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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Piano Lessons On DVD Are Just What The Doctor Ordered

Playing a piano is one of those deceptively complicated endeavors. It is easy to play a piano. But it is very hard to play one well! Good piano players make it look so easy. But I have never had much luck playing a piano by ear or by following written sheet music.

My younger daughter, on the other hand, has picked up quite a repertoire by watching videos I have rented from the library as well as videos online. We have an electronic keyboard which can train piano players by lighting up the keys to be played in sequence, so my daughter has learned some songs by training with the keyboard over and over too.

I thought it was time for my daughter to have a little professional coaching to take her to the next level with her piano-playing. So, I started making some inquiries. My first inquiries were with friends and acquaintances. Only a couple of them had piano-playing children. They had hired teachers to teach their children to play better. The rates that these teachers charge is quite high, but the results have been mixed. One of my friends was happy with the teacher he hired, but the other was not. And neither of the children seemed extremely thrilled about their teachers either!

My next set of inquiries was through the yellow pages. Most of the teachers I spoke with were quick to lay down their conditions (in terms of their pay rates, when the lessons would be, etc.), but none could guarantee either that my daughter would be happy or that I would be happy with the results.

The problem is that it is difficult to judge the quality of a teacher when you don't know the first thing about playing a piano yourself. Yes, the yellow pages are full of piano teachers and their ads, but you never know what you are getting when you hire one of them to teach your child.

So, I decided to take a different tack: I decided to check online for reputed piano learning programs. That is when I came across this teacher who offers piano lessons in the form of DVD's and online lessons. Yoke Wong is a Malaysian who started playing piano at the age of 7, and passed the performance examination of the ATCL Diploma from Trinity College London at seventeen.

Yoke Wong offers several piano lessons in the form of DVD packages. These packages are home-study lesson plans that include several hours of piano lessons, video clips, and lots of exercises to develop your piano-playing and drill you on the basics. Because you control the playback of the DVD's, the lessons proceed at your own pace. You learn the way you are comfortable learning, at whatever pace you are comfortable learning.

Her site also offers several several online piano lesson plans. You get access to these online lessons as soon as you pay for them. These online lessons have downloadable PDF lessons, video clips and other educational material that you can start using as soon as you sign up for them. And the prices are very reasonable too. For instance, her 6-DVD Piano Improvisation Home Study Course, that includes 2 CD's and a binder in addition to the 6 DVD's, is only $199, and comes with free shipping and handling.

Yoke Wong's site also features many customer testimonials, praising her teaching technique, and the quality of the educational materials, both the DVD courses as well as online material. The site also boasts a 30-day no-questions-asked money back guarantee of quality, so you risk nothing when you order a course online or on DVD. Seems like the ideal solution to the problem of how to give my daughter a better piano education without busting the bank. And I don't know of any teacher in the yellow pages who offers a money-back guarantee either!

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