I had such an overwhelmingly supportive response last month to the giveaway that I just wanted to start off this post by thanking all of those who entered. I cannot express my gratitude for you and your support of my career. Being a musician has always been my dream, and it is amazing to me that I am able to make a living doing what I love. Thank you for helping to make my dream a reality.
About a year ago, I decided that I would be attending the University of Michigan in pursuit of my doctorate degree. I had about twenty piano students in Utah, and I was devastated at the thought of having to let all of them go because I genuinely loved teaching all of them, and they were all accomplishing such great things. I looked into teaching online through Skype. I'd heard of several other piano teachers doing this, so I started advertising online lessons at the end of my YouTube videos. Someone emailed me a few days later to inquire about lessons, and I got my first online piano student! It took me a couple of lessons to adjust to this new style of teaching - things were basically the same, except I wasn't in the room with the student, couldn't point to their music, etc. I decided to try to turn these roadblocks into advantages, and sure enough, they did. My teaching style was strengthened, for rather than pointing to things on the piano, or moving my students' hands to the correct position, I had to explain concepts with absolute precision so that the student would be able to understand quickly and efficiently. It was a challenge, but I got used to it. My students also grew from the experience. They now wrote in all of their counting in the music, all of the expression marks that I would dictate to them, and overall they became more independent musicians. I could still demonstrate, zoom in on my fingers, and show them exactly what they needed to do, but the "distance" the computer created made them become better pianists through challenging them to take charge more, and make no excuses. I am so dang proud of all of my students, and I was definitely bragging them up this last week to my family and friends when Luke Romney - age 11 - won 2nd prize in the Junior division of the University of Utah International Keyboard Competition, and Josh Whisenant - age 15 - won 1st prize in the Senior division of the same international competition. What a privilege it is to be able to teach students of all ages, and now all countries using this amazing technology. I've enjoyed teaching students from 4 continents and many different countries. Maybe one day I'll be teaching students from all 7 continents (although I don't know how much demand there will be for Skype lessons in Antarctica)!
This month, I would like to celebrate my students' successes by giving away a free 45-minute Skype lesson for you, or someone you know that would like to take an online piano lesson. No musical experience is required - all you need is a computer with a webcam, and Skype installed on your computer (it works with both Mac and PC computers). Once the winner is announced, we will set a time to meet (often across time zones!) and connect for a virtual lesson. Everyone, no matter what your age, is welcome to enter. Just a precaution - any students under the age of 5 may have a very difficult time with this. Ideally, I would prefer to teach a student who is 8 years of age or older, as younger children do better with the physical aspect of lessons. Just take a look below and see all of the various ways you can enter. Thank you all so much for your support.
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