Technology and Piano Lessons

When I started taking piano lessons, the most technologically advanced piece of equipment I used was the metronome. It had a knob in the back, like a clock, and I would wind it up and watch as the lever clicked back and forth, and back and forth. It kept a steady tempo with a satisfying click until it wound down. Metronomes have come far, and so has other musical technology. With the ever increasing pace of technological advances, the realm of piano lessons can’t help but be affected. Here are the some of the technologies that I am implementing in my studio.

Digital Metronomes. Digital metronomes are becoming pretty high tech. Some are as small as a credit card, others clip onto music stands, and still others double as a digital tuner. For the iPhone/Android lover, there are down-loadable metronome apps. While they eat away at your cell phone’s battery life, they certainly are handy to have around. Metronomes are crucial to piano lessons, and all the different metronome gadgets available today just add to the fun.

Keyboards. This may seem obvious to some, but incorporating the use of a keyboard during piano lessons can help students catch the excitement of today’s music trends. Keyboards are capable of all kinds of possibilities, from creating new sounds to recording songs. Most keyboards can be attached to a computer for recording. Since more musicians seem to be using keyboards than piano these days, I find incorporating the use of a keyboard helps me stay on the cutting edge of piano lessons.

YouTube. YouTube is a great source of inspiration and explanation. There are countless music videos available at the touch of a search button. If a student is having trouble with a technique or passage, or would benefit from seeing a performance of any particular song – you can probably find it on YouTube. Of course, there are lots of fun, musical videos on YouTube to help inspire and ignite passion for music in today’s piano students.

Websites. I use a website for advertising and communicating with my students. It’s a great way to connect outside of lesson time. I also link to other important websites, such as music notation software, YouTube videos, and other great piano websites. It’s also a great way to share piano tips, free music, and fun piano games. I try to update once a week to keep the students and their parents coming back for more.

Skype. I didn’t even own a computer when I started taking piano lessons, much less know about Skype. But Skype is a valid way to take -or give- piano lessons. While there certainly are cons to taking long distance lessons, there are benefits, too. For some students, online lessons mean less distractions. For others, they get to connect with the teacher of their choice without relying on proximity to decide on the right piano teacher.

I don’t know where music technology is headed next, but I sure hope to be on the cutting edge!

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