September 13, 2021

About the Author: Celine Gaurier-Joubert

Founder of The London Piano Institute, Celine Gaurier-Joubert is a concert pianist and one of the world’s leading experts on piano education for adults.

I am writing this article straight after spending an hour working on Rachmaninov variations on a Paganini theme with Kammy. She lives in Taiwan, and I live in Dubai. We met in London 10 years ago. Kammy was studying accounting, and I was teaching at The London Piano Institute. She was still a beginner, and she is now a proficient amateur pianist. When she moved back to Taiwan 6 years ago, she decided to continue her piano lessons with me online instead of looking for a local piano teacher. We started with Skype but switched to Zoom a few months ago as it suited us better.

We are now so used to the new technology that we tend to forget how extraordinary it is to connect so easily with people located on the other side of the planet. Being able to offer and take piano lessons online and have the same experience as if we would both be physically present in the same piano studio!

Who would have thought that it would one day be possible to take piano lessons on an online platform that replicate a piano teaching room?

man playing the piano

Zoom has revolutionised piano teaching, and I would encourage all piano enthusiasts, beginners and advanced pianists to consider this option whenever possible. However, I know that some people are still sceptical and prefer attending in person. It is understandable if you live in a large city where it is not too difficult to find a brilliant piano teacher, but what if you live in a small town or a remote area? You do not want to end up with the local piano teacher who perhaps has not many qualifications or is too busy to take you on!

I find it challenging to share my amazement in writing, but I can tell you one thing: Give it a go. Try it and judge it by yourself. If you select a piano teacher who is used to teaching via Zoom, I promise you that you won’t see any difference to in-person. You might see a difference but in favour of Zoom piano lessons!

When Kammy started her online piano lessons, she immediately told me, “It is so much better!”. As I was playing the role of the piano teacher, I did not understand immediately what she meant, and I asked her to detail a little. She replied: “I am relaxed when the lesson starts as I was not straight out of the tube, I can warm up just before the lesson and I can play on my piano.” Her comments made me realise even more how incredible online piano lessons were!

piano at home

Piano teachers who specialise in teaching via Zoom are usually exceptionally well equipped. They have access to a piano placed right next to their computer, and their audio equipment is top-notch. I will advise you on the best microphone to acquire for the sound to come through as nicely as possible. They know how to make some twists in the settings and place the cameras to get the best angles (usually both your face and the keyboard).

Setting up the equipment is honestly very straightforward. Once that is done, you only have to choose a convenient time for both your piano teacher and yourself, and you are good to go! Remember that we all don’t live in the same time zone, so research before contacting a piano teacher. Zoom piano lessons are a fantastic alternative to in-person but not if they occur at 3 a.m.!

So many amateur pianists take piano lessons via Zoom nowadays that debating whether it is a good solution seems to be the wrong focus. The most crucial being to choose the right piano teacher. And that is the whole point. Thanks to Zoom, the world is open to you. You are not restricted to studying with the piano teachers who are settled in your local area. You can study with whoever you like, wherever they live around the world! For example, you can access the piano teachers in New York even if you live in a small village in Cumbria. It is such a fantastic opportunity that it would be a shame to turn it down before trying.

woman playing the piano

The only downside for some people could be that they face a screen again after spending the whole day at work on a computer. I can appreciate that it is nice to travel to a piano school or a private piano teacher but think about all the positive sides. I believe that they take over this little disagreement.

When it comes to piano education, I believe that quality is an essential aspect, as learning with a poorly trained piano teacher or an instructor who does not particularly gel will not bring good results. On the contrary, you will not enjoy your piano lessons, and you might give up on your beautiful dream of becoming a brilliant pianist.

I do not work for a sales show. I honestly share my opinion on Zoom piano lessons. I am so amazed by what can be achieved that I am sharing my experience with you.

woman practising the piano

Remember what I have said at the beginning of my article. Kammy began her piano lessons with me in London ten years ago. She was still a beginner. After four years of studies, she left for Taiwan and continued her piano lessons online. She is now playing some significant pieces of the repertoire, including Rachmaninov, Debussy, and Chopin.

Doesn’t she demonstrate that Zoom piano lessons are terrific and that you can become an excellent pianist even if you are not physically seated right next to your piano teacher?

Think about it!

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