Online Lessons for the Not-So-Tech-Savvy

The transition to online lessons seemed to happen overnight for many of our students. We want to take a moment to recognize those who don’t use as much technology in their everyday lives, but took the plunge and learned how to make it work. Here are some wonderful words from a longtime student.

A daunting idea….piano lessons on Facetime!?!    Sometimes I am anxious when I walk into the studio….but Facetime!?!  Oh dear, my hair is a mess and I am not wearing makeup….I need a manicure…..

My teacher is Natasha Pence.  She along with other CMA teachers are anxious 

to enrich our musical experience and this is the time for us to take advantage of using our new schedules to challenge our brains and improve our skill level.  This is our time to focus on improving our skills….or even begin those lessons we have often imagined.  

I am not homeschooling children and I am not working remotely for pay.  It is up to me to plan my day and to balance household, yard, grooming, reading, rest….you can add to the list.  Sitting at the piano and tackling a new and challenging piece is good for my brain.  Reviewing pieces I once tackled (and did not quite overcome before I went onto yet another new piece 😩) brings great joy and a great sense of accomplishment.  What was once challenging I now find rewarding and enjoyable.  

I now have had two Facetime lessons.  

The first went well.  My selection?  “The Girl with the Flaxen Hair,” a challenging piece for me.  Prior to the lesson I took photos of the piece and sent them to Natasha.  We fell into some of the same techniques we use in the studio.  After my struggling with a few measures of challenging notes and tempo, Natasha recorded the first eleven measures, including counting aloud, and emailed them to me.  The recording was my “teacher” during her Spring break.

The second lesson began with my learning the correct way to connect via Facebook time….so simple once I found the app on my phone.  I used my experience from the first lesson and subsequent practice with the recording to play the eleven measures.  Natasha made a couple of suggestions.  I used the remainder of the class time to ask that she record the next section of “….Flaxen Hair.”   Natasha offered to write the counting on a hard copy and email to me.   Yes!  Brilliant idea.  

Whew….made it through the lesson without the angst I feared.  

My plan for next week’s lesson is to select one of the less challenging pieces I once tackled.  I will send a copy to Natasha and with her help I will work out the problem areas and play it with more confidence.  

Cam/ April 2020