well they play, rather than teaching the student to play well themselves.
Many courses miss out on the structure that learning to play the piano requires.
I myself have a course that misses out on learning to read music. This course could be seen as a course that misses out on the structure.
It doesn’t miss out at all. Throughout the course, normal music terminology is used. The only thing missing is the reading of music.
My Take On Traditional Piano Lessons
Some students catch on quite quickly and progress rapidly. Others take their time and progress more slowly. Experience has shown that slower students become just as good a pianist as the fast learners. As the piano lessons become more complex, the faster students tend to slow down and the slower students catch up and often overtake the faster students.
I don’t do one size fits all lessons. Children need a different type of lesson to teenagers. Middle age students again need a different aproach as do the over 65’s. These students have lots of time to practice and study the lessons.
On this site I tailor lessons to suit different types of student.
Adults & Children Are Different
Children have their own courses. Adults have their own courses and there are everyone courses for use when students begin to advance into intermediate levels.
For me proper lessons suit the student, they teach correct music terminology and music is taught throughout their learning to play the piano.
I always use a standard text book for teaching. I do this to create a similar environment to me teaching you if I came to you in your own home to give you private lessons. It also ensures you are taught industry standard methods. After taking my courses you could go onto any piano teacher or college safe in the knowledge that everything you know was taught to you properly and you will not need to learn anything again.
There is one exception to this. I have a course that does not teach the reading of music. The idea of this course is to rapidly get a student able to play and sing whilst using just chords. The student can then take a more advanced course that teaches them to read music. At the same time they can jam with friends or impress their family.
Why Reading Music Is Often Considered Bad
There are a lot of people who believe that learning to play with music stunts the student for playing adlib later on.
I don’t agree with this phylosophy although I can understand why people think this.
Imagine learning to drive a car. You are taught to drive within the speed limit. To be in the middle of the carriageway etc. Does this mean that later on you could not become a racing driver because you were taught to drive properly? I don’t think so.
Why would learning to play the piano properly mean that you could not play the blues, jazz, balads etc. It doesn’t. At least I don’t think it does. Maybe you don’t agree?
Exams Ruin Your Playing
I don’t believe that exams will ruin your piano playing. I have, however, noticed a phenomenon that occurs while a student progresses from one exam to the next exam.
A student begins learning to play the piano because they wish to play the piano and have dreams of playing in the future for friends, their own enjoyment or even as a professional musician.
More often than not the original reason they had for wanting to learn the piano changes to passing exams. Get to the next exam as quickly as possible, and the next and then the next. By the time they stop taking exams, they have achieved their goal. Not the original goal of being a brilliant pianist who enjoys playing the piano. The goal changed somewhere between beginning to learn to play the piano and passing final exams.
This is not true of everyone, many do go on to play regularly. For many the reason to play is gone and they tend to not play again, often for years.
A new student will come to me and say they learned as a child and got to a particular level of exams but have not played in years. Now that is a shame.
I try to ensure that my students never forget the reason they wanted to learn in the beginning. Happiness in the joy of playing piano! Or, whats the point in learning to play the piano.
Online Piano Lessons Support
A common problem that students have with online lessons is teacher support. Learning to play the piano takes some time and is complex, especially when learning music at the same time. In private lessons questions can be asked and answered in the next lesson or some teachers will answer questions over the phone.
If you buy a beginners piano course which is downloaded there is a problem with support. Some offer some support, others none at all.
I offer total support to all my students. My lessons are via a membership site. This means I am always here behind the site. My support is always available. I love to have videos of a student playing so that I can analyse and sort out their problems. I do not want students struggling over something that can easily be fixed. I have taught the piano for so many years there are few problems I have not seen and can sort out with a student.