Skype Piano Lessons Championed by 70 Year Old Musician
With 39% of over 65’s having never used the Internet, at 70 years old Shirley Richardson demonstrates the ease and benefits of being digitally connected by taking live online piano lessons in her home.
Since the age of 9 Shirley kept a passion for piano but it is only now, at 70, that she felt she could turn her lifelong dream into reality. In a positive and dynamic decision, Shirley signed up for piano lessons delivered by Skype technology and has surprised everyone by loving her online learning experience. Shirley virtually met piano teacher Lorraine Wild in February 2015. Lorraine, 22, works with Your Space Music Lessons and earned a first class honours degree in music at the Conservatoire of Dijon, France and is now studying to become a concert performer at Leeds University. Conversely Shirley's long and impressive secretarial career began working for British Railways at the age of 15. Today’s Internet world makes it possible to connect these two diverse people to transfer knowledge and skills despite physical distance.
Shirley explained what happened, 'I went on the internet for music teachers in Winchester and eventually came across "yourspacemusic" and having read the story I thought it sounded really interesting and I wouldn't have to leave the house which I find a massive bonus. It really was very very simple. So I got my mini Ipad and we positioned it on a music chair alongside the piano and that was it, Olwen said 'I can see your piano'.'
Online education services such as Your Space Music Lessons can open up a world of possibilities and bring to you the expertise to help fulfil lifelong dreams, or simply tackle loneliness. Learning a language, learning to cook, or even learning to play the accordion can all be done online one-to-one with Skype. For elderly people such as Eunice Wardle, 86 who felt so lonely and disconnected with society, recently wrote to the Manchester Evening News that ‘’no one wants you when you’re old’. Perhaps connecting with Skype could help reduce that sense of isolation so you regularly see a friendly face to ease the buildup of loneliness. Help is also available from organisations like Tinder Foundation and its network of 5,000 UK online centres, which provide free digital skills training through the online learning platform ‘Learn My Way’. Since 2010 they have helped over 1.4 million people learn how to use the internet confidently.
Online lessons can be just as effective as a face-to-face format according to Olwen MacLeod, Teaching Director, at Your Space Music Lessons who carried out a yearlong trial before launching the service, 'the enjoyment of using skype and the experience it entails seems to develop a friendly relationship, not only that but the progression of students has been impressive as we transport teachers into the heart of a home where a pupil feels most comfortable.' Shirley Richardson agrees 'you actually feel quite close to one another, it's personal…and it’s the nicest way for me to learn to play the piano in my home.’
Help to get online is available from www.learnmyway.com