Technology is often said to be both the greatest invention of mankind, as well as its downfall. GPS systems have replaced our navigational instincts, social media is on its way to modify interpersonal communication, and online shopping has enabled us to become even bigger couch-potatoes than we already are. The technology revolution has undoubtedly increased production efficiency. But at the same time, no one can deny that those darn robots are scheming their way towards world domination as they continue out-preforming humans and kicking good ol’ workers into the world of unemployment. So we’ve begun to wonder, have piano applications, such as our trusty little app OnlinePianist, begun their destruction of the grand profession that is the piano teacher?
1. Piano apps take the physical interaction out of piano teaching.
Judge for yourself if this is a plus or not. Piano apps will definitely not hit your fingers with a ruler if they are not in proper form, piano teachers definitely will. However, let’s not deny that your fingers should be in proper form after all, so sometimes you do need that silent terror to keep you sharp and in focus.
2. You must appease a piano teacher, a piano app appeases you.
Uh oh, did you upset your piano teacher? Now you must suffer his/her wrath. But if you fail your piano app, guess what? No repercussions! The piano app never judges, is never disappointed, and never ever gets mad at you. Did you not practice? The piano app doesn’t care, it loves you unconditionally! Like our beloved canines and man’s best friend, you don’t have to earn the piano app’s respect, rather it is given to you automatically. The piano teacher on the other hand? Well, let’s just call them the cats of the music world. Enough said.
3. Piano apps have endless patience, piano teachers do not.
Did you just screw up that piano piece for the 23rd time in a row? By now, your piano teacher has about as much patience as a monkey asked to peacefully hold a banana. But a piano app will continue “smiling” and happily encourage you to play the piece again, take #24. Piano teachers are after all, human, and all humans have their faults- limited patience being one of them. So where a piano teacher may give up and declare that you are simply not cut out to play piano, the piano app will always be by your side, as long as you always make sure to keep it charged. 🙂
4. Piano apps can systematically gather data about you, and mathematically identify your areas of weakness.
Apps, be it piano-related or not, are essentially computers, and computers are calculators. These calculators have the ability to systematically collect information about you, and see into your soul. They can see how fast you play, what you like to play, where you missed a note, calculate how much you’ve improved, where you need to improve, and more! Whereas a piano teacher may take weeks and months to begin judging your skill level and learn the real you as a pianist, the piano app becomes smarter with each note you play, easily leading you on the path to success.
5. Piano apps will not be mad at you if you don’t practice, piano teachers will.
Again, for all us lazy-pants, this is a definite plus. After all, no one likes being berated and scolded, even if we know we fully deserve it. But at the same time, it is important to have someone push you and actually have human feelings, rather than pre-programmed code, that care for you to succeed. Plus, the incentive to not be criticized can be quite a motivational drive. We’re thinking this is a good feature to add for our next app update, the scolding feature!
6. Piano teachers can teach how to play with feelings and emotions, piano apps teach systematically and calculatedly.
A big part of playing piano is becoming one with the piano. There’s a hard difference between jamming on the keys to Fur Elise, versus eloquently caressing the keys to Fur Elise. Piano apps know how to teach you the technicalities, and they do it brilliantly, but when it comes to putting your heart and soul into the piece, that’s where the piano teacher is and will always be irreplaceable.
In conclusion, it’s quite clear that piano apps strive to be a friend and assistant to the piano teacher, not an enemy or a competitor. Apps provide the rational, while the teacher provides the emotional. Together, piano apps and piano teachers prove that two is better than one. So what’s our final tally? The best way to learn piano is not with a piano teacher, and not with a piano app, but rather, with both.
Just the two of us, we can make it if we try!
And with those inspirational words, we leave you with this song:
So readers, sound off in the comments below! Do you think that the piano app will kill the piano teacher?