No. All Virtual Piano Academy students have a weekly lesson with their teacher via a video upload, known as your Weekly Showcase. Think of this like your piano lesson day in the real world. Except you don’t have to physically attend a lesson, but all your week’ practice leads up to this day, and video record everything and send it to your teacher for feedback.
What Do I Get For My Lesson Fee?
There are also many additional benefits you get from having lessons 100% online. Not only do you receive a weekly video lesson (Weekly Showcase), you learn through interactive digital games; you receive demonstration videos that you can watch over and over to help your practice; we step you through exactly what you need to do for your practice each week and outline this clearly for you to follow; we help you track your practice; you can see practice statistics from your fellow learners; you can interact with other students and parents on The Academy HIVE; you can participate in our Q&A sessions, monthly challenges, piano parades, and other community activities; you can access interactive learning resources through our Topic of the Month; you can do exams; you have access to our digital sheet music library; you receive a monthly progress report...and heaps more. All of this is included in your lesson fee!
Limitations of Zoom/Skype for Piano Lessons
When COVID-19 first struck in May 2020, just like every other music teacher on the planet, Amy started teaching her students online via Zoom. But it didn't take long to realise that this wasn't a viable ongoing solution. A student played a scale, and Amy commented on how wobbly the students' rhythm was. Amy realised it wasn't the students' poor performance at all...it was the internet connection cutting in and out. They wasted 5 minutes of the 30-minute lesson on trying to perfect a scale that the student could already play perfectly. What a waste of time!
With students and parents working and studying from home, Amy's students’ schedules changed, meaning they often couldn’t do their previous lesson time/day. This meant an entire overhaul of Amy's teaching schedule, trying to fit everyone in…..which just didn’t work. A normal 4pm Tuesday lesson time no longer worked for Amy's student Ruby, because her dad now had work meetings using Zoom at this time, but Amy didn't have any more free spots available. It was a big mess. But this was the moment Virtual Piano Academy was born!
Benefits of Video Uploads
Uploading a video is a much more reliable (and flexible) option. It means you don't have to be at a specific location, on a specific day and a specific time for your weekly piano lesson. It gives you so much more flexibility.
It also gives you the chance to review your video to make sure there are no technical issues or hiccups in your performance, and you can re-record your performances as many times as you like before sending them to your teacher for feedback (unlike a traditional lesson, where you get one shot to play at your best in your 30-minute lesson, which never happens!)
The audio quality of a video recording is also far superior to audio streaming across the internet. The quality of the video (and angle you shoot from) also allows your teacher to be able to see and hear you much better than over a glitchy Zoom or Skype connection.
Find out more about your weekly video uploads.
Request Additional 1:1 Zoom Lessons
Having said that, at some point you may occasionally wish to spend some 1:1 Zoom time with your teacher to go over something in more detail. If you’d like to arrange a one-off, one-on-one Zoom lesson with your teacher, you can submit a request for an additional Zoom lesson using the form in your Lesson Portal. Each Zoom lesson is an additional, non-refundable payment of A$150 and is dependant on your teachers' availability of time, and whether you can find a time that works for you both (another issue that is solved by submitting videos instead of having Zoom sessions at a specific time). This Zoom session is not a substitute for your Weekly Showcase video. You will still be required to submit your Weekly Showcase video as normal.
What Equipment Do I Need to Be Able to Take Lessons at Virtual Piano Academy?
Read this article for more information.