Years ago, my average piano teacher failed to show up for my lessons, even though we were meeting at her house. I’ve heard he has done this to others as well. Fell on it I can find the best teachers in America online, and they are cheap.
According to a 2020 report by Thumbtack, the average personal piano teacher charges between $40 and $100 per hour. I got 36 lessons for $25 from TheGreatCourses.com during one of their major sales.
Using the free Chrome extension from CapitalOneShopping.com, the price dropped to $18. The cost of the equivalent of a live teacher would range from $1,440 to $3,600.
My online teacher, Pamela Pike, won the Outstanding Teacher Award from Louisiana State University, among other honors. He is superb. I begin each digital lesson by moving my phone or tablet to where I usually put a sheet of music. That way, I can watch him play and play with her. I can pause or rewind if needed.
The course, “How to Play the Piano,” begins with class one. You can handle it, even if you’ve never touched a piano before. In the first lesson, you’ll improvise on the black keys while the pike plays an accompaniment. Then you’ll play an easier version of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”
It’s amazing how much fun it is to play the piano with the right teacher. At the end of lesson one, she plays an excerpt from the song that you will play at the end of the course. It’s thrillingly advanced. But she lures you in so slowly, using numbers instead of notes at first, that you’re already halfway through before you know it.
TheGreatCourses.com also has guitar, violin and ukulele, among hundreds of other subjects.
caller id blues
A reader wrote to tell me about his girlfriend’s caller ID problem. After retiring, she had to keep her business phone, but it still displayed the medical group she worked for. If this happens to you, contact your carrier and let them know you want a new display name. that’s all there is to it.
Amazon plants a tree for you
I told Alexa, “Alexa, grow a tree,” and she did. After checking in with me and asking for my voice code, he took my $1 and contributed it to the One Tree Planted organization. Amazon is donating $1 million to plant 1 million trees where fires or mines have devastated the land, or erosion has made life difficult for salmon.
blocking and unblocking facebook
To block or unblock someone on Facebook, type a name on Facebook.com or in the search bar in the app. When the person’s profile appears, tap the three vertical dots to the right of their name. Select “Block” if you want to stop receiving any messages from them. If you change your mind, click on the three dots again, then “Unblock”.
If you’re listening to music or watching a video on your Android phone, you can cast it to a TV by tapping on the icon that looks like a little rainbow surrounded by a box. If you have a smart TV or smart speaker such as Google Home or an Echo device with Alexa, a list of places to cast pops up.
Windows Boot-up Trick
If your machine won’t boot into Windows, here are a few things to try. Shut down the machine three times in a row with this simple action: Each time you turn it off, hold down the power button for 10 seconds. After the third time, you should get an “Automatic Repair” screen with advanced options to enter the “Windows Recovery Environment”. More information about this from Reviewed.com. See “How to Enable Safe Mode in Windows 10 -11.”
Most people never leave the iPhone universe for Android. But according to CNN Money, Android phones are “much better” at organizing apps and adding useful widgets. Here’s how to switch.
Search the “Switch to Android” app by Google or visit android.com/switch. The app prompts you to install Google Drive on your iPhone if you haven’t already. Then tap “Settings” and “Backup”. This way everything on your iPhone will migrate to your new Android phone. Also, you need to turn off FaceTime and iMessage on iPhone so that your messages start landing in Messages app on your Android.
If you’re tired of boatloads of CDs you never play, consider digitizing them. This makes it easy to create long playlists.
To start, you can simply pop in a CD into the drive and grab Windows. But when I did that, I got a lot of music files with no song titles. I prefer the free VLC player from videolan.com. Launch the program and click “Media”. Then select “Open Disc” and then “Audio CD”. Now click next to the word “Play” and select “Convert” from the drop-down menu. Lastly, choose your Music folder as the destination.
When you want to queue up hours of music, go to File Explorer in Windows, type it into the search bar in the bottom left and click it when it comes up. Find your Music folder. Right click on an album and select “Add to VLC Playlist”. Keep doing this with other albums until you have your own playlist. VLC will play one album after another.
Govtrack.us aims to make Congress accessible. Look at an issue and you will see all the bills related to it as well as its sponsors and relative progress.
This article was originally published in Telegram & Gazette: Create Beautiful Music With Online Lessons