As a parent of a 7 year old and a private trumpet teacher, I wondered if online music lessons are a viable option or a complete waste of time? Looking at this from both perspectives I can honestly say that with the proper equipment and teacher, not only do online music lessons work, they are in some ways better than in-person music lessons.
What matters more than anything is taking the time to set up your environment for success. It starts with having a dedicated space for music lessons. The mindset of the student and teacher need to be aligned with each other and last, there is a technology component that needs to be considered.
Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of what is that makes online music lessons better in some ways, let’s compare in-person and virtual lessons
What’s The Difference between in-person and online music Lessons?
There are some obvious differences between the two and ultimately as THIS ARTICLE points out, when deciding the most important aspect is weighing out the pros and cons for your situation. The best pro for in-person lessons is the ability of the instructor to listen to tone production of the instrument. The natural tone produced by the instrument can tell a well-trained instructor a lot about how the student is playing on an instrument. While this is the strongest reason to pick in-person over online, an instructor can find ways to overcome this obstacle.
Where virtual truly shines is the convenience aspect for both instructor and student. As an instructor, having access to all the virtual tools, PDF music, and other resources is extremely helpful. Not all books are digitized and not all resources an instructor has are available. For the student the best feature is that you don’t have to pack up and go somewhere for a lesson. Spend more time practicing and less time commuting.
Do you need special equipment?
Depending on your instrument you will need to invest a bit of time and money for a well functioning setup. With the exception of drums, the more common instruments benefit from a USB Microphone attached to a computer, for example a BLUE YETI microphone. Much like a high quality screen, a high quality microphone is the starting point of capturing audio.
The best device for lessons is a laptop or desktop computer. Smartphones and tablets are able to be used but make adding microphones and communication challenging due to small screen sizes.
The last component is a good stable internet connection. For households with multiple devices and users, it’s recommended that when music lessons are happening, other members of the household use the internet connection in a conservative way. Planning ahead and downloading an episode from your favorite Netflix TV show helps.
Is Virtual Good for Students?
This question does depend on the student and the instructor. Setting the technology piece of the equation aside for a minute, setting up a path to success for online lessons requires a bit of planning ahead. Make sure that the environment for lessons is consistent. Mentally it helps to always have music lessons in the same spot of the house as it tells the brain that it’s now time for lessons. Having a clutter free space with minimal distractions will maximize the time of the lessons. If possible, do your lessons where you practice.
The instructor will play an important role in making the experience good for the student. A good instructor will have a proper setup for the lessons including a talking mic, a mic for the instrument, the ability to properly use screen sharing, and a way to engage the student to keep the lesson on track to success.
The other benefit with online is that the student and teacher can now share recordings of each other in between lessons. While every instructor policy is different, this new way of keeping in touch is convenient for both parties and can help in keeping on track.
As with most things in life, virtual is not always a good fit for everyone. Some instruments do require more consideration than others when it comes to deciding if online music lessons is a good fit or not. Ultimately there are ways to make music lessons work online from a technology standpoint, so all that is left to do is thinking about the personal preferences when making the decision to have lessons in-person or online.
Now that you are aware of the differences between how you take your lessons, what else can you do to help your journey to becoming the musician you want to be? Check out THIS BLOG to get tools that will help you with your practice sessions and CONTACT US for private online music lessons to fast charge your progress on any instrument.