All About Coaching

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Coaching is the best way for you to share your playing with me, get feedback from me and stay accountable.

O.K. we've heard all that before right? Accountability, practice, share with the group etc...

But, does coaching really help?

And, "What if I'm shy to share my questions and playing with others?"

Coaching definitely helps and it is easy to participate to your comfort level. More on that later...

First, let's get the software, install and test it.

Download and Install Zoom Software

To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Download the free Zoom software and install it
  2. Join a test meeting to see if the software is working
  3. Read the zoom documentation if you need more help
  4. Watch the videos on the coaching page (must be a Jazzedge member)
  5. Login to coaching on the day and time here

If you are a PianoWithWillie or Coaching With Willie member, please login at to view the coaching link.


Joining a Coaching Session

Coaching is held every other Tuesday at 3pm Eastern time (convert).

To join a session, login to your Jazzedge account and go to the Group Coaching Page.

If you are a PianoWithWillie or Coaching With Willie member, please login at to view the coaching link.

From there, click on the 'Join Live Session' button. It looks like this:

NOTE: do not chat in your question before I arrive, otherwise I will NOT see your question.


Why Participate in Coaching?

You can participate to whatever level you are comfortable. Some students just join in and listen, some students ask questions and get feedback on their playing, while others perform live for the group.

You get to decide what works for you. However, simply ignoring coaching or dismissing it as "It's only group coaching, what could I possibly learn?" will not help your playing improve.

As my student Gerry wrote:

It is wonderful having so many new performers now but it is amazing seeing the progress of us ‘old timers’. Willie’s encouragement and guidance is evident when comparing our early performances with those now. Where will be be this time next year, I wonder? – Gerry

So, coaching does work...but only if you participate.


How to Participate in Coaching

When you login to a coaching session, you can turn off your camera and mute your microphone.

All other students will see is your name. They will not see you or hear you.

This is a great way to 'dip a toe' and test out coaching, especially if you are nervous or shy. 

Of course, you can share your camera if you like, but I ask that all students mute their microphone until they are ready to ask a question. This keeps the session from getting 'cluttered' with background noise.

When we get started, I welcome everyone, share a brief bit of news if there is any to share, then I open up the session for questions.

Usually when I am sharing the news, students are writing in their questions in the chat area and sharing their YouTube videos for feedback from me.

Coaching lasts about an hour, but you can leave at any point if you need to.


How Do I Get Feedback From Willie?

During the session, students paste the link to their video in the chat area.

If you don't know how to share your YouTube video, I made a video on the Group Coaching Page.

I work my way down the chats and answer each question in order. I'll share my thoughts on each players recording and ask if they have any questions.

I only give feedback on videos during coaching and I do not accept video submissions outside of coaching.

If you want 1-on-1 coaching, I do offer private lessons.

If coaching falls at a bad time for you, maybe it is early or late for your timezone, I'm sorry but I've tried to pick a time that would work for -most- students around the world.

Remember, you can login to coaching live, submit your video link in the chat and leave.

I will give you feedback or answer your question and it will all be recorded for later viewing.


Coaching Recording & Follow-Up

After each coaching session, my student, and forum *superstar* Michèle Kessler so graciously creates a forum post where students can share their thoughts. 

If you haven't already, check out the group coaching forum.

Every coaching session is recorded and can be found on the Group Coaching Page (be sure to scroll down the page!) shortly after the live session has ended.


Coaching Schedule

Coaching is scheduled every other Tuesday at 3pm Eastern time.

You can convert to your timezone here.

There is a Google Calendar link on the Group Coaching Page which you can subscribe to in order to get updates of any changes.


Common Questions

Q: Do I need to be a Jazzedge member to participate in coaching?

A: Yes, or a legacy member to PianoWithWillie or Coaching With Willie.

Q: How do I share my video during coaching?

A: Please watch the video on the Group Coaching Page for detailed instructions. Basically, you want to upload your video to YouTube. Set it as 'unlisted' or 'public' but NOT to 'private' otherwise I won't be able to view it.

After uploaded, click on the video and look for the share button like this:

Then copy the YouTube link like this:

Then paste that link into the chat during the coaching session.

Q: How long does each student get during coaching?

A: There is no set time. Some questions are easier than others and are faster to answer.

Q: Are there levels to coaching? What if the other players are too advanced or too beginner?

A: I've done online coaching for years now. And, in the past, I did have levels of coaching but I found that they did not work well. Too often I would be saying the same stuff regardless of level. I also found that many students enjoyed hearing questions from other students and seeing what they were playing. For these reasons I found that an 'all inclusive' coaching session works best for most students. 

Q: I'm nervous. Are others students going to be critical of my playing? 

A: First, this is a supportive environment. I've never had to, but if a student were non-supportive, they would get bumped from the session. You'll find that all students, beginner to advanced, are very supportive of one another. After all, we're all trying to learn and get better!

Q: The software is not working! I can't join the session, etc...

A: The software is working. Your setup is likely wrong on your end. Please read and follow the instructions in the 'Download and Install Zoom Software' section above. Be sure to join a test session and test your setup before the live coaching.

Q: Can you send me an email reminder? Do you send reminders?

A: I do not send email reminders about coaching. The schedule is set and you can subscribe to the Google Calendar for updates. 


With the largest selection of highest-quality piano lessons online, Jazzedge has become the place where serious students take their piano playing to their next level.
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