Compass

FAQ

Compass is a safe and secure way to study!

Is the pandemic over? In Compass, it makes no difference! Your music study will  continue seamlessly, masks or no masks, lockdown or no lockdown. You are already set up for success by using the Compass online method of study in the safety and security of your own environment! 

What is the video library?

I am creating 3-minute videos for every page of Alfred’s Self-Teaching Adult Piano Course. Many pages have more than one video. New videos are added regularly. There are also sections for Christmas songs, jazz, and more. 

How does video exchange check-in work?

I use Flipgrid as the platform. You will have your own Flipgrid home. Use the URL and Student Username that I give you. Flipgrid is where you will record your check-ins for me to give you feedback. 

What kind of piano do I need?

If you already have an acoustic piano (meaning that it doesn’t plug in), you might need to get it tuned by a piano tuner. If you don’t have a piano, you can obtain either an acoustic or an electric. Consider having an acoustic piano checked by a piano tuner before you move it to your house. Sometimes those “free, you move” pianos are unplayable and not fixable. For an electric/digital keyboard, here are some desirable features: Full sized keys, touch sensitive, weighted keys.

How can I find time to practice?

Practice is a personal discipline and can be challenging. The videos are all a maximum of 3 minutes long. You will be able to benefit from short videos by using the small slices of time in your life. Even watching a video without your piano nearby will help the concepts sink in. Here is a general principle: Frequency of playing and practicing will yield better results than one mega-practice once in a while. 

Are there other benefits to video study?

Definitely! Videos can be viewed more than once. You can watch an instructional video and learn without even being near your piano! Take three minutes on your lunch break for music learning!

How is Compass different?

You could go watch YouTubes and probably learn something. But a YouTube channel lacks personal attention. You could sign up for weekly lessons in your location. But it’s hard for busy adults to commit to a drive to the teacher’s house every week. In Compass, you get the scheduling flexibility you need. You have options for adding personal attention and guidance via video exchange, Zoom live lessons, and a private Facebook group. You choose!

How should I use the videos?

Watch and listen more than once! You can keep the volume high on the device you’re using to play along with me. If I play RH, you can either play RH with me or play LH while I am playing RH. If I play LH, play along with me or add in your RH. 

What about the FMS YouTube channel?

I have unlisted videos specifically for Compass members. The tempo (speed) on YouTube can be changed without changing the pitch. So, you can practice along with my YouTube videos slower or faster. I’ve also put harmony tracks on the channel for some of the songs. 

What are advantages to video exchange study?

Life is busy, especially as adults. The ability to get feedback and advice on your playing without a weekly commitment at a set time is invaluable. By submitting videos of your playing to me, and getting my personal feedback, you can progress at your own speed and on your own time schedule. 

It is common for students to say: “I could play this at home but now that I’m playing for you, I’m making mistakes!” Video exchange check-ins mean that you can record and re-record until you are satisfied that you are presenting me with what you want me to hear. I can give feedback on your best effort without you experiencing any nervousness or anxiety. 

Video exchange check-ins do not depend on high speed internet. As long as your internet is stable enough to record for three minutes, you can study  in the Compass program. There’s nothing more frustrating than being in a live online lesson and losing signal! With video exchange study, this is a non-existent problem. 

If you select the Odyssey program, a live 20-minute monthly Zoom lesson is included. Live online lessons require internet stability and speed. Odyssey members can also join a private Facebook group just for them. 

Feedback

Compass is a new program. Please give your feedback by using the Contact Form. I am interested in comments about anything from the website to the instructional videos. Designing the program and figuring out the technical and website end of it has been a challenging journey for me. Help me make Compass even better! 

Let's embark on your musical journey!