Why Learn Online?

Studio Perfectly Tailored for High Quality Online Learning

When Covid first looked like it was becoming a problem back in early 2020 I made the decision early to embrace teaching online and invested heavily in technology to make the experience for my students the best it could be.

I can’t control what they use at their end of the Skype call, but I can make sure that the lessons delivered from my Studio are of the highest quality. In order to achieve this goal, I have made significant investments in TV production level gear (cameras, mixers, microphones etc.) as well as other equipment, some manufactured specifically for my Studio. You can see some of this in use in my introduction to online learning video.

ease and flexibility

After the Covid disruptions began to settle down, I expected that most of my students who were doing online lessons out of necessity, would revert back to in-person as soon as it was safe to do so. Many did, but a large number liked the flexibility of online lessons and the ease and comfort of learning in their own home. Having made the change, they decided to stick with it.

It works!

One of my biggest concerns when I first started teaching online was how I was going to be able to successfully address and correct any problems with technique a student might have. After all, this is the primary criticism of online learning; the inability to physically touch and manipulate a student to help guide them through any technical difficulties.
I’m very pleased to report that, after several years of teaching online, I have not noticed any difference in students’ abilities to correct, modify and refine their technique.

In some respects, the fact that students have to be more self-reliant and self-aware in an online lesson, has actually boosted their technical abilities. They’re able to internalise and execute the movements they’re seeing me demonstrate and describe, with greater mindfulness and attention to detail. What they’ve learnt becomes more ingrained and enduring because they’ve done it all themselves.

I’ve been delighted to see how quickly students have picked things up and how they incorporate what they have learned into their pieces.

active Lesson engagement

I’ve been very pleased to see younger students are more active at taking notes during their online lessons, for example, writing down on the music or in a notebook, what it is they have to work on during the week, their set of scales and theory pages.

I have found my students respond very well to this new responsibility (previously I would have annotated the score or written in their notebook) and they are very willing and capable scribes.

This greater degree of agency during lessons has produced the added benefits of, on the whole, students listening more attentively, and being more focused.

And of course, the online nature of the lessons means that students can record parts of the lesson to refer back to later. The ability of students to replay me demonstrating elements of technique and revisit explanations of how to approach a difficult session has been an added bonus of the medium.

don't live in dunedin? - not a problem!

For those families and individuals who have to move out of Dunedin, continuity of tuition is no longer a problem. Lessons can easily be transferred to online. I’ve had several adult students who have shifted out of town (and  even overseas) and have kept their tuition going long-term. Likewise, prospective students living outside of Dunedin can start lessons. Location is no longer a barrier.

It’s the Way of the Future

Ever expanding opportunities are arising through online learning, and in addition to learning piano, students who want to sit performance and theory exams through the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, can now do that with greater flexibility and entirely digitally. I firmly believe it will become an increasingly important and widespread means of education, and recreation, for both children and adults alike.

I’ve always tried to be at the leading edge as an education provider and this is just a continuation of that approach to my teaching.