Online lessons are an increasingly popular, more convenient and often cheaper way of learning new things. This shows through the increase of websites offering either live or pre-recorded lessons with a music teacher. Lessons generally are crucial to a musician’s development and vocal health, and whether online lessons are the future or not is not yet clear.
There are many benefits, a lesson that has been recorded can be viewed again by the student. It is this ability to review content multiple times which can help reinforce learning, as well as help anyone who is struggling with certain areas within a lesson. It is a cost effective and an easier route to learning – eliminating the need to travel or worry about bad weather; rescheduling is easier too, as neither the teacher nor the student will have commuted before a cancelled lesson.
It can save time, a pre-recorded warm-up can be watched by the student before the lesson. By the time the lesson has started, the student and the teacher do not have to spend the beginning part of the lesson warming up and can begin working almost straight away. What is even more interesting about this trend is that it has even led to famous individuals, and musicians, providing online lessons through websites such as Masterclass. Famous Jazz piano player Herbie Hancock offers online lessons in Jazz on this site, and stands testament to this trend.
Whilst there are many clear benefits to online music lessons there are also some potential negatives. Something which is very important is the sound quality; even with the fastest internet connection, the quality that you hear over the internet is not going to be as good as face-to-face. Whilst a good music teacher will still be able to pick up on certain things, it will not be as clear as a face-to-face lesson.
A potential downside if you’re following pre-recorded lessons is that there is no tailoring to your own individual needs as a student. In addition, sometimes it is important for a teacher, during a lesson, to help ensure proper placement, and with live or pre-recorded lessons this cannot be done.
There are many ways to potentially conduct an online music lesson; over webcam, video tutorials – for example, YouTube videos – or designing programs or apps. YouTube is one of the main ways of providing recorded online lessons, which in itself has many benefits, as it is a great way of building a large following – and with enough followers you even have the ability to monetize your videos.
What we can be sure of is the way we learn music is continually evolving. Are online music lessons the future? Probably. Even world-renowned music educational institutions, like Berklee, are beginning to offer online music degrees and courses. The development of technology is ensuring that there are many ways to be a music teacher, and many platforms from which to teach, spread knowledge – and all from the comfort of your own home.
Also published on Medium.