Today’s technology provides a wealth of options for music lessons, including long-distance learning via online lessons. But before signing up for online lessons, consider the following.
Things to consider regarding online music instruction
Websites like YouTube and others can be a great source of ideas and new info for budding musicians. Additionally, these virtual lessons on YouTube are free, making them very easy on the budget. But one downside of YouTube lessons is that they are generic and not tailored to the individual student.
Online lessons with a private teacher are a step up from free YouTube videos and an attractive option to those on a tight budget, because they usually cost less than in-person instruction. For someone who merely wants to get ideas and experiment with music, an online teacher may be an acceptable option. But as with most things in life, you get what you pay for – and students who really want to become proficient at playing an instrument will do better with live instruction.
Benefits to live instruction
Live instruction is considered to be the Cadillac quality option when it comes to music lessons. But fortunately, that doesn’t necessarily have to mean “luxury” prices.
One way to cut down on the cost of live instruction is to take group lessons – these can be great for helping a student learn to play in harmony with others. Additionally, they’re a great way to build new relationships and make new friends!
In-person private instruction costs a bit more and is very well-suited for students who want to maximize their learning and progress. And unlike online lessons, in-person instruction allows you to get completely accurate feedback on your skills. Of course, find top quality instructors in your local area.
Online music teachers may not be able to hear what you’re playing properly due to sub-par internet connections, lag, or interruptions in the transmission of your sound. And even if the internet cooperates, whether or not they hear a student’s music accurately depends a lot on the quality of the microphone being used by the student, and the quality of the speaker being used by the teacher. With live instruction, you have none of those issues – what you play is what the teacher hears.
Additionally, part of learning to play music involves mastering the subtle movements that make the difference between being merely “okay” at playing the piece, versus knocking it out of the park. For example, an in-person teacher can show you little tweaks you ought to make in your position that can help you play your instrument better (ex. the angle of your wrist when playing guitar, your posture when playing the piano, tips on how to hold your instrument for ease in reaching all the notes etc.).
Last, but not least, live instruction allows for fun aspects of learning to play an instrument that can’t be replicated online. Student duets with their teachers can be easily arranged when you’re meeting the teacher once or more per week – this can be a fun way for budding musicians to take part in pieces that might be beyond their capabilities if left on their own. Additionally, with one-on-one instruction in your own town or city, it’s common for the instructor to arrange for yearly recitals where all of their students can show off their musical prowess. These events are a great confidence builder for students and everyone enjoys hearing the results of the other students’ progress too.
Don’t skimp on sub-par instruction – invest in live music lessons
If you want to learn to play music well, engagement with a qualified instructor – in person – is key. They’ll have the best opportunity to guide you through the nuances of instruction, which will include working on your pacing, reinforcing good habits, and building your confidence.