The Pros and Cons of Music Lessons Via Skype or Google+

The age of virtual music lessons is here.  The computer geek music teacher is no longer the only type of teacher who gives distance lessons.  Catherine Saint Louis wrote a good article yesterday in The New York Times (With Enough Bandwidth, Many Join the Band), and the enthusiasm of responses by readers shows that this subject is one that still carries a lot of novelty and excitement.

Music teacher conferences such as MTNA’s national conference have offered technology sessions that address distance lessons for several years now.   Many teachers are doing it, and it’s filling a much-needed gap in society’s need for lessons, especially for students in rural areas who don’t have access to music teachers. I’ve given some piano lessons quite successfully via Skype and Google+, and when I relocate to a different city in June 2012, I will be giving distance lessons to any of my current students who are interested. Continue reading

Prospective Male Piano Teachers Are Like Volcano-Prone Golf Balls

In the field of private piano teaching, men make up a little over 15% of all MTNA members 1, but this low percentage isn’t all that I find peculiar about private male piano teachers. To help illustrate these oddities, consider a miniature golf analogy.

We’ve all experienced endless struggle with the dreaded volcano at miniature golf courses. Volcano obstacles have the effect of repelling balls away from the hole since even the slightest miscalculation in aim or distance results in the ball ending up somewhere at the bottom of the volcano. If we define “successful career private piano teacher” to be the hole in the middle of the volcano, male piano students behave a lot like golf balls rolling toward the volcano: Continue reading

  1. Statistic provided by MTNA, December 2011.