Jillian has a piano teacher. I'll tell you about her some other day. (Don't you love these teasers? They are really just notes to myself, to be honest.) Me? I do not yet have a piano teacher. I have very high, perhaps unrealistically high hopes for myself as a pianist. Among other things, that means I accept the likelihood that some day, I am going to need to sign up with someone. In the long run, I am simply not going to be able to take myself where I would like to go. But for now, learning the basics, I feel like Alfred is teaching me almost everything I need to know.
Thing is, I can't yet "hear" the music in my my head. What I mean by that is, I can't translate the music I read on a page into notes or melodies in my head. This is a real problem if I start on a new piece that is completely unfamiliar. Like Cafe Vienna, for example. Even though this was basically a shorter, Austrian version of that accursed Lone Star Waltz, when I first opened the page to it, the piece was completely opaque. So I did what I had done half a dozen times before, and turned to PianoNoobAlexMan, my surrogate teacher.
If you are in my stage of learning piano (mom3gram, I am looking at you here, but there may be others), you need to know PianoNoobAlexMan. He started with Alfred back in September, 2007, and was kind enough to post videos of all the Book One pieces as he completed them. For the most part, he does pretty well. Once in awhile, you will come across a recording in which he doesn't do a proper repeat, or forgets to move his hands an octave up... but in terms of learning what a new piece is supposed to sound like, he's been a real life-saver for me. And I am happy to report that, now that he has begun Alfred's Book Two, he is posting his recordings of those pieces on Youtube as well. Looks like I may get to keep my pseudo-instructor for awhile longer yet.
See (and bookmark) what I mean here: http://www.youtube.com/user/PianoNoobAlexMan