When designing the online lesson environment, Scott had the luxury of “wiping the slate clean” and starting from scratch to take the best (and throw out the worst) features that many different teaching environments have to offer.
Everything about the lesson environment was developed to be “student” centric. Instead of lessons being based on the convenience and needs of the teacher, they are designed for the convenience and needs of the student. The goal we feel we’ve achieved is an integrated “better than live” lesson experience combining video instruction, hard copy method and song books, and personalized feedback.
The online classroom allows Scott to provide you with the same quality instruction you expect from traditional private lessons – plus a lot more. Unlike traditional lessons, you can always go back and review previous lessons, exercises and even whole classes. No need to wait a week for your next lesson or worry about practicing something incorrectly for a week.
During the development of the lesson environment, Scott also became aware of a phenomenon that’s never been available in private lessons in the past that was a real breakthrough from a pedagogy standpoint: In a traditional face-to-face, one-week-at-a-time lesson setting, there is a necessary constant “throttling” of the material being introduced based on how much your teacher thinks you can accomplish or absorb in the next seven days. Who decided seven days was the magic, arbitrary time period that was most appropriate for teaching piano? There are two major shortcomings with this approach:
One, in our “always on” society no one has a consistent amount of time on a day-to-day basis to work on their piano playing skills. The reality of our daily life is that we have busy times when other assorted tasks take the majority of our attention. Why shouldn’t your piano teacher be available when you’re ready to move forward at whatever velocity you’re moving? And, why should you be required to go pay for another piano lesson when you might not be ready? With Scott’s online method he will always be ready to help you move forward 24/7 at whatever speed you are digesting the information. Alternatively, when other areas of your life get busier and keep you from focusing on your piano playing, Scott will sit in the wings and wait eagerly for you to return. Once you’ve purchased a course or bundle you’ll have access to it for life, there’s absolutely no rush. In effect your Course tuition pays for a certain amount of material, whether you get through it in weeks or months. You’ll not be charged more if it takes you longer to proceed. That seems more equitable and logical to us.
Two, when teaching some skill, there are “chunks” of information which logically need to be taught in their entirety. The problem is that those chunks cannot all be taught in some single universal amount of time. One concept might only take you a minute to understand, whereas another might take multiple days or even weeks for you as a student to fully absorb. Because Scott was free to create the lessons without regard to any arbitrary “time limit” like a 30 or 60 minute lesson, he teaches concepts to their logical conclusion, not to a ticking timer. Individual lessons and their accompanying exercises (of which there are many per class – see here) vary from 2-3 minutes all the way up to 15 minutes or more. By allowing you to go back and re-watch past lessons and exercises, the online classroom has the unique ability to decouple the content of the lessons from the length of time it will likely take you to absorb it. It is a huge educational advantage available to students of Scott’s courses.
In short, Scott’s Play Piano in a Flash Online lesson environment was designed with laser focus to teach you exactly what you need to get to a point of playing non-classical styles at a piano in an authentic, musically correct manner. The instruction is thorough, and the system allows you to move at whatever pace is most comfortable for you – without it costing you any more. In the event something isn’t clear, you can always ask a question. Scott or a trained associate will respond quickly to any questions, even with a customized video response if necessary.