Mark Miller is a piano teacher who is capable of assisting disabled students without even having to leave his home. In fact, his students aren’t only from his home country of the United States. He has students from Hong Kong to England and Norway. With such advanced technology these days, it makes life a lot easier for both the teacher as well as the student.
His typical Monday begins at 8am in the morning. He starts with students from Asia before moving on to Britain and Europe. By afternoon time, he will be assisting students from his homeland. He does all his lessons from his studio in Barrington, Ill. Although he still teaches some students in person, majority of them are long distance. He makes full use of both his phone as well as the Internet (Skype). In fact, he has even taught lessons while he was driving before.
Perhaps the best part of it all is that Mark is able to tailor classes based on every individual student’s pace. “I see it as teaching someone to fish by comparison to giving someone a fish,” stated. His structure is to begin with chords and chord structure of the songs his students want to play. This helps to take the emphasis off from memorisation and encourages playing by ear as well as looking for alternative ways to play well-known songs. It is through such means that offers students the foundation to compose their own songs. “This is how the approach to teaching jazz and classical differ, and why guitar is so popular,” he explained his theory-driven, chord-focused teaching style.
Through the use of the phone and Skype, Mark also attracted more students with challenged mobility, who sought his one-handed teaching style. “I can’t think of a more meaningful job than to bring music into the lives of someone who didn’t think it possible to play piano,” he said. He also mentioned that his aim for now is to spread the word about using just one hand to play the piano, so that others who thought it wasn’t possible will get a chance to learn. He also hopes that by learning to play the piano with one hand, it will be able to help these students expand what they believe they are capable of achieving. If you would like to read the full story, you can do so here.
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