Musiah compared to human piano teachersMusiah compared to human piano teachers

This is a question I've been asked occasionally, and it may be one that is likely to arise in the future, so I thought I'd take a moment to address it here and now.

Firstly, the question itself is fundamentally flawed because it is based on a misconception, namely that Musiah (pictured here as he appears in optional 'story' mode) is a non-human option.

How can Musiah be a human option?

The best way to explain this is to put three quick scenarios to you.

Scenario 1

If you send me an email and I reply to your email, is that a human interaction? Most people would say yes, even though we may never have met or even spoken on the phone. You are a human asking me a question, and I am a human responding, albeit via email.

Scenario 2

Let's say you send me an email, and the question you ask me is one I received before. So I copy a response I've sent to a previous instance of the question and paste it into my email to you. Is that a human interaction? Again, most people would say yes. You're asking me a question by email, and I'm responding even if I am using a response that I have used on previous occasions.

Scenario 3

But let's say the question you wish to ask me by email is one I receive frequently, so instead of manually copying and pasting my response into my reply email, I've set  up an automated process that recognizes your question and automatically inserts my previously drafted response into a reply email and that gets sent to you automatically. Is that a human interaction?

While this scenario is a little greyer than the first two, most people would still say that this is a human interaction. In essence, I've anticipated your question (because I receive it a lot) and I've set up an automated process to ensure that you receive the answer you need in a timely, efficient manner - a manner that is not dependent on me being available at my computer to manually send the reply (which could take a lot longer, say if I were on vacation).  Other than the automation at my end, little about this interaction has changed insofar as you are asking me a question and I am providing the answer. Importantly, the experience remains the same for you as if I were still responding in the more traditional way.

And that, dear reader, is essentially all that happens in Musiah online piano lessons.

As the human who wrote the Musiah syllabus more than 17 years ago, I have spent the last 1.7 decades either personally teaching this material or observing hundreds of teachers (that I have trained) teaching tens of thousands of students this material. In relation to every note, every combination of notes, every phrase, every rhythmic challenge, and every other aspect of every piece on the course, I have seen every issue that can arise on countless occasions and have ascertained the best, most efficient solutions to solve those issues for students so they will be inspired and empowered to progress and continue on their musical journey.

In summary, these experiences combined with 17 years of relentlessly refining my piano teaching method as it relates to this syllabus, enable me to anticipate every issue - that's thousands upon thousands of issues - that can arise when teaching this rather large piano syllabus (which normally takes students 5-6 years to complete via traditional piano lessons).

And to deal with each and every issue, I have implemented countless layers upon layers of logic and teaching strategy within Musiah so that no matter what happens in a piano lesson, Musiah will prioritize which issues to address and in which order to address them so the student receives a natural teaching experience.

On some levels, there is little difference between a) me sitting in a room next to a piano student and delivering the same responses from the repertoire of responses that I know are going to be required and b) me delivering my piano lessons through this new medium known as Musiah.

In both cases, it is me, Brendan Hogan, who is providing the piano tuition to the student, and I'm quite human I can assure you.

So when speaking about Musiah, I tend not to refer to teachers in general as "human" piano teachers, because this wrongly implies that Musiah is a non-human option. Instead, I prefer to refer to other piano teachers as "traditional" piano teachers, as this is a more balanced term of reference.

Will Musiah replace human piano teachers? That's like asking if one human being will replace all others.

Thanks for reading, and please feel free to comment.

To start your own piano lessons journey, why not take our Online Piano Lessons 14 Day Free Trial.

Til next time,

Brendan Hogan L.Mus.A, A.Mus.A.
Piano Teacher & Musiah Inventor

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