Which Method is Better?
Today guest blogger Donna Maurer from Music to your Home gives us some points to consider when deciding whether to have in-person or online music lessons.
Technology has opened up so many doors for people who want to learn new things, right from the comfort of home. Nowadays, you can attend public school or even get an entire college degree online. But, did you know that you can learn any musical instrument, including the ukulele, right in your own living room? In fact, you can now learn almost any instrument from a highly qualified teacher anywhere in the country, without ever leaving home. Imagine being able to learn piano from a teacher in New York City, all while sitting in your living room in Phoenix! Pretty neat, huh?
The question is, are online music lessons with a remote teacher right for you, or would in-person, face-to-face lessons be better? Just like with anything else, there are pros and cons to each method. Some will apply to you and some won’t, but it’s best to spend some time researching all the facts before you decide. While you can try to learn without a teacher by watching videos online, for the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on the pros and cons of live music lessons with a teacher, taken either online or in-person.
One of the most obvious reasons for taking online music lessons is convenience. There’s no traveling involved, and no need to drag your instrument from place to place. That means your child could get off the bus and take his music lesson right at home, without you needing to be available to drive him around. If you’re a busy mom with multiple kids to cart around, this could be a real life-saver! You might have more flexibility with the times that lessons are available, too, since you will have more teachers to pick from.
Choice of Teachers
If you’ve been looking around for a qualified teacher and can’t find one, online music lessons might be the answer for you! Thanks to the internet, you can take lessons from teachers all over the country. This could be especially important if you live in a remote area where qualified teachers just aren’t around. Online lessons with an experienced, qualified teacher are much better than in-person lessons from an inferior teacher.
Always Play Your Own Instrument
This can be a huge advantage if you are learning an instrument that is too big or heavy to carry around, like the piano. You will always be able to play your own instrument with online music lessons, so if switching back and forth bothers you, this is the perfect solution. However, this might be considered a con, too. If you practice on an inferior instrument at home because that’s what you can afford, your teacher might have a much higher quality instrument in his or her studio. Advanced students could really benefit from having the option to play a superior instrument.
Recording Your Lessons for Future Reference
It’s very easy to record your online lessons for future reference. If you want to replay the lesson during practice, review certain parts, or go back and take notes, it would be very easy to do that from a recording.
Sound Quality Better in Person
In the area of sound quality, in-person lessons have a clear advantage. You and your teacher will always be able to hear the subtleties of each other’s music better when playing in-person. Of course, this can be improved greatly by the quality of your internet connection and equipment.
Using Technology to Supplement the Lesson
Chances are, an online teacher will be more likely to incorporate technology into their teaching. If you feel things like videos, phone apps, and computer software would be a benefit to you, then online music lessons would likely include them. Technology can be very beneficial for those who want to continue learning outside of their lessons. However, if you aren’t tech savvy, the use of technology might be frustrating for you. If this is something that’s important to you, be sure to talk to potential teachers about it before you sign up. Even in-studio teachers are starting to use more technology in their lessons.
Often, a music teacher will physically manipulate the position of a student’s hands, arms, or posture when teaching to help them improve their technique. Since the teacher can’t do that during an online lesson, the student will have to be able to follow precise verbal and visual instruction from the teacher to get the same results. That could be especially difficult for young students.
Distractions Could Be a Problem Either Way
If you have a lot of people coming and going at your house during your lessons, it will be easy for you to get distracted during an online lesson. This can be easily resolved by going somewhere more private and closing the door, so it probably won’t be a problem for most people. This could also be a problem with in-person lessons at a busy music studio, too, especially if you’re self-conscious about strangers listening to you play.
Moving or Traveling Without Disrupting Your Lessons
If you move or travel when you are taking online lessons, you can continue without disrupting your schedule or your teacher’s. This goes both ways, too. If your online music teacher moves or travels, you probably won’t even notice. Obviously, if you or your teacher move when you’re taking in-person lessons, you’re going to need to find a new teacher. In-person lessons would have to stop altogether when one of you is traveling, too.
Online Music Lessons Can Save You Money
You will, of course, save some money since you won’t have to commute to your lessons. Even better, online music lessons usually cost less than in-person lessons. The cost of music lessons can vary greatly from one area of the country to another, too. Being able to take lessons from a teacher in a different state could save you a ton. If cost is a deciding factor for you, online lessons will probably be the way to go.
When deciding between online or in-person music lessons, you will need to weigh the factors above and decide what is most important to you. There are pros and cons to both methods, but the availability of online lessons means that anyone can learn an instrument, no matter where they live, if they have the motivation to do so!