by Tamsyn

November 24, 2018

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.

Convenience

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.

Correcting Technique

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!

About the author 

Tamsyn

My name is Tamsyn and I love music. I got my bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from USU. I spent many years teaching private piano lessons until I had children of my own. I have attended several children workshops on how to teach children music. I really like the Kodaly method, but have adapted a lot of different techniques for my own children.

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  1. You need carefully consider all your options before choosing a path for your musical education, because the wrong choice could lead to stagnation, or worse, giving up completely. If music lessons are something you want to seriously pursue you need to be honest with yourself about these needs and make your choice accordingly. Good luck.

  2. Online music lessons platform that offers high quality beginner to advanced Guitar, Violin, Fiddle, Bass and Mandolin lessons. This blog is very useful information. Thank you for sharing the article.

  3. Voice lessons present a challenge for online lessons.
    Often the teacher will need to play along and accompany the student.
    Most video conferencing software will not allow for sound to travel both ways at the same time
    (as of June 2020). So hearing your teacher play the instrumental for you to accompany it vocally isn’t possible. You may need to use prerecorded tracks.

  4. I like what you said about taking online music lessons since the teacher will incorporate technology. My sister wants to learn how to play the piano in the coming years. I’ll share this information with her so that she can look into her options for professionals who can help her with this.

  5. I like that this post mentioned one of the benefits of attending online cello classes is that it offers convenience. The other day my son mentioned he would like to learn to play the cello. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, I believe it will be in his best interest to attend online lessons as it will be in the comfort of his room and away from the public.

  6. You mentioned that one of the advantages to online music lessons is that the child can do it right from home. My son would really like to start taking piano lessons, but sitting one on one with a teacher makes him nervous. Maybe it would be a good idea to look into online music lessons to start with.

  7. I want to learn how to play guitar, but I want to make sure that I get the right lessons. It makes sense that in person lessons might be beneficial! I can see how having better sound quality would ensure that the directions I get are more accurate.

  8. Thanks for explaining that online flute instructions will be beneficial if you think that videos and mobile apps could help you. Since my schedule changes every week, I think that I should find an online flute instructor. Maybe I could even start with some videos.

  9. I agree that technology can be beneficial when trying to learn outside of class or online. My daughter wants to get better at singing. Specifically, she wants to be able to take a class in person but I think it'd be safer to do it online because of COVID-19. Maybe she'll see that there are a lot of benefits to using technology for those kinds of classes.

  10. Though online music classes are in trend these days due to pandemic, both personal & online music lessons have their own pros and cons. Parents should keep these pros and cons in mind while choosing a music coaching medium for their kids. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I liked it when you shared that in-person lessons will allow the teacher and student to hear the subtleties of each other’s music better when playing live. My sister just mentioned the other day that she is planning to send her daughter for piano lessons so she gets to learn to play the instrument. I will suggest to her taking her for in-person lessons so she can learn better.

  12. Do you also love listening to and singing songs? I hope the answer is yes. Most of us love listening and singing sounds? But have you ever thought about who writes the lyrics of any song? Have you ever tried writing a song before? Of course, singing any song is way simpler than writing it. But why is songwriting complicated? Today we will tell you about some mistakes which most of us commit while songwriting. Also, we will learn what makes songwriting difficult? So are you ready to learn about songwriting?Some artists have a very particular fashion or voice, like Ed Sheeran, and they run the threat that all their songs will sound the same, in different phrases – derivative. If that’s your case, you want to put a lot of more work into selecting unique keys, chords, tempos, time signatures, collaborations, instrumentation, and extra so that every tune sounds more distinct from any other one.

  13. I like how you mentioned that for people who want to learn new things like music, right from the comfort of home, technology has opened up so many doors for people who want to learn new things, right from the comfort of home. My daughter loves music so much. I think it will do good to her if he enrolled herself in music learning. I will share this post with him as a reference in looking for a music school.

  14. I am a big fan of online music lessons. I love the convenience and efficiency of online learning, especially when you're trying to learn an instrument. Online guitar lessons are really easy to follow and they will help you develop your skills in no time at all!

  15. I made a special effort to get to know my kid and his hobbies so that when he was introduced to the guitar, he could learn and play the music he already loves. I booked an online lesson slot for him where he learned all the basic to advanced guitar lessons. In addition to being a brilliant musician, he is an excellent teacher. He has a flexible schedule and gets along well with families.

  16. Nice Blog!
    Music Online Lesson in Perth- Your child will be able to connect with their instructor from the comfort of their own home using Zoom, which is an excellent live video conferencing tool that is offered as part of the online courses that are provided by Focus Music. Because of how simple it is to operate, Zoom has become increasingly popular in a variety of settings, including schools, corporations, and universities.

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