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  • Online or In-Person Lessons - Advantages? Disadvantages?
  • Mary Brainerd
Online or In-Person Lessons - Advantages? Disadvantages?
With the dawn of the internet, there is now a decades-old argument as to whether or not learning an instrument or piece of music online is better, or if students learn more thoroughly with the tried and true, mentor-student in-person lessons. This article will attempt to shed light on both sides of this debate.

TRADITIONAL MUSIC LESSONS

Ever since musicians began teaching each other privately in music schools, history has taught us that as musicians there is no debate about the merits of learning from another person. We are creatures of imitation, and for a master teacher to be able to correct posture of a student as they are playing, give the student live feedback as a mistake is being made, and provide constructive suggestions in real-time is unmatched. Even with our impressive modern technology, no computer or robot can match the decades of experience from a master musician.

Traditional music lessons, unlike online music lessons, provide the student with a very personalized teaching experience. The teacher not only understands a student’s personality and practicing behaviors, but they also know how to work with a student on a level that they’re ready for. For instance, an experience violin master teacher would never give a first-year violin student a Paganini concerto to work on – he or she would be working on their basic posture, bowing technique, and music theory to understand the basics of music itself.

ONLINE MUSIC LESSONS

When the internet was brought into existence, some things got simple in the world of learning music and listening:  downloading streams of our favorite music, sheet music online, but music students still needed to learn how to play their instruments.

Online video lessons began to boom, however Golden Music has maintained allegiance to in person lessons, however with the public health crisis going on, we were quick to get all our great teachers online to continue their work with the students. 

The Benefits of Online Music Lessons

Online lessons are more convenient. By far, the biggest benefit to online instrument lessons is that it’s ridiculously convenient. After all, how cool is it that you get to learn and grow as a musician from the comfort of your own home?  There’s no travel time to account for.

Online lessons give you more choices. Unfortunately, many would-be musicians simply don’t have access to a reliable music teacher in their area. If you live in a very rural area, are part of a military family that moves around a lot, or simply live in a town without a music teacher who specializes in your instrument, it can be next to impossible to locate a good teacher who will work for you. Taking online lessons means you can find the perfect music teacher for you, even if they live 1,000 miles away.

Online lessons offer some unique benefits.  Sharing content and connecting with others online is often quicker and easier, and more effective than it is in-person.  Golden Music provides this with the new TeacherZone application.

The Drawbacks of Online Music Lessons

Online lessons don’t allow for physical guidance. Beginners who are just getting the hang of playing an instrument often have poor form and may handle their instrument awkwardly or ineffectively. While it’s usually easy for an instructor to manually correct these posture and technique issues in person, it’s much more challenging when they can’t physically demonstrate the change. This is especially true when the music student is forgoing an instructor altogether.

Online lessons require a strong internet connection. While a lack of WiFi is rarely an issue in this day and age, it’s worth pointing out that if your internet connection goes out during your scheduled lesson time, you’ll likely have to miss and reschedule your lesson. Similarly, if your home internet is usually slow or has a poor connection, you could find yourself dealing with bad video quality and transmission delays.

Online lessons require more personal motivation.  Showing up for in-house lessons is more of a commitment that’s not as easy to blow off. Sticking to online lessons requires much more personal motivation, which can be a challenge for some learners.

For the time being, our online lessons are great but we are looking forward to seeing all of you in person again!

There are definite pros and cons to online instrument lessons as well as in-person lessons. In the end, during this time when in-person lessons aren't an option, online lessons are a great benefit for students to continue their study and enjoy playing their instrument under the guidance of their teacher.

  • Mary Brainerd

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