The overwhelming universal power of music to unite and delight cannot be understated. Music plays an important role in almost any culture you can think of and allows its creators to convey complex emotions through a range of scales that can transport you to a different world. One of the most common regrets of people approaching the end of their life is that they did not, at any point, learn to play an instrument. It is a hobby that is known to enrich the lives of practically anyone who chooses to take it up.
Choosing the right music tutor is as much about finding a person you connect with as employing someone who is an expert at the instrument. If someone is watching you bumble through a few notes for half an hour in the early stages, it will work out best if you at least get along with them.
Both playing and listening to music are known to lower stress levels. Think of it as a form of therapy that you can switch on and off at your convenience. Creating music can also help you see your life from a new and elevated perspective. Additionally, playing in a group of other musicians can generally have a positive impact on your mood that provides a feeling of creativity and belonging.
Many of our musical idols have reached their position of stature through hard work and the ability to weave together notes in a way that resonates with an audience of millions. Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with the natural capability to master an instrument quickly. It generally takes years of structured practice.
In modern times there has been a sharp increase in online music lessons, especially in the Covid era. Here, we look at some of the advantages and flipsides of this method of learning.
Why you should consider opting for online music lessons
Taking online sessions means that you can enjoy the lessons from any location, via a phone, tablet or laptop. It also means that your tutor can do the same, freeing up spare time on both sides. Online sessions allow the tutor and student to operate from different time zones. There is no need for either party to spend time travelling. Many platforms allow you to conduct lessons this way, such as FaceTime and Skype.
Through online sessions, you will be able to choose music tutors from all over the globe, rather than just local musicians. This gives you the choice of potentially hundreds of thousands of tutors. If you do not feel a connection with your tutor, it will be much easier to replace them if sessions are carried out online. The increased choice also makes it more likely to find a tutor who is naturally drawn to the particular style of music you wish to learn.
Online sessions can be cheaper due to the practicalities of doing it this way. There are no transport costs, and there is generally less inconvenience on both sides.
It is possible to record online lessons for future use. This helps learn more difficult songs and for hearing the tutor’s instructions again and again, exactly as they were spoken. There is now no excuse for messing up! Of course, you can also record a face-to-face lesson on a video camera, but most people would feel a little awkward asking to do so.
It is possible for the tutor to pre-record lessons. While this is less interactive, it may come with a cheaper price tag. It also means that you can learn every week of the year, including when your tutor is on holiday.
Less likely to cancel
If you are slightly ill, it is easier to carry out an online session than a face-to-face session. You don’t have to worry about how you look in front of the teacher while feeling under the weather.
Reasons to avoid online music lessons
This can lead to whole sessions or parts of sessions being missed. The audio or visual quality of an online session can also be substandard, which can make learning difficult. It is best to have a fast internet connection to stop this from happening.
Lower chance of bonding with a tutor
There is something to be said for bonding in a face-to-face environment, where it is also easier to judge the feel of what the teacher is playing – they can physically take the instrument from you and show you how to play a piece correctly. Online lessons can’t really capture this aspect of a lesson.
Duets are more difficult
It is possible to play along with your tutor on an online session, but sometimes there is a lag. It rarely works as well as in a face-to-face lesson.
Tests can be harder to carry out
Tests via online sessions can require a lot of scanning and faff about with emails. Music tests are easier to carry out when done face-to-face.
The final say
Playing an instrument will allow you to be the centre of attention at every gathering, from parties to musical events. You will be able to show off your talents and impress friends and family.
Whether or not you choose an online music tutor has much to do with your needs and preferred learning style. You may wish to pay less and also take advantage of the pluses of online sessions. However, you may prefer the traditional method where someone is sitting beside you. Whichever way you choose, you will have set yourself on a path to increased enjoyment of life and a more nourished soul.