Clavier Companion - May/June 2017 - 28
Lypur: Note values and time signatures.
introduced until the fourteenth lesson. Finally, material seems
haphazard due to the poor pacing of the videos. Furmanczyk
frequently derails the lessons with extraneous stories and
convoluted imagery, and many of his explanations lack
succinctness and simplicity.
However, Furmanczyk certainly has a market for his videos:
The first lesson alone has 15.9 million views, and comments on
nearly all of his videos are overwhelmingly positive. Viewers
frequently mentioned the helpfulness of the lessons and their
enjoyment in learning the piano through Furmanczyk's channel.
With no cost to viewers-except the time it takes to watch an
ad-and no commitment to a private teacher, a population of
learners can now experience personal enjoyment and musical
exploration through piano study. This, undeniably, is a primary
appeal of YouTube: one can choose to experiment with new
skills at any time without worrying about cost or obligation.
Nonetheless, video series such as Furmanczyk's Lypur channel
cannot compare to the expertise and personal instruction
provided by a professional private or group teacher. While
viewers may learn basic theoretical concepts, students need a
teacher's continued guidance and targeted feedback for musical
and technical advancement. However, online learners may not
recognize this need. Are we as teachers therefore missing out on
a large contingent of students? Do we even wish to attract casual
learners? How do we advocate for excellent musical instruction
for all students, especially when anyone-with or without
teaching experience-can record and upload videos to sites like
YouTube? While we will each have our own personal answers
to these questions, we can certainly still partake in the YouTube
community professionally by seeking out videos such as those
on The Art of Teaching channel, which help us continually hone
our own approaches to performance and pedagogy.
Michelle Wachter, DMA, is Lecturer of
Class Piano at Northern Arizona University.
She serves on the editorial board of Piano
Pedagogy Forum and is editor of the 2013 and
2015 Proceedings of the National Conference
on Keyboard Pedagogy.
1/5/15 11:06 PM