The Damage Caused By Online Piano Lessons And How To Avoid It

20 March 2014

Piano _Lessons _Danger 300There is something unusual about Musiah’s online piano lessons, and it’s not what you might think.


It’s not that


  • Musiah is the world’s first A.I. (Artificially Intelligent) virtual piano teacher, or that
  • the lessons take place within the context of an adventure story set in the future, or
  • any of the other bells and whistles Musiah offers.


It is something much more mundane, yet surprisingly, very rare — namely…


Musiah’s online piano lessons require students to finish each piece to a reasonable standard (shock / horror) before allowing them to advance to the next lesson.


In my view, this is a great strength of Musiah, for a whole host of reasons.


It is what I would call a normal piano tuition / learning experience that a student would receive from a good traditional piano teacher (for example), which teaches the student how to practice properly and fosters the discipline and patience to complete things to a reasonable standard before moving on.


By contrast, the problem with most online piano lessons (other than Musiah) is they permit students to move onto the next lesson or song before the current one is even half-mastered.


And this causes damage on a number of levels including creating something of a spoilt child syndrome where the child gets what the child wants without ever having to earn anything.


Then, when the child (or adult) switches to a more credible provider of piano lessons (such as Musiah or a traditional piano teacher), they may find that they are in for a somewhat rude awakening.


Understandably, even though Musiah is very supportive and encouraging, at first, they may experience frustration because they are accustomed to being allowed to move ahead even if the piece is not completed well — and suddenly not being permitted to do so can be something of a shock to the system.


They are also quite likely to expect that they should be able to play the first several pieces straight away, and they are understandably perturbed if they find that they cannot.


Having said that, it's important to realize that the skills being taught by Musiah are actually different to what the student has learned previously and, from the get-go, more involved than they at first appear.


Additionally, the student is usually, to some degree, under the false impression that they have been taught properly in their past lessons, and they have been lulled into believing that they are more advanced than they really are.


This is a lot for any student to take on board, especially if they have not yet thought this through and do not yet understand it.


As Beethoven once said; “Nothing is more intolerable than to have to admit to yourself your own errors”.


It’s no surprise, therefore, that all of the above can deflate an experienced student’s enthusiasm levels when they first transfer to a new teacher such as Musiah.


But of course, what we're really talking about here is not a dampening of their core enthusiasm per se — merely the student’s enthusiasm (or lack thereof) as a result of not getting a free pass.


When this occurs, it is not uncommon for adult students or parents to misinterpret this.


In their experience of other online piano lessons, the norm (as they perceive it) is for students to be permitted to move ahead regardless of whether they ought to be.


And they mistakenly believe that a potential (even temporary) reduction of the student’s ‘enthusiasm’ is reason enough to warrant an overhaul of the learning / teaching process.


After all, the most important thing is that the student enjoys themselves, is enthusiastic, etc. And if they’re not, there must be something wrong with either the software or the teaching method. Right?


What they fail to realize is firstly, ‘enthusiasm’ is not everything.


If a child is led to believe that their enthusiasm must take center stage above all else, this will lead to all sorts of problems as it creates a dynamic where they are likely to give up at the first sign of difficulty - not just in piano but in life.


Secondly, the enthusiasm we are currently considering is the short term enthusiasm one feels when something is easy, novel and requires little effort. Eventually, when there is no challenge in it, boredom sets in and this enthusiasm wanes.

By contrast, when one earns one’s successes, this generates a much deeper and more lasting enthusiasm. This is where a real boost in self-esteem comes from, and this is what Musiah's online piano lessons offer.


So the moral of this article is…


If you want to learn piano properly, the only online piano lessons you should consider are Musiah’s online piano lessons. Otherwise, take traditional piano lessons.


If you have already been damaged by other online piano lessons, you just need to understand that if / when you start learning piano with Musiah or a good traditional piano teacher, there will be a period of adjustment you will have to go through — mainly of your expectations of yourself.


You will need to open your mind to your new teacher's wisdom, experience and expertise and give them a fair chance (i.e. learn with them for at least 2-3 months). This approach will yield the best results on a range of levels including — you will be able to play the piano.


Alternatively — to call a spade ‘a spade’ — you could choose another provider of online piano lessons that will let you continue to sail through in a relatively meaningless pretense at progress. You will feel good about this for a short time, but this will pass, and there will be little if any meaningful or lasting skills acquired.


The choice is yours.


Musiah may be a virtual piano teacher, but the tuition you will receive is real.


So I warmly invite you to experience quality online piano lessons for yourself by taking our Free Online Piano Lessons 14 Day Trial.


You have nothing to lose — and a wonderful musical journey ahead of you!


Thanks for reading, and please feel free to comment.


Til next time, 


Brendan Hogan

Piano Teacher & Musiah Inventor


P.S. If you found the information in this article helpful, please share it with others by putting a link to it on your facebook page, blog or website.


Please — Tell your friends / relatives about Musiah


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