As a preface I have to admit that writing this article has been really tricky. While writing, several ambivalent and discrepant ideas and possibilities popped into my mind and partially excluded each other. Therefore explaining the issue clearly and provide a thorough answer I will explain every important aspect for each different case.
Contact with the Piano Teacher in Offline Learning
When it comes to offline learning with a private piano teacher, what forms the core of the piano learning process is the relationship between the piano teacher and piano student. The relationship very much creates the atmosphere and mindset of the student while having a piano lesson. Some people influence each other positively some vice versa. This way of tuition can also be influenced by short term moods or random events. How piano teacher and piano student understand each other and how the teaching content is given by the piano teacher and acquired by the piano student depends on their communication quality.
It can be said that as the piano teacher is (or at least should be) an expert on piano playing subject he/she is in a superior position in offline lessons. In these private lessons an adult beginner has to play and practice in front of this superior person even if he/she feels not ready for this or needs to practice a certain section of music more on his/her own. Teacher usually sets the pace of the piano learning process and decides which material to play and how etc. As an expectation the piano teacher is more experienced and can be a good guide. It is a complicated issue though because it can never be confirmed how deeply the piano teacher really understands the piano student and how much he/she really cares. For some adult beginner students this way of relationship based teaching the piano suits and for some not so well.
As the relationship is always unique between two individuals it will make it really complicated to answer this question unambiguously.
Contact with the Piano Teacher in Online Learning
Online piano learning process is very much content based. Personal relationship and mutual influence becomes a secondary factor here. You can never have a real time argument with your online piano teacher in the lesson and there is usually no noise in understanding each other in online contact. As the contact happens via videos or e-mails, the content in the videos and e-mails is usually pre-considered and well prepared and recorded with transparency and emphasis on the most important. Temporary moods, traffic jams etc. never influence online piano lessons. As online piano learning is less dependent on interaction, personal live communication and psychological factors, it is much more stable by its nature.
The Quality and Delivery of Teaching Content in Offline Learning
Every time it comes to offline learning it is not possible to avoid writing about personal relationship. The response is much more spontaneous and improvised in offline learning because it is generated in real time. It might often be that chattering and other unpredicted occurrences can dilute concentration level in the piano lesson and take a bite off the lesson time. At the same time, when the relationship between piano student and piano teacher is very good it can be motivating and the content can be very specific according to the present moment. There is no single one way.
The Quality and Delivery of Teaching Content in Online Learning
In online piano learning the teaching content and personal feedback is pre-recorded and therefore considered and meaningful. It is fixed and does not change. You can learn it in your own pace and be calm and undisturbed. As you do not have to perform in front of anyone else live there is no anxiety present. You can just take the videos as pure information and relate to it in a way you want and how is most natural for you.
Timely Nature of Offline Learning
In offline learning what is done is gone. Everything is happening once in real time unless it is video recorded. Combination of dynamic live teaching and recording with a a smartphone is the best combination in this case. At the same time it is not really an advantage over online piano learning possibilities because video recordings are present in online teaching all the time and the video feedback from the teacher is also specifically focused on the present situation of the online student. As the recording process in offline piano lessons happens more randomly the quality of online tuition videos tends to be higher.
Timely Nature of Online Learning
The most important and a major positive aspect of online piano courses is that you can watch an online piano learning video as many times as you want and need. If the video is done well and contains good information it is an excellent source because you can get everything out of it until you master the desired musical material. Personal contact time is running in a lot slower pace in online piano tuition. Before videos or e-mails are exchanged there is a time gap which enables to think about the response and prepare the most corresponding answer. Therefore the answers from online piano teachers side are usually very relevant.
When the online piano student records videos and sends them to the online piano teacher to get feedback, it has a great side effect. Watching recordings of your own playing is one of the greatest ways to learn playing an instrument. You can see yourself from a distance and many things clear up. Of course offline piano students can record themselves too but in online piano learning it is much more likely that they will do so regularly.
Time, Place and Money Issues
Despite the fact that music is about emotional and intellectual joy, art and higher values, also very rudimentary factors can play a role when considering the choice between online and offline piano tuition. Online learning is usually cheaper and it does not need transportation out of home. There are many locations where good piano teachers are not available nearby. So basically you can learn under the tuition of the most suitable online piano teacher for you in the comfort of your own home. The time schedule of your online piano course is also extremely flexible therefore you can be in complete control of your own time.
Auditory, Visual and Tactile Content
Auditory and visual content are present in both ways of teaching. Possibility of physical contact is missing in online learning. Many adult beginners are not comfortable with piano teacher touching them physically though. But in some cases touching can be a great way to convey technical piano playing skills from piano teacher to piano student. A very usual and also effective case is having two learning channels – with an offline piano teacher and an online piano course.
I hope the article gave you some insight and made your life better and easier when it comes to making choices. The best way to know something is to try it out. So I invite you to join the free piano course to get your own personal experience of learning piano online.
Read Answers to Other Frequently Asked Questions:
Is It Too Late for Me to Start Learning the Piano?
Am I Talented Enough to Learn to Play the Piano?
What Equipment Do I Need for Joining Jaak Sikk’s Adult Beginner Piano Course?
How Much Do I Need to Practice Piano?
I Cannot Sight-read, Can I Join the Adult Beginner Piano Course?
11 Proven Concepts for Effective Piano Learning Used in the Courses
Are My Hands Too Small for Playing Piano Well?
I Do Not Have a Piano, Which One Would Be the Best for Me?
When Will I See the First Outcome When I Follow The Adult Beginner Piano Course?
How Does Personal Feedback for Classical Piano Course Students Work?
Are My Hands And Fingers Too Stiff for Playing?