May 25, 2017 at 2:06 pm #4947
I’m quite happy learning to play the piano on my own, but there are times when it would be extremely useful to have some advice from an expert. One such time is when I try to play something that is slightly more advanced than I am used to, which requires some skill I have not yet learned, or else has some kind of situation I have no experience with.
So it occurred to me that it might be possible for Jaak to set up a new kind of subscription model, in which he would act as an adviser in a very limited way for one single piece of music that the student is already familiar with. This is the complete opposite of an intense tutorial in which Jaak chooses the piece, starts at the very beginning and teaches everything about the piece in fine detail. Instead, this would be individual problem-solving and fine-tuning rather than a step by step tutorial for everyone. Because it should not require that much work by Jaak (=good for Jaak), it should mean that the price could be relatively affordable (=good for students).
What I’m imagining is a process that would probably take two or three months but have relatively few interactions:
1. The student provides an initial email/video outlining the areas he/she is having trouble with. Jaak responds, probably with a short video (5 minutes) and an email, perhaps with exercises related to the problems and/or direct solutions/answers. Jaak may briefly mention parts of piece he thinks are very important to concentrate on, if the student hasn’t already referred to them.
2. The student goes off for a few weeks and tries to implement the things Jaak has suggested.
3. The student submits a video to Jaak, who responds. Perhaps there are new problem areas being discussed.
4. Same: student attempts to refine the ideas for a few weeks, sends a video to Jaak a few weeks later, who responds.
5. Student sends a final video to Jaak, who sends ideas on fine-tuning.
Just to give an example, in my case I would say something like:
“Jaak, I am trying to learn Erik Satie’s Gymnopedie number 1, but I’m having a couple of problems. First, my left hand always ends up “tripping” over the black keys when I (try to) play the chords that have sharps in them. I’m guessing the solution to the problem is simply to practice more, but I wanted to ask if there are any “tricks” or exercises that would help me out. Second, there are some big 4 note chords (e.g. bars 24 to 26) that I’m not sure how to deal with. If I place my fingers individually, slowly, I can actually play the chord (sort of), but I was wondering if there’s any point to practicing this? I can’t imagine ever being able to play this chord easily, so perhaps it would make more sense to just forget about it and break the chord up, playing the top note with my right hand?”
I have a couple more small questions, but you get the idea. Not sure how much this would cost, but my first thought is somewhere close to one month’s subscription fee. Anyone else interested in something like this? Jaak, what do you think?May 26, 2017 at 2:06 pm #4949
This is already part of subscribing to the course, maybe not so intense, but still very similar. Jaak states in the description of the 11 month follow up course, “You are not alone in your learning process. I am offering free personalised support by email, video sharing via YouTube or Skype and on discussion boards – ensuring every problem is quickly resolved for you would hate for that aspect of the course to be lost somehow.” Just having that option of being able to send Jaak a video for critique really makes him one of the few who will do that without an extra cost. That is one of the reasons why I bought the course in the first place! And I have always found him more than willing to help with a piece one is working on. In fact, I am in the process of getting my video ready to send him as I type this. (maybe I will finally get that done today, Jaak!)
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